Be sure to check out this great new page by Oxford University graduate student April Le about hot careers in science & engineering! It can be found on the USASEF web site under 2012 Festival/School Programs.
The recent atmospheric and geological developments in the news provide an opportunity for the budding geologist or earth scientist in your family to explore a topic that imparts a clear and direct impact on their daily lives. Whether he or she enjoys "build and destroy" activities or virtual simulations of earthquakes volcanic eruptions, there are many ways for students of all ages to learn about the earth sciences, particularly the geoscientist.
Geoscientists study the structure, composition and various physical aspects of our planet. The work of geoscientists allows us to better understand phenomena below and at the earth's surface, such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
Regardless of age, relevant questions to put forward to your student (appropriate for their age) may include, "What causes earthquakes/volcanoes?", "How can we study and measure such huge phenomena on a scale we can actually manage?", and "How can we better protect our communities from natural disasters?".
To engage your student, "back-yard" experiments can help visualize plate tectonics with a tennis ball globe, see what a Richter Scale really measures and view wave resonance with spaghetti. "Make a Quake" to understand how buildings can be effected or learn about the anatomy of a road or build a volcano (note: these links require a bit of navigation before you get to the interactive bits) with the Smithosonian Museum, a participating sponsor at the 2012 Science and Engineering Festival. Also, earthquake engineering enthusiasts can understand how buildings and bridges can be built to withstand earthquakes.
The life of a geologist, geoscientist, or even environmental engineer may provide insight into possible careers. Also, don't forget to check out one of our Nifty Fifty scientists (under the Nature section), Dr. Liz Cottrell, who is an actual volcanologist!
In the next edition, we will explore the work of atmostpheric scientists - see you then!