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Smith, Michael J.1, Laura L. Middaugh1 
(1) American Geological Institute, Alexandria, VA

ABSTRACT: Earth Science in our Nation’s Schools

In service to its strategic plan and its 41 Member Societies, the American Geological Institute (AGI) remains steadfast in promoting Earth science education for all students in concert with the recommendations of the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards. For the past two years, the AGI has produced an annual status report on K-12 Earth science education. AGI staff have surveyed state science education leaders and chiefs of state geological surveys, and have culled information from reports published by state and federal agencies, both print and on the Internet. The AGI Annual Status Report provides a concise, two-page overview for each state of Earth science requirements, enrollments, and standards. The report is available for download at the AGI web site ( 
In 2002, AGI’s study revealed that although every one of the 49 states that had produced science content standards for students in K-12 had included Earth science standards for science learning at the high school level, only 37 states allowed an Earth science course to count towards high school graduation requirements. Further, that only 23 states included Earth science on a state assessment of high school science content, and only two states required Earth science for high school graduation. Thus, while it appears that schools are making progress towards enacting the vision of the national standards, they clearly have a long way to go. The results of AGI’s 2003 Annual Status Report and a review of recent trends will be shared with participants.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.