My Earth, a geosciences activity book

Public outreach is an important component of scientific research, with researchers increasingly expected to engage in such activities, especially with children. Younger children are a particularly engaging audience one can work with. However, creating content for children is challenging, given their shorter attention span compared to adults. Apart from engaging, the content must be age-appropriate to stimulate the children’s curiosity, encourage questioning, and foster a positive attitude toward learning. Studies indicate that the most effective approach to introducing scientific concepts to young children is through play and that their engagement with science, building reasoning abilities and conceptual knowledge begins well before school years. Moreover, targeting science activities toward children is essential given the declining number of students in STEM fields and decreasing science scores in many countries worldwide.

In the hopes of inspiring the younger generation, we created the GeoEdu4Kids, which was funded by the EGU Engagement Grant 2023. We are developing a children’s booklet titled “My Earth”, which features games, puzzles, coloring activities, and more, all inspired by and related to various geoscience topics. The booklet is designed for children aged 3 to 8 years old and covers a wide range of subjects including, geology, mineralogy, volcanology, seismology, geomagnetism, oceanography, hydrology, and atmospheric sciences. Answers to the activities are provided at the end of the booklet. We encourage adults to assist children in understanding the activities and concepts. Our aim is to spark children's curiosity about the Earth and the environment, prompting them to ask questions. A prototype of the booklet was presented at the EGU General Assembly in April 2024 and will also be presented at the Potsdam Science Day. The final version will be available online via the EGU website and their media channels, translated into multiple languages for a global audience.

Stay tuned for more updates!

The authors, Sanja Panovska (right) and Sabrina Sanchez (left), in front of their EGU poster on 'My Earth' in the outreach session.

Images: (1) The cover page of the booklet. (2) Example game (clouds).

Sanja Panovska is a researcher at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam, Germany. Her primary research focus is reconstructing the long-term evolution of the geomagnetic field based on paleomagnetic data through geological history. Sabrina Sanchez is a former researcher and now author and illustrator particularly interested in science outreach. Her recent work can be seen under the handle @une.sabrina on Instagram and you can contact her by e-mail here.


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