Visitors to Exploration Station try out virtual reality headsets during the 2015 Fall Meeting.
Visitors to Exploration Station try out virtual reality headsets during the 2015 Fall Meeting. Credit: Karna Kurata

Members of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) advance and disseminate Earth and space science knowledge. They affiliate themselves with an AGU section or focus group that shares their interests and fosters scientific discussion and collaboration with other scientists. Wonderful opportunities to share knowledge more broadly—with children, parents, and teachers—await members of these sections and focus groups at the upcoming 2016 Fall Meeting. Exploration Station offers a range of family-friendly science exhibits and hands-on activities that give families the opportunity to interact with science and education professionals. The Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshop enables educators to learn about the latest Earth and space science research directly from scientists as well as from classroom resources designed to inspire a passion for science in students.

In 2015, 29 members from 15 AGU sections and focus groups presented exhibits and activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Credit: Tess Reardon

Exploration Station

Exploration Station draws Fall Meeting attendees and a public audience, too. Members of AGU’s sections and focus groups volunteer to create and manage exhibits for families. Past Exploration Station exhibits have presented a variety of fun activities for children, including a planetarium, virtual reality headsets, and stomp rockets. Members of the Space Physics and Aeronomy section have driven AGU’s member engagement, having offered the majority of exhibits in Exploration Station’s early years and continuing to participate today. The number of sections and focus groups involved in Exploration Station exhibits has steadily increased in the past 6 years, from 6 in 2010 to 15 last year. In 2015, members of AGU’s various section and focus groups teamed up to create an unforgettable experience for children and their families, drawing more than 700 people to the event. If you are interested in becoming an exhibitor and sharing your love of science with children, please read our FAQ.

The 2015 Gift Workshop featured 14 presenters from a wide variety of AGU’s sections and focus groups. Credit: Tess Reardon

GIFT Workshop

Members of AGU’s sections and focus groups also actively contribute to the GIFT Workshop at Fall Meeting. Scientists can pair up with an expert educator and share their science with K–12 teachers and informal educators. In 2015, 14 members from 8 different sections and focus groups presented on a variety of topics, ranging from NASA’s Kepler Mission to the science of fracking. In previous years, the GIFT Workshop featured presenters from 6–10 different sections and focus groups.

Get Involved

Exploration Station and the GIFT Workshop grow larger each year. AGU welcomes members who would like to get involved and share their love for Earth and space science. Members who share their time and knowledge at these programs empower our educators and inspire a love for learning in our future scientists. As one 2015 GIFT teacher said, “It is so wonderful to be able to attend a [professional development workshop] with talented presenters, a supportive community, and also be able to go across the street for high level scientific presentations.” Exploration Station and the GIFT Workshop offer opportunities for science professionals, educators, and families to share in the joy of science learning. If you would like to share your love of science with others or see your science taught in classrooms, please contact or Pranoti Asher (

—Tess Reardon, AGU Education Intern; email:

Citation: Reardon, T. (2016), Share your science with teachers and the public at Fall Meeting, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO052073. Published on 10 May 2016.

Text © 2016. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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