Earth Science for Society Exhibition

The Cause

The Earth Science for Society (ESfS) Exhibition is a three-day geoscience outreach event where grade school students, youth groups and the public enjoy learning about the importance and benefits of the Earth sciences. Admission is free. Earth Science for Society (ESfS) is a program initiative of the CSEG Foundation (CSEGF).
The exhibition is designed to:
- Expose students and the public to aspects of Earth science in a fun, educational and interactive way
- Demonstrate how Earth science plays a critical role in our society
- Make the connection between responsible resource development and the things we use every day
- Enhance public knowledge of our Earth, natural hazards, environmental issues, and responsible management of resources
ESfS targets K-12 youth with age-appropriate material that is also of interest to the general public. ESfS particularly supplements in-class studies for the grade 7 the Planet Earth unit and the grade 3 Rocks and Minerals unit.
Visitors enjoy fascinating and educational hands-on activities in four themed pavilions: Resources and You, Energy for Us, One Dynamic Earth, and Our Future! Exhibitors bring diverse Earth science topics to life for our visitors. In 2019, we welcomed 35 exhibitors. To properly manage health protocols, the ESfS committee is planning for reduced capacity as the program starts up again. We are planning for 20 exhibitors in 2022.
Schools and youth groups register to spend two to two and half hours on the exhibit floor. Upon arrival at ESfS, groups are briefed in the Geo-Theatre and then guided through all four pavilions on the exhibit floor by geoscience volunteers. Youth and students are provided with a Scavenger Hunt booklet that encourages them to interact with exhibitors. The booklet is also aligned with Girl Guide Earth Science badge requirements. A questionnaire in the booklet provides the committee with feedback, including interest in STEM and careers in STEM.
The Geo-Theatre showcases family-friendly geoscience presentations by noted speakers on Sunday afternoon.
ESfS was scheduled to take place March 13-15 2022 in MacEwan Hall at the University of Calgary here in Alberta. However, due to lead time needed for planning and the uncertainty whether teachers are able to sign up for an off-site event, ESfS is working to reschedule to October or November 2022.
The ESfS organizing committee is eager to deliver an exceptionally successful educational event to our community, especially our young people.

Who Will it Benefit?

Participating schools and youth groups at all grade levels have told us that ESfS is a valuable science event for them.
ESfS 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic a few days before the event was to take place. In 2019, 1,827 students from Grades 2 through 7, and 211 teachers/adult chaperons attended on Monday and Tuesday. School group time slots are 90% full within two weeks of opening of registration. Between Sunday afternoon and Monday night, we were pleased to host over 420 children and 80 chaperones in 22 youth groups in 2019, from Girl Guides, Brownies, Sparks, Cubs, Scouts, and Pathfinders. The girls work to earn an ‘Earth Science’ badge provided by the Girl Guides of Alberta. They interact with cool Earth Science exhibitors and observe positive female geoscience role models in action at ESfS. Coupled with families, homeschoolers, and the public touring the exhibits, we had over 3,100 total attendees at ESfS 2019.
To ensure we meet our goals to educate, inform and engage the community, ESfS measures our success based on annual survey information collected from exhibitors, teachers, students, youth groups, and the public. ESfS monitors the following key performance indicators: attendance, diversity of exhibits and attendees. All feedback is welcomed as we strive to improve and expand our engagement in future years.
Previous years’ feedback surveys are overwhelmingly positive and attest to the merit and popularity of the ESfS program.
“I learned a lot of new things about our Earth, some of the facts I never even thought of before.” Alissa, 12
“I like ESfS because it taught me a lot about science and it inspired me.” Cole, 12
“Thank you for this wonderful event! It was well planned and very well organized. We have really enjoyed being part of it!” Exhibitor
“Great event. Thanks to all the volunteers!” Public attendee
“I thought it was great! Will definitely recommend it to others.” Youth Group leader
“Our students greatly enjoyed the hands-on aspect of each booth. The presenters at each booth were incredibly knowledgeable and they were able to explain each booth to our students in a manner that they were able to understand and engage with.” Educator
To properly manage health protocols, the ESfS committee is planning for reduced capacity as the program starts up again. Expected attendance in 2022 is 2,000: 1,200 elementary, junior high, and homeschooled students from Calgary and area and 800 general attendees – families, youth, teachers and the public.