The International Earth Science Olympiad as a tool to enhance the profile and quality of earth science education
The International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) is a relatively new international science olympiad, having begun in 2007. Be-sides the usual written and practical tests, co-operative activities like the International Field Team Investigation (ITFI) and Earth System Project (ESP) are special and exclusive to IESO. Two problems that are unique to Earth Science education are the lack of visibility and the quality of teaching of Earth Science. In recent years, the International Geoscience Education Organisation has brought in sweeping changes in the way IESO testing is done. This paper summarises how IESO has contributed to enhanc-ing the profile and visibility and the quality of earth science education: Through national level entrance test and National Earth Science Olympiad; through publicity regarding the entrance test and related Olympiad activities; through workshops during and between IESO’s; through Mentors and Observers; through the International Team Field Investigation (ITFI) and Earth System Project (ESP); and through hosting IESO. However, efforts have to be made to further increase the impact of IESO on the quali-ty of Earth Science education by several means, including having more countries to participate in IESO.
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