What is the Amazing Earth program?img_7792 Parent volunteers, grandparents and siblings 12+ bring an extra hour of science into the classroom once a month for five months.  The topics supplement the teacher's curriculum and the session offers a brief presentation and hands on activities.

Who pays for Amazing Earth at Sunrise Valley? Amazing Earth is funded entirely by the SVES PTA who pay for the science activity supplies. With five months of Amazing Earth, six grade specific sessions, and at least 585 students, your PTA membership dollars are an essential support for the Amazing Earth program.

How does it work? Amazing Earth provides the presentations, science activity, and all necessary materials. The presentation and activity are posted on the Amazing Earth page to preview in advance and are accessible through the classroom laptop. The activity supplies are picked up from the teacher workroom. Everything is designed to be as user-friendly as possible and requiring no special science knowledge from our wonderful volunteers! 

Is it a big time commitment? Not at all! You can do all five sessions (October, November, January, February, and March) or just one depending on your schedule. The session begins with a 10-15 minute PowerPoint presentation followed by a science activity. With set-up and clean up, the time commitment is about 90 minutes.

Do I have to be a scientist to volunteer? Absolutely not! You will receive a presentation with facts, images, videos and instructor notes to lead the discussion. If you don't know the answer to a student's question, ask the students what they think, encourage them to research it at home or in the library, or if there's time you can google it!  The kids enjoy participating so your role is to keep the conversation lively and focused.

Who would I contact for more information? The SVES Amazing Earth Coordinators, Elaine Turner, Louise Gordon-Radics, and Janet Hope at SVESamazingearth@gmail.com.

We love our volunteers!  Without you, there would be no Amazing Earth program!

How can you get involved?

  • VOLUNTEER in the classroom to lead short PowerPoint discussions about science topics and/or facilitate a related hands-on activity. No special science knowledge required! A volunteer sign-up will be sent through PTBoard for each class.

  • BE a classroom coordinator – each class has a coordinator to create monthly sign-ups, be the scheduling point person with their teacher and communicate with the volunteers.

  • PARTICIPATE in one or all five sessions! The kids love it and you will have a chance to spend time with them during the school day in a fun, creative way.

  • ASK your child about the Amazing Earth program and what they learned.

  • JOIN the PTA so we can keep the program funded!

Contact the SVES Amazing Earth Coordinators, Elaine Turner, Louise Gordon-Radics, and Janet Hope at SVESamazingearth@gmail.com to volunteer as a classroom coordinator or to ask questions.

Amazing Earth October 2019
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1 2 3 4
Goveas-Foti – 11:00a
Blomquist – 2:50p
Leonard – 9:30a
Walker – 10:50a
Dobyns – 1:00p
Han – 3:00p
Case – 9:45a
Kozik – 1:00p
Bowser – 3:00p
15 16
Lewandowski – 11:00a
Lauver – 12:50p
Donahue – 1:00p
Ayubi – 9:30a
Cantillana – 1:00p
Stitzel – 2:00p
Hansen - 3:00p
Mathieu – 2:50p
Edwards – 11:00a
Coulter – 2:45p
23 24
Marik – 12:45p
Garrett – 12:30p
McBride - 2:45p
28 29 30 31


Amazing Earth November 2019
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Goveas-Foti – 11:00a
Dobyns - 1:00p
7 8
Case – 9:45a
Kozik – 1:30p
Bowser – 3:00p
Han - 3:00p
Hansen - 3:00p
Blomquist – 2:50p
Leonard - 9:30a
Lewandowski - 11:00a
Donahue - 1:00p
Ayubi - 9:30a
Cantillana - 1:00p
Stitzel - 2:00p
Mathieu - 2:50p
Edwards - 11:00a
Coulter - 2:45p

Walker - 10:50a

Lauver - 12:50p

Marik - 12:45p

Garrett - 12:30p

McBride - 2:45p

25 26 27


Amazing Earth Topics by Month and Grade
  October November January February March
Kindergarten Ants Squirrels Magnets Shadows Water Phases
1st Birds Trees  Force & Motion  Temperature Plants
2nd Monarchs Life Cycle/Bees Exteme Weather Plant & Tree Life Cycle Magnets
3rd Adaptation/ Ladybugs Biodiversity & Human Impact Moon Phases Soil Simple Machines
4th Virginia Resources Weather & Climate Solar System Force & Motion Electrical Circuits
5th Oceans Volcanoes Sound Light Scientific Method

Thank you for volunteering! Without you there would be no Amazing Earth. The goal of Amazing Earth is to supplement the classroom science curriculum in grades K-5 with a one-hour session scheduled five times a year in October, November, January, February, and March. This session involves a 15-minute lesson and hands-on science fun. The kids love it, and we think you will too.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are below.  If you still have a question, email us at svesamazingearth@gmail.com or contact your classroom coordinator.


What is the Presenter responsible for?

  • Reviewing the PowerPoint lesson, presenter notes* and activity material in advance 
  • Picking up and returning supplies (or assigning someone). Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Leading the presentation
  • Reminding activity helpers to set up during the presentation  
  • Minding the clock for 15-20 minutes for presentation, 25-35 minutes for the activity and clean up time *optional, set timer to rotate stations
  • Assisting as an Activity Helper as needed
  • Encouraging our budding scientists to make connections by observing, questioning, guessing outcomes, conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data (as opportunities present)  
  • Letting the students be as hands on during the activity as is safe and reasonable
  • *To view the PowerPoint presenter notes, select “presenter view” under the “slide show” option. Notes can also be viewed under the slides once the document is opened.  You may have to click on the word “notes” at the bottom of the screen or adjust/drag up the notes window for viewing.  A copy of the slides and notes are in the activity box/bag 


What is an Activity Helper responsible for?

  • Reviewing activity material in advance and ideally the PowerPoint lesson
  • Setting up the activity during the presentation by following the detailed instructions and determining roles (who’s working which stations, etc.)
  • Assisting with the activity 
  • Encouraging our budding scientists to make connections by observing, questioning, guessing outcomes, conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data (as opportunities present)  
  • Letting the students be as hands on during the activity as is safe and reasonable
  • Minding the clock for 15-20 minutes for presentation, 25-35 minutes for the activity and clean up time *optional, set timer to rotate stations
  • Cleaning up and putting all supplies and paper materials together in an organized manner for presenter to return to the workroom


Supplies: The who, what and where

  • Who picks up supplies?  The Presenter 
  • What supplies are provided? Everything.  The activity materials, login directions, a print out of the presentation including the presenter notes, and a print out of the activity instructions are boxed up and ready to go.  The classroom laptop is used for the presentation.
  • Where are the supplies?  In the teacher workroom located at the beginning of the K-3 wing.  As you enter the K-3 wing, turn left towards the playground doors, immediately on the right is the workroom.  Supplies are on a shelf along the right wall (near the sink) and marked Amazing Earth.  Boxes/Bags are noted with the grade level.  If more than one box or bag is needed for the activity, they will be noted with 1 of 2 and 2 of 2.  


Where and when do we meet? 

Arrive 15 minutes in advance and meet in the classroom or just outside if a lesson is in session. Review your roles and begin set up.


How can I help make the session successful? 

  • The students really enjoy the activity, so mind the clock to allow time for both
  • Limit questions or the number of students who can answer if time runs short
  • Have students sit on the floor during the presentation so the activity can be set up at the desks
  • BEFORE students go back to their seats, explain what the activity is while you still have their attention
  • Prompt our budding scientists to make connections by observing, questioning, guessing
  • Let the students be as hands on during the activity as is safe and reasonable
  • Relax and enjoy it too!


Do I need special science knowledge?  What if a student asks a question I don’t know the answer to? 

No special knowledge is needed.  Both the PowerPoint lesson and the activity instructions include instructor notes with general information, scripts, tips, and answers to questions you are posing to the students.  Don’t have an answer?  Tell them you are learning too!  Ask the other students what they think, have another volunteer do a quick search or encourage them to check at home or in the library.  In the end, you’ll learn too!


What if an activity fails?  

Great lessons are learned from failure!  Ask, why do we think that failed?  What would we do differently next time?


How can I contact the other volunteers?  

Select your child’s teacher under the Class & Group menu on the left side of the main page in PTBoard. On the classroom page, near the top center it reads, “Class & Group: Teachers Name (people icon).” Click on the “people” icon for a list of all the members in the class.  Click on their email address to create an email.  You can also reach out to the classroom coordinator for assistance.


How can I review the PowerPoint lesson and Activity materials in advance?  

Click on the Amazing Earth “Materials” tab.  Materials will be posted at least a week in advance.


How do I access the PowerPoint in the classroom?  

You will use the teacher’s laptop.  Login directions are provided with the supplies.  Presentations can be accessed one of two ways: on PTBoard through the CHROME browser or on the school’s server in the Subs/Volunteers directory. If you need assistance, the teacher can assist with connecting you to the internet or accessing the Subs/Volunteers directory.


Will the teacher be in the classroom?  

Yes, the teacher must stay in the classroom.  Some teachers offer to assist where needed and may help make connections to classroom learning, divide students into groups, etc.  Some use the time to catch up on other work.  Either way, the presenter is the lead for the session.


Where do I share suggestions or feedback?  

We’d love to hear from you at svesamazingearth@gmail.com or share feedback with your classroom coordinator. Our program continues to grow each year, with successes and bumps along the way.  We appreciate your ideas and experiences. 


Each class will be unique: we provide the framework but the variables change with every session.  The kids, teachers, and volunteers love the opportunity for the hands-on fun and gain new knowledge along the way.  Thank you for making Amazing Earth possible.




Amazing Earth October Topics by Grade
Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Ants Birds Monarchs Adaptation & Ladybugs Virginia Resources Oceans


Amazing Earth November Topics by Grade
Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Squirrels Trees Life Cycle/Bees Biodiversity & Human Impact Weather & Climate Volcanoes


Amazing Earth January Topics by Grade
Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Magnets Force & Motion Extreme Weather Moon Phases Solar System Sound


Amazing Earth February Topics by Grade
Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Shadows Temperature Life Cycle/Bees Soil Force & Motion Light


Amazing Earth March Topics by Grade
Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Water Phases Plants Plant & Tree Life Cycle Simple Machines Electrical Circuits Scientific Method