In the “Bachillerato” (upper High School: 16 to 18 years) Sciences branch students have thepossibility to attend several optional subjects with geological contents: “Biology and Geology” inthe first year (17 years) and “Earth and Environmental Sciences” in the second one (18 years).Unfortunately, “Geology”, an optional subject of the second course, is only taught in a few Spanishhigh schools. However, we may congratulate ourselves as in the “Bachillerato” a new subject called “Cienciaspara el Mundo Contemporáneo” (“Sciences for the contemporary world”) is part of the curriculumfor all students. This subject includes aspects like how our planet works, geological risks, genomeor the origin of the human species. In this way, it is important to insist that Earth Sciences (or Geology) ought to be considered at thesame level as: Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Geology provides responses to certain questions thatare far from being superficial from a scientific point of view. Furthermore, Geology being a Sciencewith a huge learning value has also an important cultural content. Knowledge regarding PlanetEarth and the changes it has experienced through times is not a Life Science or Earth Scienceexclusive issue but a cultural good whose knowledge ought to be widespread within the society.Therefore, Geology has a basic role to play in scientific culture as well as in culture considered in abroad view.Nonetheless, these are not good times for Geology and it results in the need to join forces for thosewho are committed with the teaching of this subject. From this point of view, Associations andSocieties are a main platform to channel any kind of initiative targeted in this direction.
75What is the AEPECT?By the end of the seventies, Geology became for the first time in Spain, a separate subject to betaught to 17 years old students in their last year before university. The fact that most of the teachersinvolved in teaching this subject were biologists by education encouraged a small group ofenthusiastic geology teachers to organise the first “Symposium on Geology Teaching” in Madrid in1980.Since then, fifteen meetings have been organised: the last one in Guadalajara in 2008 and the nextone to be held in Teruel in 2010. They provide the participants the opportunity to meet and shareclass experiences, good practices, teaching strategies, etc.In 1990, it was clear that the organisation of such events ought to be supported by some kind ofinstitution that could take care of other activities in between meetings. This was the birth of theAEPECT (that stands for Spanish Earth Science Teachers Association) that today has 1.500associates present in Spain and many Latin-America countries as well as in EuropeThe main aims of AEPECT are: (1) Supporting the presence and contribution of Earth Science inthe education of citizens; (2) Encouraging the exchange of educational investigations andexperiences among Earth sciences teachers; (3) Stimulating the scientific and didactical updating of