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Science Center Public Forums: Community Engagement for Environmental Literacy, Improved Resilience, and Decision-Making

Funding: 
$499,901
Year: 
2015

By engaging diverse publics in immersive and deliberative learning forums, this three-year project will use NOAA data and expertise to strengthen community resilience and decision-making around a variety of climate and weather-related hazards across the United States. Led by Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and the Museum of Science Boston, the project will develop citizen forums hosted by regional science centers to create a new, replicable model for learning and engagement.

By engaging diverse publics in immersive and deliberative learning forums, this three-year project will use NOAA data and expertise to strengthen community resilience and decision-making around a variety of climate and weather-related hazards across the United States. Led by Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and the Museum of Science Boston, the project will develop citizen forums hosted by regional science centers to create a new, replicable model for learning and engagement. These forums, to be hosted initially in Boston and Phoenix and then expanded to an additional six sites around the U.S., will facilitate public deliberation on real-world issues of concern to local communities, including rising sea levels, extreme precipitation, heat waves, and drought. The forums will identify and clarify citizen values and perspectives while creating stakeholder networks in support of local resilience measures. The forum materials developed in collaboration with NOAA will foster better understanding of environmental changes and best practices for improving community resiliency, and will create a suite of materials and case studies adaptable for use by science centers, teachers, and students. With regional science centers bringing together the public, scientific experts, and local officials, the project will create resilience-centered partnerships and a framework for learning and engagement that can be replicated nationwide.

Competition: 2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Award Number: 
NA15SEC0080005
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2015 to 03/31/2019
PI: 
Dr. Dan Sarewitz
State: Arizona   County: Maricopa   District: AZ09 
Partners:   Bishop Museum, Science Museum of Minnesota, Northeastern University (NU) / Marine Science Center (MSC), Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Museum of Science Boston, Arizona Science Center, Chabot Space and Science Center, Museum of Life and Science, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, City of Cambridge, U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), University of Arizona / College of Agriculture & Life Sciences / Arizona Project WET, UM School for the Environment, Boston Harbor Now, City of Boston, Newton Public Schools / Newton North High School, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, University of Southern Alabama / Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering, North Suffolk Mental Health, Arizona State University (ASU) / Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC), City of Louisville City of Honolulu / Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency

Recharge the Rain: Community Resilience through STEM Education

Funding: 
$498,575
Year: 
2016

Recharge the Rain moves sixth through twelfth grade teachers, students and the public through a continuum from awareness, to knowledge gain, to conceptual understanding, to action; building community resiliency to hazards associated with increased temperatures, drought and flooding in Arizona. Watershed Management Group with Arizona Project WET will utilize NOAA assets and experts from the National Weather Service and Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) to inform citizens and galvanize their commitment to building a community, resilient to the effects of a warming climate.

Recharge the Rain moves sixth through twelfth grade teachers, students and the public through a continuum from awareness, to knowledge gain, to conceptual understanding, to action; building community resiliency to hazards associated with increased temperatures, drought and flooding in Arizona. Watershed Management Group with Arizona Project WET will utilize NOAA assets and experts from the National Weather Service and Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) to inform citizens and galvanize their commitment to building a community, resilient to the effects of a warming climate. Project activities will be informed by Pima County’s hazard mitigation plan and planning tools related to preparing for and responding to flooding and extreme heat. Starting January 2017, this four-year project will 1) develop curriculum with Tucson-area teachers that incorporates systems-thinking and increases understanding of earth systems, weather and climate, and the engineering design of rainwater harvesting systems 2) immerse students in a curricular unit that results in the implementation of 8 teacher/student-led schoolyard water harvesting projects, 3) train community docents in water harvesting practices and citizen-science data collection, 4) involve Tucson community members in water harvesting principles through project implementation workshops, special events, and tours, and 5) expand program to incorporate curriculum use in Phoenix-area teachers’ classrooms and 6) finalize a replicable model for other communities facing similar threats. Environmental and community resiliency depends upon an informed society to make the best social, economic, and environmental decisions. This idea is not only at the core of NOAA’s mission, but is echoed in the programs provided by Watershed Management Group and Arizona Project WET.

Competition: 2016: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA16SEC0080003
Grant Dates: 
01/01/2017 to 06/30/2021
PI: 
Mr. Catlow Shipek
State: Arizona   County: Pima   District: AZ02 
Partners:   Arizona State University (ASU) / Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, University of Arizona / Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Tucson, AZ Weather Forecast Office, University of Arizona / waterWRLD, University of Arizona / College of Agriculture & Life Sciences / Arizona Project WET, University of Arizona / Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) / NOAA Planet Stewards, University of Arizona / Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), City of Tucson / Tucson Water Department, Sunnyside Unified School District / STAR Academic High School, CITY Center for Collaborative Learning / City High School, Catalina Foothills Unified District / Esperero Canyon Middle School, Santa Cruz Catholic School Tucson Unified School District / Drachman Montessori K-8 Magnet School

The Global Decision Room: An Interactive Science-on-a-Sphere Installation

Funding: 
$175,000
Year: 
2006

The Orlando Science Center has assembled a project team to create a unique environmental science learning tool: THE GLOBAL DECISION ROOM. Founded on, and enhancing, the Science On a Sphere (SOS) digital globe, the Global Decision Room is an interactive theatre that puts visitors in the role of being decision makers on behalf of the behavior of large populations on the planet. The results of global decisions relating to the environment are seen played out on SOS.

The Orlando Science Center has assembled a project team to create a unique environmental science learning tool: THE GLOBAL DECISION ROOM. Founded on, and enhancing, the Science On a Sphere (SOS) digital globe, the Global Decision Room is an interactive theatre that puts visitors in the role of being decision makers on behalf of the behavior of large populations on the planet. The results of global decisions relating to the environment are seen played out on SOS. The interactive strategy that is created for the Global Decision Room will be flexible and well integrated into the SOS software platform, making it possible to design other educational story scenarios that can use the same system. The Global Decision Room is designed as a multi-use, high impact, exciting content delivery platform. This proposal is based on a well developed initial educational premise, but the resulting construction of the Global Decision Room will be the perfect environment for other educational topics of interest to NOAA's outreach strategy. As new datasets become available in the future, new interactive stories will be developed for the Global Decision Room. The Orlando project brings with it significant additional funding from the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Orlando Utilities Commission, and the Florida Hydrogen Initiative, which will greatly leverage the funding from NOAA. Partners in the project include a strong technical team from the University of Central Florida and the Florida Solar Energy Center, interactive digital media experts from the Institute for Simulation and Training, the creative design team "i.d.e.a.s." located at Disney-MGM Studios, and the XhibitNet interactive multimedia design team.

Competition: 2006: Science On a Sphere Installation Cooperative Agreements
Award Number: 
NA06SEC4690010
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2006 to 09/30/2007
PI: 
Mr. Brian Tonner
State: Florida   County: Orange   District: FL07 
Partners:   University of Central Florida / Geospatial Analysis and Modeling of Ecological Systems (GAMES) Lab University of Central Florida / Institute for Simulation and Training (IST)

Climate Change Community Outreach Initiative

Funding: 
$630,271
Year: 
2009

To promote ocean and climate change literacy that addresses the needs of our region, six aquariums based on the Gulf of Mexico will partner to educate our communities on both our risks and ways to contribute locally to sustainability. The aquariums will combine community outreach programs, stewardship promotion, social networking and workshops for non-formal educators to reach broad audiences throughout the Gulf in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mexico.

To promote ocean and climate change literacy that addresses the needs of our region, six aquariums based on the Gulf of Mexico will partner to educate our communities on both our risks and ways to contribute locally to sustainability. The aquariums will combine community outreach programs, stewardship promotion, social networking and workshops for non-formal educators to reach broad audiences throughout the Gulf in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mexico. Each partner will develop content that emphasizes local ecosystems and consequences of climate change, tailoring stewardship activities to address them. Over five years, the aquariums will reach out to diverse audiences in their communities, which have populations that total over five million people.

Competition: 2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690037
Grant Dates: 
01/01/2010 to 12/31/2015
PI: 
Ms. Debbi Stone
State: Florida   County: Hillsborough   District: FL14 
Partners:   Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Texas State Aquarium, Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) Spectrum Communications

Hurricanes and Climate Change: Local Impacts and Global Systems

Funding: 
$500,921
Year: 
2010

The Miami Science Museum, in collaboration with Ideum and the Institute for Learning Innovation, is designing and developing an interactive multi-user exhibit that allows visitors to explore the global dimensions and local impacts of climate change. The exhibit will raise public understanding about the underlying science, the human causes, and the potential impacts of climate change by combining the attraction of a 4-foot spherical display with a user-controlled interface that lets visitors control the sphere and choose from a range of global and local content they wish to explore.

The Miami Science Museum, in collaboration with Ideum and the Institute for Learning Innovation, is designing and developing an interactive multi-user exhibit that allows visitors to explore the global dimensions and local impacts of climate change. The exhibit will raise public understanding about the underlying science, the human causes, and the potential impacts of climate change by combining the attraction of a 4-foot spherical display with a user-controlled interface that lets visitors control the sphere and choose from a range of global and local content they wish to explore. A particular focus is on climate-related impacts on coastal communities, including the dangers posed by rising sea level and the possibility of more intense hurricanes. The project emphasizes engagement of diverse, multigenerational audiences through development of an interface that is fully bilingual and that promotes social interaction. The open-source learning module will be adaptable by other museums, to explore climate impacts specific to their region.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080024
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 12/31/2012
PI: 
Ms. Jennifer Santer
State: Florida   County: Miami-Dade   District: FL27 
Partners:   Institute for Learning Innovation, Ideum University of Miami / Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS)

Engaging ESL Adult and Youth Learners in Technologically Facilitated Outdoor Experiential Learning to Improve Environmental, Ocean, Climate and English Literacy

Funding: 
$203,454
Year: 
2010

Literacy Volunteers America of Monroe County and The College of Exploration are developing and implementing a pilot project to target traditionally under-represented ethnic groups who are limited English proficient – many reading and writing in English at the grade 0 - grade 5.5 level.

Literacy Volunteers America of Monroe County and The College of Exploration are developing and implementing a pilot project to target traditionally under-represented ethnic groups who are limited English proficient – many reading and writing in English at the grade 0 - grade 5.5 level. The project goals are for learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) to use digital photo cameras, digital video cameras, waterproof underwater HD cameras and GPS technologies to geo-locate, explore, observe, record, display and tell stories in English both in words, photos and short HD video clip sequences. Stories will be about the exploration of places like the National Marine Sanctuaries and other areas of the country and coasts where there are scientific observation and monitoring opportunities created and supported by NOAA partners.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080025
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 09/30/2012
PI: 
Ms. Mary Casanova
State: Florida   County: Monroe   District: FL26 
Partners:   College of Exploration, Cooke Communications Florida, LLC., ProLiteracy, Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), Pigeon Key Foundation Volunteers for Adult Literacy in Florida (VALF)

Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT)

Funding: 
$232,790
Year: 
2012

A consortium of Alaska SeaLife Center, Florida Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium with their partner National Association for Interpretation will increase the effectiveness of informal science educators (ISE) to promote public understanding of three complex topics that impact the ocean (oil spills, ocean acidification, and energy literacy) and encourage stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. This project will have a direct impact on 252 interpreters in and around Alaska, California, and Florida through 12 weeklong trainings.

A consortium of Alaska SeaLife Center, Florida Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium with their partner National Association for Interpretation will increase the effectiveness of informal science educators (ISE) to promote public understanding of three complex topics that impact the ocean (oil spills, ocean acidification, and energy literacy) and encourage stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. This project will have a direct impact on 252 interpreters in and around Alaska, California, and Florida through 12 weeklong trainings. Groups of interpreters will develop, assemble and produce online training toolkits, all of which will be widely disseminated to the ISE community. Each toolkit will utilize NOAA multimedia content, data visualization products, expertise and other relevant resources. Project participants – who interact with a diverse mix of local, regional, national and international visitors (including underserved local populations) – will provide enhanced training content for their colleagues through professional trainings, presentations, and online networks.

Competition: 2012: Ocean Education Partnership Grants
Award Number: 
NA12SEC0080024
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2012 to 03/31/2015
PI: 
Ms. Debbi Stone
State: Florida   County: Hillsborough   District: FL14 
Partners:   California Academy of Sciences, Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Aquarium / National Aquarium In Baltimore (NAIB), New England Aquarium Corporation / New England Aquarium (NEAq), Seattle Aquarium, Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science / Alaska SeaLife Center, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Association for Interpretation (NAI), University of Alaska (UA-Fairbanks), NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) / Pacific Islands NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO)

Climate Resilience Education and Action for Dedicated Youth Program (Climate READY Program)

Funding: 
$338,202
Year: 
2020

The goal of the Climate Resilience Education and Action for Dedicated Youth Program (Climate READY Program) is to increase the environmental literacy of South Florida students, teachers, and the general community so they can become more resilient to extreme weather and/or other environmental hazards. To prepare for a future of increasing environmental hazards, communities will need an informed public that is willing to act on decisions on a personal and civic level. Education has the potential to play an important role in achieving that goal.

The goal of the Climate Resilience Education and Action for Dedicated Youth Program (Climate READY Program) is to increase the environmental literacy of South Florida students, teachers, and the general community so they can become more resilient to extreme weather and/or other environmental hazards. To prepare for a future of increasing environmental hazards, communities will need an informed public that is willing to act on decisions on a personal and civic level. Education has the potential to play an important role in achieving that goal. However, despite dire predictions of the impacts of climate change, the topic has yet to make it into mainstream education in the South Florida classroom. Climate READY is a collaborative effort between FAU Pine Jog, the Palm Beach County Office of Resilience, the Coastal Resilience Partnership, South East Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, city sustainability offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, the School District of Palm Beach County and Galaxy E3 Elementary School. Climate READY will focus on engaging some of the most underserved and socially vulnerable communities located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Climate READY Program has four interconnected components: Climate READY Institute (training 48 students, grades 9-12) to become Climate READY Ambassadors, Afterschool Climate READY Program (engaging at least 300 after school students in grades 4-8), Climate READY Teacher Professional Development (training 48 teachers from targeted schools) and Climate READY Community Outreach (engaging at least 600 community members at local community events). This project will leverage NOAA assets including Science on a Sphere (SOS) technology and datasets, the SOS Explorer Mobile application, Weather Ready Nation, US Climate Resilience Toolkit, and Owlie's Weather-Ready Educational Activities. FAU Pine Jog will use the Climate Action Learning Process to develop all program lessons. The primary outcome of the program will be to enhance the adaptive capacities of identified vulnerable communities so that they are more prepared to respond to climate-related hazards and to increase civic engagement, inclusive decision-making, and equity.

Competition: 2020: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA20SEC0080016
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2020 to 09/30/2023
PI: 
Mr. Ray Coleman
State: Florida   County: Palm Beach   District: FL20 
Partners:   Galaxy E3 Elementary, NOAA Office of Education, Boca Raton Community High School, Palm Beach County / Office of Resilience, The City of West Palm Beach / Office of Sustainability, The City of Boynton Beach / Office of Sustainability The City of Boca Raton / Office of Sustainability

Ocean Interpretive Stations: A Pilot Program for Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers

Funding: 
$443,671
Year: 
2007

This project creates a pilot program to deliver ocean literacy learning opportunities to 7 million people across the country through installation of dynamic Ocean Interpretive Stations at five Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers: the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA; the J.L.Scott Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs, MS; the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL; the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD; and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA.

This project creates a pilot program to deliver ocean literacy learning opportunities to 7 million people across the country through installation of dynamic Ocean Interpretive Stations at five Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers: the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA; the J.L.Scott Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs, MS; the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL; the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD; and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA. These Interpretive Stations present vital messages of ocean literacy to the broad public using and expanding on a proven product in a free choice learning environment in four key sites across the country. The pilot kiosks provide the regional stories of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River watershed and the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific. The Ocean Interpretive Stations enhance ocean literacy among museum goers through multimedia offerings, providing current, newsworthy and foundational ocean topics to encourage visitor learning. The project has the potential to be disseminated to 18 other Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers throughout the United States, with the possibility of reaching over 25 million visitors. The project outcomes are: Increased awareness of ocean issues on the part of visitors; increased knowledge of regional ocean issues; increased capacity of sites to provide additional resources to teachers in the four regions; and encouragement of additional partnerships in the future.

Competition: 2007: ELG for Free-choice Learning
Award Number: 
NA07SEC4690005
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2007 to 09/30/2011
PI: 
Mr. Jerry Enzler
State: Iowa   County: Dubuque   District: IA01 
Partners:   Aquarium of the Pacific, John G. Shedd Aquarium / Shedd Aquarium National Association for Interpretation (NAI)