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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

Shedd-NOAA Partnership for Student, Teacher and Public Engagement

Funding: 
$1,100,000
Year: 
2009

Shedd Aquarium has launched a large-scale effort to address the long-standing need to better connect citizens in the Great Lakes region to their local Great Lakes watershed, to engage them in making positive changes to help the ecosystem, and to engage decision-makers and leaders to enact large scale change to improve the ecosystem over the long term. Through this award, Shedd is positioning itself strategically as the regional hub for Great Lakes education and behavior change by promoting Great Lakes civic engagement.

Shedd Aquarium has launched a large-scale effort to address the long-standing need to better connect citizens in the Great Lakes region to their local Great Lakes watershed, to engage them in making positive changes to help the ecosystem, and to engage decision-makers and leaders to enact large scale change to improve the ecosystem over the long term. Through this award, Shedd is positioning itself strategically as the regional hub for Great Lakes education and behavior change by promoting Great Lakes civic engagement. Shedd Aquarium's Center for the Great Lakes is designed to bring scientists, business and government leaders, visionaries, and Great Lakes citizens together to formalize a strategic framework for increasing Great Lakes literacy and fostering Great Lakes stewardship. With the help of leading organizations: NOAA, COSEE Great Lakes, and members of the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, a new vision for the Great Lakes region is being created. This civic engagement project is producing needed outcomes: increasing Great Lakes literacy while promoting policies of sustainability that ultimately will support the adoption of a stewardship ethic among our target audiences in the Midwest. Shedd's efforts empower citizens and civic entities to be critical thinkers who fully participate in the advancement of a sustainable society.

Competition: 2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690042
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2009 to 09/30/2012
PI: 
Ms. Michelle Parker
State: Illinois   County: Cook   District: IL07 
Partners:   Consortium for Ocean Leadership, University of Wisconsin-Madison / Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), U.S. National Park Service, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) / Great Lakes Regional Center National Park Conservation Association

Great Lakes Rocks: Earth Systems Science Teacher Professional Development

Funding: 
$426,580
Year: 
2012

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) offers teacher professional development courses geared toward 4-8th grade teachers in high needs schools and with limited experience in science content. Through the Great Lakes Revealed (GLR) education course, teachers explored the interconnectedness of the Earth’s systems through the unique lens of the Great Lakes region, and learned how climate has changed through time.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) offers teacher professional development courses geared toward 4-8th grade teachers in high needs schools and with limited experience in science content. Through the Great Lakes Revealed (GLR) education course, teachers explored the interconnectedness of the Earth’s systems through the unique lens of the Great Lakes region, and learned how climate has changed through time. Through hands-on and inquiry-based activities, MSI Senior Educators guided teacher through lessons and other resources, modeling content and pedagogy best practices, and encouraging knowledge building through a combination of experience, critical thinking and reflection. Participants also interacted with NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, with educators at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and with scientists from Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Formal evaluation shows that GLR teachers complete the program with substantially improved content knowledge, teaching skills, and confidence in science teaching, many becoming teacher leaders at their schools. The second stage of the GLR program involves a select group of teachers from the first year’s cohort who will deepen their understanding of climate change in the Great Lakes region by engaging in data-driven problem-based activities. Building on teachers’ content knowledge, this program will help teachers develop mechanisms to search, access, and use high quality tabular, graphical, and visual data to support effective climate change education. NOAA’s Science on a Sphere datasets will play a central role as teachers explore and then develop their own problem-based lessons to deliver to their own students during a Student Summit at MSI.

Competition: 2011/2012:  ELG for Formal K-12 Education
Award Number: 
NA12SEC0080015
Grant Dates: 
08/01/2012 to 07/31/2015
PI: 
Ms. Nicole Kowrach
State: Illinois   County: Cook   District: IL02 
Partners:   Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), University of Wisconsin (UW–Milwaukee), NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) / Thunder Bay

Teen Advocates for Community and Environmental Sustainability (Teen ACES)

Funding: 
$498,471
Year: 
2016

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) will develop museum-based education resources to engage high school age youth in the exploration of climate literacy and Earth systems science through its Teen ACES (Teen Advocates for Community and Environmental Sustainability) project. As the future leaders who will make decisions about the issues they face in their communities, youth participants will be positioned to act as advocates for establishing resilient communities in the Midwest.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) will develop museum-based education resources to engage high school age youth in the exploration of climate literacy and Earth systems science through its Teen ACES (Teen Advocates for Community and Environmental Sustainability) project. As the future leaders who will make decisions about the issues they face in their communities, youth participants will be positioned to act as advocates for establishing resilient communities in the Midwest. The project will utilize a variety of resources, including NOAA Science On a Sphere® (SOS) technology and datasets, Great Lakes and local climate assets from the Midwest Regional Climate Center and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, and existing local planning guides to develop museum-based youth programming. Teens will explore environmental hazards including severe weather events and temperature extremes, and consider the impact of the Great Lakes on regional climate. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Resilient Chicago, the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago, and the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium will advise on the project to support the integration of municipal resiliency plans and their related adaptation and mitigation measures into the program. Teen participants will share their learning with the Chicago community through interactions with public visitors in the Museum, programs at Chicago Public Library branches, and MSI’s teen science program broadcast on Chicago’s public access TV station. Teen facilitated experiences will be tailored for SOS® experiences at MSI. The project will revise content for use in 100 after-school science clubs for students from diverse communities across the Chicago area. Further dissemination to three regional science center partners equipped with SOS® technology (Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, Ohio; Science Central in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Hawthorn Hollow in Kenosha, Wisconsin) will build a foundation of knowledge and resources to adapt materials to meet the needs of their communities and consider how their vulnerabilities and resiliency plans may differ from Chicago.

Competition: 2016: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA16SEC0080001
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2016 to 09/30/2020
PI: 
Mr. Marvin McClure
State: Illinois   County: Cook   District: IL02 
Partners:   Dayton Society of Natural History / Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Science Central, National Sea Grant College Program / University of Illinois, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Chicago Public Library (CPL), Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV), Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum, Loyola University, Moraine Valley Community College, NOAA Regional Climate Center / Midwestern Regional Climate Center, City of Chicago, City of Chicago / Chicago Park District Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

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)