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Raindrop: An Innovative Educational Tool for River Awareness

Funding: 
$259,770
Year: 
2010

This project will create a new educational tool for river awareness in the United States through a mobile device application called Raindrop. Raindrop traces the flow of water from the user's home location to a downstream watershed location. Raindrop is part of a larger installation named FLOW (Can You See the River?), which joins the cognitive power of science with the affective power of the arts by creating virtual and physical spaces for river awareness in the White River watershed in Indianapolis, IN.

This project will create a new educational tool for river awareness in the United States through a mobile device application called Raindrop. Raindrop traces the flow of water from the user's home location to a downstream watershed location. Raindrop is part of a larger installation named FLOW (Can You See the River?), which joins the cognitive power of science with the affective power of the arts by creating virtual and physical spaces for river awareness in the White River watershed in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to the flow path, Raindrop functionality includes watershed context and physical marker mapping, flow path water quality indicators, utilization of NOAA weather feeds and alerts, weather and climate comparisons, storm event size implications, and guidance on watershed restoration actions. Artist-designed physical markers are strategically located in the watershed to direct the virtual user to physical areas of interest.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080027
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 09/30/2013
PI: 
Dr. Timothy Carter
State: Indiana   County: Marion   District: IN07 
Partners:   Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), IUPUI's Center for Earth & Environmental Science (CEES), IUPUI's Indianapolis Mapping and Geographic Infrastructure System (IMAGIS), Marian University, City as a Living Laboratory, Office of the Mayor of Indianapolis, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Purdue University / Indiana State Climate Office (Iclimate), Project School, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) / Indiana Water Science Center, White River Alliance Williams Creek Consulting

Science on a Sphere – Earth Systems Display Center at Science Museum of Virginia

Funding: 
$297,396
Year: 
2010

The Science Museum of Virginia has assembled a unique team of federal, state, and private institutions to create The Earth System Display Center based on the Science on a Sphere (SOS) platform. The goal of the Center is to capture the visitor's attention and spur interest in climate change literacy and how impacts on a local scale can have an aggregate effect globally.

The Science Museum of Virginia has assembled a unique team of federal, state, and private institutions to create The Earth System Display Center based on the Science on a Sphere (SOS) platform. The goal of the Center is to capture the visitor's attention and spur interest in climate change literacy and how impacts on a local scale can have an aggregate effect globally. Of particular significance are a docent training program to stimulate and facilitate visitor interaction with the Sphere through dialogue, and formative and summative evaluation of the impact of docent led Sphere experiences with the general public. SOS will anchor a new data display center for examining global impacts of energy consumption, stormwater management, agriculture practices, and climate change - tying together Earth system themes from four major projects now underway at the Science Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Use of NOAA data sets and the Sphere as a dynamic presentation tools coupled with flatscreens will enable the conveyance of local and statewide trends and issues into a compelling global context.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080023
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 09/30/2012
PI: 
Mr. Richard Conti
State: Virginia   County: Richmond City   District: VA04 
Partners:   University of Wisconsin-Madison / Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), George Mason University / Center for Climate Change Communication (4C), James Madison University, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Virginia State University (VSU)

Learn, Prepare, Act – Resilient Citizens Make Resilient Communities

Funding: 
$477,052
Year: 
2015

The Science Museum of Virginia’s three-year informal climate change resilience education project, “Your Actions Matter: Resilient Citizens Make Resilient Communities,” yielded three overarching lessons learned: 1) understand and use organizational strengths and limitations to advance resilience education, 2) Arts and Humanities are critical for resilience education, and 3) localize the story of climate change and its solutions.

The Science Museum of Virginia’s three-year informal climate change resilience education project, “Your Actions Matter: Resilient Citizens Make Resilient Communities,” yielded three overarching lessons learned: 1) understand and use organizational strengths and limitations to advance resilience education, 2) Arts and Humanities are critical for resilience education, and 3) localize the story of climate change and its solutions. Our programming relied on planning and executing two, 5-week “Climate Connections” Lecture Series featuring national climate science researchers, three annual Prepareathon events to connect communities with emergency management personnel and services (as well as local meteorologists and climate scientists), two community-focused workshops to engage guests in building resilience to extreme precipitation and urban heat, producing dozens of radio and video programs for public dissemination of climate science concepts, hosting several “Extreme Event Challenge” facilitations for guests to assume manager roles in a crisis, designed numerous scripts and dataset playlists for daily SOS presentations, production of a large format film about cosmic perspectives on climate change, performed theatrical scripts of human sides of climate impacts, leveraged artistic expression and sonification of climate science datasets in public events and exhibitss, and undertook the first citizen science climate change campaign in the Museum’s history. Our audiences regularly stretched from preschool learners to retirement-aged individuals, served many thousands from formal education and professional organizations, and that our programming regularly attracted audiences from government agencies, policymakers, fine arts institutions, and urban planners. Our audience reach easily surpassed 1.2 million people locally, nationally, and internationally, with most from metro-Richmond, Virginia. We report significant accomplishments related to Based on formative evaluation, our substantial restructuring of our initially proposed programming model yielded high-impact educational outcomes. “Ready Row Homes: Preparing for a Hotter, Wetter Virginia” experience achieved highest educational impact of communicating both climate change science and individual resilience behaviors. Our SOS facilitations and Large Format Film, Cosmic Climate Cookbook, performed highly in communicating climate science, but relatively limited in resilience behavior. Extreme Event Challenge has high impact for communicating resilience strategies, but not as well in communicating climate science. Our informative climate science Lecture Series were comparatively limited in communicating resilience. This array of programming successes was greatly improved by collaborations with project partners: WCVE disseminated audio and video programs; George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication guided our storytelling techniques for SOS; NOAA assets (i.e., NWS, Chesapeake Bay Office, SOS Network) contributed information and speakers; Randi Korn & Associates provided evaluation; Resilient Virginia marketed programs and designed workshops; and Virginia Institute of Marine Science provided significant expertise through speakers and datasets. New, substantial project partners included Groundwork RVA (co-developed “Throwing Shade in RVA” teen program and participated in urban heat island citizen science projects); Alliance for Chesapeake Bay (provided free rain barrels and workshop educational content); Richmond City’s Department of Planning Review and Sustainability Office coordinated dissemination of outreach materials and executed urban heat island citizen science project; and Franklin Institute (helped guide development of a Virginia-specific facilitation of Ready Row Home hands-on experiences).

Competition: 2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Award Number: 
NA15SEC0080009
Grant Dates: 
01/01/2016 to 12/31/2018
PI: 
Mr. Jeremy Hoffman
State: Virginia   County: Richmond City   District: VA04 
Partners:   University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Center for Science Education, George Mason University / Center for Climate Change Communication (4C), Franklin Institute, Nature Conservancy Headquarters, Virginia Institute of Marine Science / Marine Advisory Services, NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), Resilient Virginia, Community Idea Stations, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Wakefield, VA Forecast Office, National Sea Grant College Program / Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Virginia Environmental Endowment, Virginia Commonwealth University / Center for Environmental Studies, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University / School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University / School of Engineering, Richmond City Sustainability, Portland State University / Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Sierra Club / Virginia Chapter, Virginia Academy of Science, Groundwork RVA, City of Richmond / Planning and Development Review, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden / Beautiful RVA, Maryland Department of Health, Department of Energy and Environment Enrichmond Foundation

Climate Resilience and Community-driven Action With a Hyperlocalized Public Forum

Funding: 
$175,298
Year: 
2020

The Science Museum of Virginia will build upon its community science experience and its role as a trusted source of climate science information to lead “Climate Resilience and Community-driven Action with a Hyperlocalized Public Forum in Richmond, VA” in partnership with Virginia Community Voice, Groundwork RVA, Happily Natural Day, and Southside ReLeaf - local nonprofits with proven track records of effecting change through community engagement and urban greening initiatives.

The Science Museum of Virginia will build upon its community science experience and its role as a trusted source of climate science information to lead “Climate Resilience and Community-driven Action with a Hyperlocalized Public Forum in Richmond, VA” in partnership with Virginia Community Voice, Groundwork RVA, Happily Natural Day, and Southside ReLeaf - local nonprofits with proven track records of effecting change through community engagement and urban greening initiatives. This project supports Richmond’s work to heal social, racial, and environmental injustices by increasing community resilience to climate change through placemaking. Richmond served as both the Capital of the Confederacy and the United States’ second largest trading port for enslaved persons during the 19th century. In the 1930s and 1940s, redlining - the systematic denial of access to home loans, mortgage insurance, or credit based on an applicant’s race or ethnicity - effectively segregated people of color into less desirable urban neighborhoods. Research conducted both in Richmond and nationwide demonstrates that, today, formerly redlined neighborhoods tend to be significantly hotter, more prone to flooding, and experience poorer air quality than non-redlined areas. These neighborhoods also tend to be home to individuals - mostly Black and brown - with the fewest resources to adapt to the health and financial impacts of human-caused climate change, which continues to intensify each year. Richmond’s mayor and Office of Sustainability support this project, which will align community vision with existing planning efforts that seek to build a Richmond that is “a sustainable and resilient city with healthy air, clean water, and a flourishing ecosystem that nurtures healthy communities, increases resiliency to the effects of a changing climate through adaptation and mitigation, develops the built environment to enhance natural assets, and ensures all people have access to nature and healthy communities.” Because resiliency is a process, youth and adults participating in this project will explore hazards (specifically flooding and extreme heat); assess their vulnerability and risks (determine how climate change is currently harming, or will most likely harm, neighborhoods); investigate options (by determining which resilience-building strategies are most effective for each community and vision); prioritize and plan local resilience-building strategies (ensuring that residents’ vision can be realized); and take action by implementing and sustaining projects in the community with project partners. Strategies may include placemaking through planting trees, building permeable pathways, constructing shade structures, and creating community gardens to provide shade, fresh food, and neighborhood gathering spaces, as well as rainwater harvesting and bioretention rain gardens to mitigate stormwater issues. This project is unique because it will actively support nonprofits that engage historically underserved people whose voice is commonly left out of City planning efforts, increase their environmental literacy, and provide resources needed to enact their vision. RK&A will evaluate the project, which will build upon evaluation data from the Science Museum’s previous NOAA ELP-funded project - “Learn, Prepare, Act - Resilient Citizens Make Resilient Communities” - and a NOAA-funded project by the Museum of Science Boston - “Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities: Increasing Resilience Through Citizen-Created Data, Local Knowledge and Community Values.”

Competition: 2020: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA20SEC0080007
Grant Dates: 
01/01/2021 to 12/31/2023
PI: 
Mr. Jeremy Hoffman
State: Virginia   County: Richmond City   District: VA04 
Partners:   Museum of Science Boston, NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), Groundwork RVA, City of Richmond / Mayor's Office, Virginia Community Voice Happily Natural Day

Ocean Science - Formal and Informal Education for Ocean Literacy

Funding: 
$599,735
Year: 
2006

The Ocean Science project integrates the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into a Western Washington region-wide, coordinated program of formal and informal education consisting of: 1. Teacher professional development in the ocean sciences to integrate the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into inquiry-based marine science education and instruction; 2.

The Ocean Science project integrates the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into a Western Washington region-wide, coordinated program of formal and informal education consisting of: 1. Teacher professional development in the ocean sciences to integrate the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into inquiry-based marine science education and instruction; 2. Evaluation and re-alignment of existing Sound Science ecosystems curricula into Ocean Science, incorporating NOAA data and promoting the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts; 3. Classroom programs, beach field investigations, and on-site programs at the Seattle Aquarium of the Olympic Coast national Marine Sanctuary's Olympic Coast Discovery Center for grades 4-5 students, their parents and teachers; 4. Parent training in ocean science content, the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, and inquiry-based methods for supporting their children's science education; 5. Informal education for the general public via an interactive learning station linked to the Window on Washington Waters exhibit and designed to innovatively use NOAA data and information (videos, computer simulations and other creative media) to increase and evaluate ocean literacy in adults and children. Window on Washington Waters displays the outer coast marine environments and sea life of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Competition: 2006: Environmental Literacy
Award Number: 
NA06SEC4690008
Grant Dates: 
09/01/2006 to 08/31/2011
PI: 
Ms. Kathleen Sider
State: Washington   County: King   District: WA07 
Partners:   Highline Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Environmental Science Center (ESC), Feiro Marine Life Center (Feiro) Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Visualizing Change: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators

Funding: 
$121,751
Year: 
2013

A consortium of Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium in Baltimore, New England Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium will build educator capacity in the aquarium community and informal science education field to more effectively communicate about climate change and its impact on coastal zones and marine life. The project will utilize NOAA datasets and visualizations in providing interpreters with training and strategic framing communication tools based on the best available social and cognitive research.

A consortium of Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium in Baltimore, New England Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium will build educator capacity in the aquarium community and informal science education field to more effectively communicate about climate change and its impact on coastal zones and marine life. The project will utilize NOAA datasets and visualizations in providing interpreters with training and strategic framing communication tools based on the best available social and cognitive research. The objectives of the project are to: (1) develop and test four exemplary interpretive “visual narratives” that integrate research-based strategic communication with NOAA data visualization resources; (2) test the application of the visual narratives in a variety of geographic regions and institution types (aquarium, science center, etc.) using multiple technology platforms; (3) build a professional development program for climate change interpretation with data visualization; and (4) leverage existing networks for dissemination and peer support. Other key partners include the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory (VisLab), the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Ocean Explorium in southern Massachusetts, FrameWorks Institute and New Knowledge Organization.

Competition: 2013: ELG for Building Capacity of Informal and Formal Educators
Award Number: 
NA13SEC0080011
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2013 to 09/30/2017
PI: 
Mr. Jim Wharton
State: Washington   County: King   District: WA07 
Partners:   Aquarium of the Pacific, Exploratorium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Aquarium / National Aquarium In Baltimore (NAIB), New England Aquarium Corporation / New England Aquarium (NEAq), Science Museum of Minnesota, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL)