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NOAA OED - ELG Award History
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EDUCATION RESOURCES

 

NOAA EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN (PDF)

NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants

All Environmental Literacy Grant Awards

2012 Ocean Education Partnership
Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues (collaborative project) Debbi Stone, Florida Aquarium $232,790 Click here
2012 Ocean Education Partnership
Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues (collaborative project) Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium $390,249 Click here
2012 Ocean Education Partnership
Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues (collaborative project) Laurie Morrow, Alaska SeaLife Center $275,451 Click here

2011/2012 Formal
K-12

Earth System Science for Elementary Teachers (ESSET) Christine Purkiss, Angelo State University $403,436 Click here
2011/2012 Formal
K-12
Great Lakes Revealed: Piloting Professional Development for High-Need Educators using NOAA's Science on a Sphere and an Inquiry- and Problems-based Approach to Learning Climate and Earth Science Nicole Kowrach, Museum of Science and Industry $446,580 Click here
2011/2012 Formal
K-12
Global Rivers Environmental Education Network: Great Lakes Science and Service Learning Initiative (GLSSLI) Lisa Bardwell, Earth Force $677,192 Click here
2011/2012 Formal
K-12
Into the Woods (ITW): Using student research in the urban environment to enhance Elementary School Environmental literacy Peter Schmidt, Queens College $1,355,463 Click here
2011/2012 Formal
K-12
Environmental Literacy for All: Creating Comprehensive Environmental Service Learning and Professional Development for Diverse K-12 Students and Teachers Anne Burnett, NatureBridge $682,742 Click here
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Interpretation of Real-Time Weather and Climate Data for Spherical Displays (collaborative project) Steven Ackerman, University of Wisconsin
$1,001,637

Click here

2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Interpretation of Real-Time Weather and Climate Data for Spherical Displays (collaborative project) Phillip Arkin, University of Maryland
$158,250

Click here

2010 Informal/ Nonformal
The Worldviews Network: Ecological Literacy Programming for Digital Planetariums and Beyond (collaborative project) Ka Chun Yu, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
$941,586

Click here

2010 Informal/ Nonformal
The Worldviews Network: Ecological Literacy Programming for Digital Planetariums and Beyond (collaborative project) Healy Hamilton, California Academy of Sciences
$311,847
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
CoCoRaHS: Capitalizing on Technological Advancements to Expand Environmental Literacy through a successful Citizen Science Network Chris Kummerow and Nolan Doesken, Colorado State University
$1,252,392

Click here

2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Exploring Earth Systems: Expanding Data Visualization Experiences for Museum Learners Vivian Trakinski, American Museum of Natural History
$826,112

Click here

2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Science on a Sphere and Flood Forums: Education to Action Catherine Brandes, Nurture Nature Center
$341,274
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Engaging ESL adult and youth learners in technologically facilitated outdoor experiential learning to improve environmental, ocean, climate and English literacy (collaborative project) Peter Tuddenham, College of Exploration
$200,000
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Engaging ESL adult and youth learners in technologically facilitated outdoor experiential learning to improve environmental, ocean, climate and English literacy (collaborative project) Mary Casanova, Literacy Volunteers of America
$203,454
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Families by the Seaside: Building community-based outdoor ocean science learning experiences Wendy Lull, Seacoast Science Center
$489,574
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Science on a Sphere--Earth Systems Display Center at Science Museum of Virginia Richard Conti, Science Museum of Virginia
$297,396
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Planet Earth Decision Theater Patrick Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota
$504,386
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Hurricanes and Climate Change: Local Impacts and Global Systems Jennifer Santer, Miami Science Museum
$500,921
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Teen Conservation Leadership Rita Bell, Monterey Bay Aquarium
$453,622
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Raindrop: an innovative educational tool for river awareness Timothy Carter, Butler University
$259,770
2010 Informal/ Nonformal
Embedding NOAA in a Public Learning Laboratory - The Environmental Scientist-In-Residence Program at the Exploratorium Mary Miller, Exploratorium
$522,280
2009 Ocean Education
Aquarium of the Pacific's Ocean Science Center (SOS): Ocean-Earth Stories Connecting People, the Ocean and Climate Change

Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific

$1,086,936

Click here

2009 Ocean Education
Aquarium-wide Climate Change and the Ocean Initiative: Public Engagement from Awareness to Action Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation
$915,885

Click here

2009 Ocean Education
A National Coalition of Aquariums Educating about Climate Change (collaborative project)

Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation

$505,679

Click here

2009 Ocean Education
A National Coalition of Aquariums Educating about Climate Change (collaborative project)

Nancy Hotchkiss, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Inc.

$484,751
2009 Ocean Education
A National Coalition of Aquariums Educating about Climate Change (collaborative project) William Spitzer, New England Aquarium Corporation
$507,083
2009 Ocean Education
Summer Science in New England: Ocean Education through Informal Science Centers William Spitzer, New England Aquarium Corporation
$342,232
2009 Ocean Education
Using Marine Mammals to Communicate Solutions to Ocean Issues: Improving Climate and Ocean Literacy Peggy Sloan, North Carolina Aquarium Society
$583,218
2009 Ocean Education
Exploring Inner Space: Linking Aquariums with Ocean Scientists Dwight Coleman, Sea Research Foundation (in association with Mystic Aquarium)
$1,799,964
2009 Ocean Education
Shedd-NOAA Partnership for Student, Teacher and Public Engagement Ilze Berzins, Shedd Aquarium Society
$1,100,000
2009 Ocean Education
Connecting Tennessee to the World Ocean George Bartnik, Tennessee Aquarium
$1,352,253
2009 Ocean Education
Climate Change Community Outreach Initiative Debbi Stone, The Florida Aquarium, Inc.
$630,271
2009 Sphere Capacity

Science on a Sphere - Upgrade 2009

Douglas Duncan, The Regents of the University of Colorado

$75,790

Click here

2009 Sphere Capacity

Science On a Sphere Revitalization Act for ASTC 2010 and Beyond

Leon Geschwind, Bishop Museum

$49,990

Click here

2008/ 2009
K-12

Resources for Climate Literacy Instruction

Jo Ellen Roseman, American Association for the Advancement of Science

$750,000

Click here

2008/ 2009
K-12

Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence for Grades 6-8

Craig Strang, The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley

$751,064

Click here

2008/ 2009
K-12

Promoting Environmental Literacy through Teacher Professional Development Workshops and Climate Change Student Summits (C2S2)

Frank Rack, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

$696,672

Click here

2008/ 2009
K-12

NOAA Earth System Science Courses: Building on the Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA)

Robert J. Myers, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

$645,815

Click here

A NOAA Spherical Display System at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Miles Roberts, Smithsonian Institution (National Zoo)

$196,016

Click here

Science on a Sphere: Bringing the Oceans to You

Andrea Hitt, North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

$200,000

Click here

Visitors and Visualizations: Creating Meaningful Experiences with Global Data

Nancee Hunter, Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center

$99,768

Click here

Global Connections: Science on a Sphere

Susan Pion, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

$200,000

Click here

Science On a Sphere in the Forces of Nature Exhibition

L. Stephen Bishop, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts

$198,744

Click here

Installation of Science On a Sphere at Discovery Science Center of Orange County (*Funded in 2009) Kellee Preston, Discovery Science Center of Orange County
$199,943

SOS Ocean-Atmosphere Literacy Partnership

Rosamond Kinzler, American Museum of Natural History

$300,000

Click here

Linking Evidence to Explanation in Global Science

Barbara Ando, University of California, Berkeley (Lawrence Hall of Science)

$299,759

Click here

Crossroads: Education through Spherical Projection Systems

Michael Shanahan, Bishop Museum

$299,571

Click here

Earth as a System is Essential - Seasons and the Seas

Janice Mokros, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance

$566,467

Click here

Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence for Grades 3-5

Craig Strang, University of California, Berkeley/ Lawrence Hall of Science

$720,641

Click here

Sailing Elementary Teachers Towards Ocean Literacy Using Familiar Water Resources

Sandra Rutherford, Eastern Michigan University

$461,534

Click here

Here to the Ocean, a Nationally Traveling Museum Exhibition (*Funded in 2008)

Lara Kimber, Sciencenter

$750,000

Click here

Building Environmental Literacy: How the Ocean Community Can Connect More Effectively with the American Public

Bill Mott, The Ocean Foundation - The Ocean Project

$375,100

Click here

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

Jerry Enzler, Dubuque County Historical Society - the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

$443,671

Click here

Building Ocean Literacy in our youth through unique learning experiences in our National Marine Sanctuaries

Nicole Crane, California State University - Monterey Bay (Camp SEA Lab)

$413,592

Click here

Ocean Science - Formal and Informal Education for Ocean Literacy

Kathy Sider, Seattle Aquarium

$599,735

Click here

Signals of Spring - ACES (Animals in Curriculum-based Ecosystem Studies)

Glen Schuster, U.S. Satellite Laboratory

$599,862

Click here

CoCoRaHS: The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network - Enhancing Environmental Literacy through Participation and Research

Nolan J. Doesken and Robert Cifelli, Colorado State University

$585,005

Click here

Interpreting Global Half-Hourly Cloud Observations to Promote Weather and Climate Literacy

Rosamond Kinzler, American Museum of Natural History

$580,665

Click here

Bringing Knowledge of Planet Earth to a Wider Audience and Bringing a Diverse New Group to Careers in Science Teaching

Douglas Duncan, University of Colorado

$99,966

Click here

Envirosphere Educational Project

Angela Turner, McWane Science Center

$185,948

Click here

The Global Decision Room

Brian P. Tonner, The Orlando Science Center

$175,000

Click here

2005
Pri. 1

Building and Distributing SciGuides and Science Objects

Albert Byers, National Science Teachers Association

$463,071

DataStreme Ocean : AMS/NOAA Teacher Enhancement

Ira W. Geer, American Meteorological Society
$990,000

Multicultural students At Sea Together-3 (MAST-3)

Benjamin Cuker, Hampton University

$359,099
National Model Earth Science Lab Course Daniel Barstow, TERC

$497,029

The Earth & Sky/NOAA Partnership Ryan Britton, Earth & Sky
$372,113
A Comprehensive Environmental Education Program Centered on NOAA's Science On a Sphere™ Mike Shanahan, Bishop Museum

$493,970

Educational Applications of the National Maritime Center Science on a Sphere™ - A Collaborative Project Steven Ackerman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
$298,134
Educational Applications of the National Maritime Center Science on a Sphere™ - A Collaborative Project John Anderson, Hampton University
$201,866

NOAA's Science On a Sphere™ at the Bishop Museum

Mike Shanahan, Bishop Museum

$170,000
Science On a Sphere™ Partnership Cooperative Agreement - A Collaborative Project Manjit Goldberg, Maryland Science Center
$170,000
Science On a Sphere™ Partnership Cooperative Agreement - A Collaborative Project Patrick Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota
$170,000
Science On a Sphere™ Partnership Programming Proposal - A Collaborative Project Roberta Cooks, Maryland Science Center
$279,925
Science On a Sphere™ Partnership Programming Proposal - A Collaborative Project Patrick Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota


$219,999

Integrating Science On a Sphere™ into The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California Greg Brown, The Tech Museum of Innovation
$170,000

The Tech Museum Environmental Literacy Programming Grant

Greg Brown, The Tech Museum of Innovation

$230,602

*Excludes matching funds, but includes other support not provided through the award


Abstracts:

2012 - ELG Ocean Education Partnership Grants Abstracts:

Title: Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues (Collaborative Project)
Institutions: Florida Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Alaska SeaLife Center
PIs: Debbi Stone, Florida Aquarium; Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Laurie Morrow, Alaska SeaLife Center
Total Project Funding: $898,490
Summary: The project will increase the effectiveness of informal science educators to promote public understanding of five complex topics that impact the ocean (oil spills, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, sea level rise, energy literacy) and encourage stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. This project will have a direct impact on 252 interpreters in and around Seward, Alaska; Monterey, California; and Tampa, Florida through 12 weeklong trainings. Groups of interpreters will develop, assemble and produce online training toolkits and host a webinar on each topic, all of which will be widely disseminated to the ISE community. Each toolkit will utilize NOAA multimedia content, data visualization products, literature, 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 guide/interpreter training, a workshop, presentations at conferences, and online networks.

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2011/2012 - ELG for Formal K-12 Education Abstracts:

Title: Earth System Science for Elementary Teachers (ESSET)
Institution: Angelo State University
PI: Christine Purkiss
Total Project Funding: $403,436
Summary: Angelo State University (ASU), in partnership with Texas borderlands school districts and the National Weather Service Office in San Angelo, Texas, are recipients of a NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant Priority 1 grant titled "Earth System Sciences for Elementary Teachers" (ESSET). This project will: 1) Increase the knowledge and skills level of 25 elementary in-service teachers regarding best practices for teaching integrated Earth System Science concepts in a learner-centered, outdoor environment; 2) Increase teachers’ ability to align integrated science content with Texas’ standards-based curriculum and NOAA’s Education Strategic Plan; and 3) Integrate concepts of environmental stewardship with teachers’ newly acquired pedagogy and science content. Participants will receive nine semester-hours of ASU graduate credit, and a variety of tools and equipment for their classrooms following successful completion of this 18-month project. Anticipated results include increases in overall integrated science content knowledge, best practices, and self-efficacy for participating teachers. Scaling-up this proof-of-concept project to catalyze change across Texas will occur near the end of ESSET.

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Title: Great Lakes Revealed: Piloting Professional Development for High-Need Educators using NOAA's Science on a Sphere and an Inquiry- and Problems-based Approach to Learning Climate and Earth Science
Institution: Museum of Science and Industry
PI: Nicole Kowrach
Total Project Funding: $446,580
Summary:This project pilots a new professional development course in climate and earth science literacy at a museum-based Institute for Quality Science Teaching (IQST). The Great Lakes Revealed project will develop instructional strategies that enable upper elementary school teachers to incorporate NOAA data and visualizations developed by the SOS® Users Collaborative Network, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, and the WATER Institute (University of Wisconsin) into the delivery of inquiry- and problem-based lessons in earth science. While taking advantage of global visualization models that bring to light environmental systems at work worldwide, this project also focuses on the Great Lakes region. IQST was founded at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago to provide professional development services to teachers who lack confidence in their science knowledge and inquiry skills, and serve a high percentage of students at risk for under-achievement in STEM.

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Title: Global Rivers Environmental Education Network: Great Lakes Science and Service Learning Initiative (GLSSLI)
Institution: Earth Force
PI: Lisa Bardwell
Total Project Funding: $677,192
Summary: The Great Lakes Science and Service Learning Initiative (GLSSLI) is a collaborative effort to take Earth Force’s proven science-based service learning approach to scale in Michigan by institutionalizing the model within Michigan school districts. By working with the Michigan Community Service Commission’s Learn & Serve program and the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative we are able to leverage statewide structures to make grants directly to school districts, support school districts as they institutionalize the programs and provide on-going professional development to educators. Scaling the GREEN model will deepen student understanding of science by working directly on the environmental problems facing their communities and develop the skills and personal commitment inherent in environmental literacy.

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Title: Into the Woods (ITW): Using student research in the urban environment to enhance Elementary School Environmental literacy
Institution: Queens College
PI: Peter Schmidt
Total Project Funding: $1,355,463
Summary: "Into the Woods" will improve environmental literacy among 125 NYC Elementary teachers (and their students) by enhancing content knowledge about the Earth System and extending their classrooms outdoors into Nature. Partnerships with parks and environmental organizations will evolve into school stewardship and service learning. ITW starts with five Elementary GLOBE books that link science, math, and literacy. Fiction becomes reality during field training that uses the GLOBE books as blueprints for how teachers can guide their students to conduct their own research to enhance understanding of the environment. We will train teachers to design and supervise grade-appropriate research projects using GLOBE protocols in local parks; support them during those projects; and host annual research symposia where their students will present their results. ITW’s template of immersing teachers and students in environmental research can become a national model for improving environmental literacy in all school systems.

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Title: Environmental Literacy for All: Creating Comprehensive Environmental Service Learning and Professional Development for Diverse K-12 Students and Teachers
Institution: NatureBridge
PI: Anne Burnett
Total Project Funding: $682,742
Summary:NatureBridge is expanding its highly successful, 41-year environmental education model through teacher engagement and service learning programs to empower the next diverse generation of climate and environmentally literate citizens. Through partnerships with schools, districts, and environmental organizations, service learning opportunities will be established for civic engagement in NatureBridge students’ home communities. This engagement effort includes the creation of new climate literacy curriculum, the application of cutting-edge monitoring technology and online resources for public participation in scientific research, the exposure of youth to STEM career options, and the significant increase in diversity of students served by NatureBridge programming. This work will be informed by and benefit from NOAA assets across our service areas. By strengthening existing and creating new teacher engagement programs throughout our organization, teachers will become fully versed in the principles of environmental and climate literacy. These programs will focus on increasing accessibility, diversifying our participants, and incorporating best practices and climate literacy content.

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2010 - ELG Informal/Nonformal Science Education Abstracts:

Title: Interpretation of Real-Time Weather and Climate Data for Spherical Displays (collaborative project)
Institutions: University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland
PIs: Steven Ackerman, University of Wisconsin; Phillip Arkin, University of Maryland
Total Project Funding: $1,159,887
Summary: The overarching goal of this informal education project is to utilize the Science on a Sphere (SOS) Network to enable meaningful interpretation of real-time weather and climate data by museum docents and visitors viewing SOS exhibits nationwide.

To achieve this goal we will:

  • Generate and provide real-time NOAA weather, climate and ocean data to the SOS Network along with appropriate training for docents
  • Provide annotation to SOS displays via an XML script ("playlist") generator that will allow docents to display the daily analysis text on a screen with the imagery.
  • Provide data interpretation summaries, data discussions and concise talking points on a regularly updated blog.

This project will be implemented by a collaborative team of two weather and climate centers of NOAA/NESDIS: the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) and Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS), in association with the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory (EVL), the I.M. Systems Group (IMSG), and the Maryland Science Center.

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Title: The Worldviews Network: Ecological Literacy Programming for Digital Planetariums and Beyond (collaborative project)
Institutions: Denver Museum of Nature and Science, California Academy of Sciences
PIs: Ka Chun Yu, Denver Museum of Nature and Science; Healy Hamilton, California Academy of Sciences
Total Project Funding: $1,253,433
Summary: The Worldviews Network - a collaboration of institutions that have pioneered Earth systems research, education and evaluation methods - is creating innovative approaches for engaging the American public in dialogues about human-induced global changes. Leveraging the power of immersive scientific visualization environments at informal science centers across the US, we are developing transformative educational processes that integrate the benefits of visual thinking, systems thinking, and design thinking. This "seeing, knowing, doing" approach empowers educators with tools and techniques that help audiences to visualize, comprehend, and address complex issues from a whole-systems perspective. The Worldviews Network will make explicit the interconnections of Earth’s life support systems across time and space as well as inspire community participation in design processes by providing real-world examples of successful projects that are increasing the healthy functioning of regional and global ecosystems.

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Title: CoCoRaHS: Capitalizing on Technological Advancements to Expand Environmental Literacy through a successful Citizen Science Network
Institution: Colorado State University
PIs: Chris Kummerow, Nolan Doesken
Total Project Funding: $1,252,392
Summary: CoCoRaHS (The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) is a citizen science program where thousands of volunteers across the entire country measure and report the amount of precipitation that falls each day in their own neighborhood. In the next three years CoCoRaHS will use strategies from the "Citizen Science Toolkit" and align activities to the "Essential Principles to Climate Science" to engage thousands more participants in collecting, reporting and exploring precipitation. Evapotranspiration measurements will be added to better teach and demonstrate the hydrologic cycle in action. Through strong NOAA partnerships with the National Weather Service, the National Climatic Data Center, the Earth Systems Research Lab and the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center, precipitation data quality and accessibility for professional users will be enhanced. The CoCoRaHS network will be constructing training, data entry and visualization tools utilizing Web 2.0 concepts, cyberlearning tools and hand-held device applications with a goal of increasing participation and expanding the current volunteer network into broader, younger, more diverse and more interactive audiences.

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Title: Exploring Earth Systems: Expanding Data Visualization Experiences for Museum Learners
Institution: American Museum of Natural History
PI: Vivian Trakinski
Total Project Funding: $826,112
Summary: The American Museum of Natural History, in association with several NOAA entities, will be creating a suite of media products employing visualization of Earth-observation data as well as associated professional development programs to expand educational experiences in informal science institutions nationwide. Interactive versions of the visualizations will also be disseminated via the AMNH website. Visualization assets will be distributed to NOAA for utilization on climate.gov and Science on a Sphere. The creation of training programs and educational materials for informal education professionals will enhance the experience and efficacy of the data visualizations as tools to understand and build stewardship of Earth systems.

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Title: Science on a Sphere and Flood Forums: Education to Action
Institution: Nurture Nature Center
PI: Catherine Brandes
Total Project Funding: $341,274
Summary: The Nurture Nature Center (NNC) in Easton, PA, a joint project of the multi-state Nurture Nature Foundation and NNC, Inc., will install a Science on a Sphere and develop a new SOS module about climate and flooding.

Working with the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, PA, and science advisers from NOAA and research universities, NNC will use existing SOS datasets, as well as new data formats, to create a docent-guided program that explains the connections between climate patterns and flooding. The Flood Forums: Education to Action program will engage audiences in deliberative forum programming to promote public understanding of the atmospheric, oceanic, and other climatic factors affecting flooding in some regional communities.

Project deliverables include a program on climate change and flooding for SOS users; the same program calibrated for Magic Planet users; Forum models on issues related to climate change and flooding; project and evaluation reports; and training materials for SOS network members and other informal educators.

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Title: Engaging ESL Adult and Youth Learners in Technologically Facilitated Outdoor Experiential Learning to Improve Environmental, Ocean, Climate and English Literacy
Institutions: Literacy Volunteers of America, The College of Exploration
PIs: Mary Casanova, Literacy Volunteers of America; Peter Tuddenham, The College of Exploration
Total Project Funding: $403,454
Summary: Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) - Monroe County, Inc. and The College of Exploration will develop and implement a pilot project to meet the requirements of Priority 2 of this funding opportunity. The project will 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 (two to five minutes).  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 the NOAA partners in this proposal.

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Title: Families by the Seaside: Building community-based outdoor ocean science learning experiences
Institution: Seacoast Science Center
PI: Wendy Lull
Total Project Funding: $489,574
Summary: This 2-year program will advance the way informal ocean science education institutions reach underserved/underrepresented families by facilitating and formalizing relationships between informal science education centers and community based organizations. Project teams in five New England communities will collaborate to create a practicable, outdoor ocean-science learning experience specifically designed for families in their shared service area.
Building on a needs assessment produced through target-audience focus groups, the program will combine coastal field experiences with web-based interactive and participatory learning activities developed and tested by the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL; www.eol.org/) and the Northeast Regional Association for Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) to support in-field and ongoing learning. Science content will be informed and vetted by NOAA research scientists and work between the science centers and community organizations will be professionally facilitated. Formats and effectiveness will be evaluated by external evaluators and revised throughout the project.

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Title: Science on a Sphere--Earth Systems Display Center at Science Museum of Virginia
Institution: Science Museum of Virginia
PI: Richard Conti
Total Project Funding: $297,396
Summary: 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. NOAA partners in the Chesapeake Bay Office will support docent training, advise on uses for NOAA data visualizations, and suggest ways to tie NOAA data sets into the Museum's existing and future programs. Science on a Sphere will serve as an iconic centerpiece in the Museum's overall interpretive program and a catalyst for meaningful visitor-docent interaction and community learning.

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Title: Planet Earth Decision Theater
Institution: Science Museum of Minnesota
PI: Patrick Hamilton
Total Project Funding: $504,386
Summary: Through the Planet Earth Decision Theater project, the Science Museum of Minnesota and its partners will upgrade the museum’s current SOS exhibit with new SOS learning experiences, produce for the SOS community a new SOS film about the role of humans as the dominant agents of global change and two new presenter-led SOS programs based on the film with one version utilizing an audience feedback mechanism called iClickers. SMM also will complement its Planet Earth Decision Theater and the Maryland Science Center’s SOS exhibit with the addition of Rain Table (a new interactive scientific visualization platform) at both locations to further reinforce the Anthropocene messages of the new SOS film and programs. SMM will conduct extensive evaluations of the new SOS film, programs and Rain Tables. SMM’s partners on this project include the NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab, University of Minnesota's National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, University of Minnesota's Antarctic Geospatial Information Center, University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, Maryland Science Center, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Institute for Learning Innovation, George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at University of Illinois-Chicago.

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Title: Hurricanes and Climate Change: Local Impacts and Global Systems
Institution: Miami Science Museum
PI: Jennifer Santer
Total Project Funding: $500,921
Summary: The Miami Science Museum, in collaboration with Ideum and the Institute for Learning Innovation, will design and develop an interactive multiuser 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 will be on climate-related impacts on coastal communities, including the dangers posed by rising sea level and the possibility of more intense hurricanes. The project will emphasize 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.

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Title: Teen Conservation Leadership
Institution: Monterey Bay Aquarium
PI: Rita Bell
Total Project Funding: $453,622
Summary: Teen Conservation Leadership is a major integration and expansion of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's existing teen education programs (Student Oceanography Club, Young Women in Science and Student Guides). We plan to expand and enhance these programs through the following activities:

- Service-Learning and Leadership Activities, including:

  • Guest Service Track: professional development and training as interpreters
  • Camp and Club Track: serving as a mentor for other participants
  • Program Track: assisting in the delivery of programs

- Conservation and Science Activities, including participating in and leading projects with local organizations, and participating in technologically facilitated outdoor learning experiences

- Teen Network and Technology Activities, including onsite networking and information sharing through Web 2.0 technology

We expect to reach 930 teens. Each teen will provide 200 service-learning hours per year. The sequential nature of this project will encourage many teens to participate for multiple years.

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Title: Raindrop: an innovative educational tool for river awareness
Institution: Butler University
PI: Timothy Carter
Total Project Funding: $259,770
Summary: 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.

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Title: Embedding NOAA in a Public Learning Laboratory - The Environmental Scientist-In-Residence Program at the Exploratorium
Institution: Exploratorium
PI: Mary Miller
Total Project Funding: $522,280
Summary: The Environmental Scientist-in-Residence Program will leverage NOAA’s scientific assets and personnel by combining them with the creativity and educational knowledge of the pioneer hands-on science center. To do this, the program will embed NOAA scientists in a public education laboratory at the Exploratorium. Working closely with youth Explainers, exhibit developers, and Web and interactive media producers at the Exploratorium, NOAA scientists will share instruments, data, and their professional expertise with a variety of public audiences inside the museum and on the Web. At the same time the scientists will gain valuable skills in informal science communication and education. Through cutting-edge iPad displays, screen-based visualizations, data-enriched maps and sensor displays, and innovative interactions with visitors on the museum floor, this learning laboratory will enable NOAA scientists and Exploratorium staff to investigate new hands-on techniques for engaging the public in NOAA’s environmental research and monitoring efforts.

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2009 - Ocean Education Abstracts:

Title: Aquarium of the Pacific's Ocean Science Center (SOS): Ocean-Earth Stories Connecting People, the Ocean and Climate Change
Institution: Aquarium of the Pacific
PI: Jerry Schubel
Total Project Funding: $1,086,936
Summary:
The Aquarium of the Pacific proposes to create an immersive exhibit for exploring the roles of the ocean in climate change and its responses under different scenarios. The center of the experience is NOAA's Science On a Sphere (SOS), a proven platform for displaying a rich variety of earth system datasets that reveal global and large scale region processes and phenomena that are easily grasped by the general public. Combining SOS with a system of linked plasma screens allows additional local and regional stories that bring global messages down to a more personal level. Two programs will be developed initially: (1) the manifestations of climate change on coastal communities, and (2) the manifestations of climate change on marine ecosystems and fisheries. Both will explore how the vulnerability of these systems can be reduced and their resiliency enhanced through mitigation and adaptation. All programs also will be on the web.

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Title: Aquarium-wide Climate Change and the Ocean Initiative: Public Engagement from Awareness to Action
Institution: Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation
PI: Cynthia Vernon
Total Project Funding: $915,885
Summary:
As part of our on-going commitment to engage, inform, and inspire visitors around issues of critical importance to ocean conservation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will open the nation's first live aquatic animal exhibition on climate change and the ocean in March 2010. We are planning a comprehensive and integrated suite of associated informal educational activities, designed to extend the exhibit experience and allow visitors to explore this critically important topic in more depth during their visit and after leaving the Aquarium. Over the course of three years, this initiative will reach more than 4.5 million people and: - raise public awareness about the connection between climate change and ocean health; - demonstrate that public actions do have an impact on climate change (and therefore ocean health); and - encourage meaningful action to address climate change.

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Title: A National Coalition of Aquariums Educating about Climate Change (collaborative project)
Institutions: Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation, National Aquarium in Baltimore, New England Aquarium Corporation
PIs: Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Nancy Hotchkiss, National Aquarium in Baltimore; William Spitzer, New England Aquarium
Total Project Funding: $1,497,513
Summary:
This collaboration led by three major national aquariums - Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBAq), National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB), and New England Aquarium (NEAq) - will develop a leadership initiative to build capacity within aquariums and related informal science education institutions nation-wide, enabling education staff to engage and inspire millions of visitors to take action about climate change and the ocean. Over three years, we will increase climate literacy among informal science educators by: 1) creating a national network for training, resource sharing and support; 2) developing climate change activity carts to support exhibit interpretation; 3) providing training for youth interpreters; and 4) hosting regional and national summits to strengthen collaboration and showcase and disseminate model programs. Outcomes for educators will include increased knowledge of climate change science; knowledge of strategies, tools and materials for educating about climate change; and confidence in their ability to communicate about climate change.

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Title: Summer Science in New England: Ocean Education through Informal Science Centers
Institution: New England Aquarium Corporation
PI: William Spitzer
Total Project Funding: $342,232
Summary:
The Summer Science in New England project establishes a regional network of summer camp programs grounded in ocean science. In year one, six institutions - New England Aquarium, Northeastern University's Marine Science Center, University of Rhode Island's Alton Jones Camp, the University of Connecticut's Project Oceanology, the Seacoast Science Center in NH, and the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Maine - will work alongside research scientists to engage campers, ages 14 and up, in near-shore biodiversity monitoring. In years two and three, the number of partners will increase to 10, then 12. The project provides a citizen science experience across a wide geographical area, supports and trains informal science center staff to incorporate citizen science while using environmental literacy principles with teens, and offers opportunities for all participants to share findings with peers at annual forums. Thomas Trott, PhD, of Suffolk University will serve as science advisor and RMC Research Corporation will complete evaluation.

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Title: Using Marine Mammals to Communicate Solutions to Ocean Issues: Improving Climate and Ocean Literacy
Institution: North Carolina Aquarium Society
PI: Peggy Sloan
Total Project Funding: $583,218
Summary:
Using marine mammals to illustrate impacts of climate change on ocean health the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, along with the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, will create a comprehensive, innovative, and engaging approach to inspire ocean stewardship among young people. Through professional development, integration of advanced technology, and targeted presentations to under served audiences this project serves to build connections between marine mammals, ocean health, climate change, and people. Materials created for this project will be sustained past the life of this grant through permanent exhibitory at the Aquarium and Museum. The North Carolina Aquarium Society (a non-profit organization) is organized to develop, encourage, and promote public awareness and appreciation for North Carolina's coastal, natural and cultural heritage; to serve as a philanthropic society for the support, maintenance of programs, and development of facilities of the North Carolina Aquariums, and to solicit, hold, invest, and expend funds for such purposes; and to render assistance as requested by the North Carolina Aquariums.

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Title: Exploring Inner Space: Linking Aquariums with Ocean Scientists
Institution: Sea Research Foundation (in association with Mystic Aquarium)
PI: Dwight Coleman
Total Project Funding: $1,799,964
Summary:
The program proposed here is a pilot project and collaborative effort to develop partnerships and educational programming using state of the art technology. The project partnership is comprised of a leading ocean science research and education institution, the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and its new state of the art Inner Space Center (ISC), two strong national ocean science education networks: the National Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Network and NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research (NOAA-OER) Education Alliance. In addition, two partner sites will serve as proof of concept sites and education hubs - Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration (CT) and South Carolina Aquarium (SC), both affiliated with COSEE, the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center Network (CELC), and NOAA-OER. Through this initiative, the ISC will install new Exploration Command Stations (ECSs) and enhance Ocean Today kiosks at the partner sites, strategically selected aquariums. Through this pilot project, the ECSs and kiosks (modeled after the original Ocean Today kiosk in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History new Sant Ocean Hall) will form an Ocean Interpretive Station at the partner sites. The ISC will provide live links from the Center's facilities to the newly installed ECSs and kiosks using feeds from various remote Ocean Exploration platforms, including the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and the exploration vessel, E/V Nautilus. The project's Content Development Team (CDT) will develop associated educational materials for use in public programs at the partner sites.

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Title: Shedd-NOAA Partnership for Student, Teacher and Public Engagement
Institution: Shedd Aquarium Society
PI: Ilze Berzins
Total Project Funding: $1,100,000
Summary:
Shedd Aquarium is recommending 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. Shedd will position itself strategically, over the next two years, 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 will 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 will be created. This civic engagement project will produce 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. Our effort will empower citizens and civic entities to be critical thinkers who fully participate in the advancement of a sustainable society.

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Title: Connecting Tennessee to the World Ocean
Institution: Tennessee Aquarium
PI: George Bartnik
Total Project Funding: $1,352,253
Summary:
Located more than 300 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the Tennessee Aquarium concentrates its educational efforts on an inland region of the country where ocean stewardship is not always a priority. Speaking to an audience often left untouched by nationally-recognized conservation programming, the Aquarium connects its audience to the world ocean through the Tennessee River, its watershed and its outlet to the greater ocean at the Gulf of Mexico. The Aquarium, through a unique project called Connecting Tennessee to the World Ocean, will advance both its own strategic plan and NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in Earth's environment and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet out nation's economic, social and environmental needs.

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Title: Climate Change Community Outreach Initiative
Institution: The Florida Aquarium, Inc.
PI: Debbi Stone
Total Project Funding: $630,271
Summary:
To promote ocean and climate change literacy that addresses the needs of the Gulf of Mexico region, six aquariums based on the Gulf will partner to educate the communities on both 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. With evaluated programs, exhibit and website in place, the partners will be able to continue building stewardship and educating their communities after the grant ends.

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2009 - Sphere Network Capacity Building Abstracts:

Title: Science on a Sphere - Upgrade 2009
Institution: The Regents of the University of Colorado
PI: Douglas Duncan
Total Project Funding: $75,790
Summary:
We propose to:

  1. Continue to develop software that allows a docent to easily control Science on a Sphere from a small touchpad computer while interacting with visitors.

  2. Continue to develop software that allows easy "drag and drop" construction of playlists.

  3. Put kiosk control of the sphere, already developed as a student project, into a real kiosk.

  4. Assess the use of wireless response devices or "clickers" to enhance audience interaction, learning, and enjoyment, and gather information from visitor responses and share all these improvements with the network.

  5. Improve the resolution of the 4 projectors of our SOS installation, in anticipation of new data on the moon and Mars coming to our university, which has been selected to lead NASA moon and Mars missions, and add flat screen TVs for the presentation of auxiliary data.

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Title: Science On a Sphere Revitalization Act for ASTC 2010 and Beyond
Institution: Bishop Museum
PI: Leon Geschwind
Total Project Funding: $49,990
Summary:
The Bishop Museum proposes to install new Science on a Sphere (SOS) projectors and computers in advance of the 2010 Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC) conference in Honolulu, HI. In February 2006, Bishop Museum became one of the first museums to install SOS. The need for new hardware has become evident with a number of SOS computer and projector failures. State of the art hardware would be ideal when Bishop Museum and Lawrence Hall of Science plan to showcase NOAA-funded programming for the museum community during the 2010 ASTC conference. The project seeks to build network capacity by creating and maintaining a database on SOS sites' hardware within the existing NOAA yahoo usergroup forum and through conference participation. Project evaluation efforts will focus on the aesthetics of SOS imagery pre and post installation and whether or not it significantly impacts the visitor experience.

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2008-2009 - K-12 Abstracts:

Title: Resources for Climate Literacy Instruction
Institution: AAAS
PI: Jo Ellen Roseman
Total Project Funding: $750,000
Summary:
Project 2061, the science education reform initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), proposes to identify and translate into classroom materials a range of real-world phenomena (e.g., objects, systems, events) and representations (e.g., models, diagrams, simulations) based largely on data from NOAA's earth observation systems. These materials will be designed to help increase middle school students' understanding of essential ideas about weather and climate. Our objective is to provide a wide audience of teachers, curriculum developers, teacher education faculty, and professional development providers with online access to a set of high-quality and interrelated activities built around earth, ocean, and atmospheric phenomena and representations that can supplement or enrich their existing lessons or be integrated into new curriculum materials.

This collection of climate literacy materials will be carefully aligned to the learning goals in NOAA's Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for climate literacy and in national and state science content standards. By disseminating this online collection widely within the science education community, we also aim to expand the use of NOAA-related scientific data, simulations, animations, and other types of representations in middle school curriculum materials and instruction and to stimulate research on how these materials can be used most effectively.

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Title: Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence for Grades 6-8
Institution: Univ. of California - Berkeley, Lawrence Hall of Science
PI: Craig Strang
Total Project Funding: $751,064
Summary:
The Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at the University of California, Berkeley, in partnership with the Rutgers University Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences, and the Curriculum Division of Carolina Biological Supply Company (Carolina Biological) propose to create an Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence, Grades 6-8 that will provide a major step toward achieving a coherent, comprehensive, nationally disseminated K-12 ocean sciences curriculum with NOAA as the lead sponsor of the entire series. The Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence, Grades 6-8 will be a powerful companion to the Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence, Grades 3-5 already under development, and the recently published, NASA-funded GEMS Space Science Curriculum Sequence, Grades 3-8. The Sequence will be built in part on repurposing and updating existing instructional materials from the LHS Marine Activities, Resources & Education (MARE) and Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) programs. The materials will provide teachers with standards-based tools for teaching basic science using the ocean as an integrating context. This project will create instructional materials that have potential to become the most widely used middle school ocean sciences curriculum nationwide. The materials will be: (1) grounded in current research on teaching and learning, (2) aligned to the National Science Education Standards, the Ocean Literacy (OL) Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, and a large sample of state science standards, and (3) extensively field tested and evaluated to ensure their effectiveness and applicability nationwide. The Sequence will include print materials for teachers with inquiry-based learning activities, student readings and data sheets, pre-, post-, and embedded assessments, and readily available instructional materials "kits" that allow it to be adopted by whole school systems and/or states as part of their regular, mainstream science programs. The materials will provide classroom teachers with essential tools to advance ocean literacy and the discoveries of NOAA scientists. No comparable middle school ocean sciences curriculum is currently available.

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Title: Promoting Environmental Literacy through Teacher Professional Development Workshops and Climate Change Student Summits (C2S2)
Institution: University of Nebraska - Lincoln
PI: Frank Rack
Total Project Funding: $696,672
Summary:
This project will provide K-12 teacher professional development and focused student activities to promote environmental literacy using the essential principles of ocean and climate literacy. In partnerships with NOAA entities, school districts, and museums across the United States, we will provide: (1) high-energy face-to-face professional development workshops for teachers, facilitated by experienced educators; (2) ongoing support and interactions among teachers and students through an online collaborative website, or group-hub; and, (3) high-profile, focused events in which students interact with scientists and the public to share what they've learned, both locally and internationally. The primary goal of this project is to increase the environmental literacy of K-12 teachers and their students from school districts that are part of existing science museum networks. Each summer, we will work with 4 to 6 partner museums to invite 30 to 40 teachers from their local school districts to take part in a pair of workshops.

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Title: NOAA Earth System Science Courses: Building on the Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA)
Institution: IGES
PI: Robert J. Myers
Total Project Funding: $645,815
Summary:
The Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) is a successful teacher professional development program enhancing K-12 teachers' environmental literacy and ability to teach Earth System Science. The proposed three-year program is ideally positioned to leverage the ESSEA 40+ educational institution consortium in supporting NOAA's goal of promoting environmental literacy by increasing ESS understanding and use of NOAA data, information, and programs.

ESSEA is supporting universities and other educational institutions in teacher preparation and professional development for pre-service and in-service K-12 teachers. The NSF-funded ESSEA is building and expanding on a successful program that was NASA-funded and implemented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) from 2000-2005. IGES is enhancing and building on this foundation by: 1) Using the ESSEA online courses as a model to introduce newly upgraded Earth system science undergraduate and graduate courses for teachers; 2) Introducing new Earth System Science data, analysis tools and educational resources to support the teacher courses; and 3) Disseminating model teaching practices and program success through annual conferences, continuing support, and presentations at geoscience and education conferences.

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2008 - Priority 1 Abstracts:

Title: A NOAA Spherical Display System at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Institution: Smithsonian Institution (National Zoo)
PI: Miles Roberts
Total Project Funding: $196,016
Abstract: The Smithsonian National Zoological Park (SNZP) in Washington, DC will integrate the NOAA Science on a Sphere(SOS) spherical display system at SNZP's Amazonia Science Gallery (ASG). The SOS system at ASG will be seen in person by tens of thousands of visitors each year and potentially by millions more through electronic outreach programs. The SOS system will rapidly become a visitor destination in its own right and will immediately become an integral part of the exhibit and informal and formal science education programs.

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Title: Science on a Sphere: Bringing the Oceans to You
Institution: North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
PI: Andrea Hitt
Total Project Funding: $200,000
Abstract: The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island (NCARI) will install NOAAs Science on a Sphere(SOS) to enhance and expand their existing Storms exhibit. NCARI's location on the Outer Banks makes understanding ocean systems critically important. Installing SOS will increase environmental literacy by exposing NCARI's 300,000 annual visitors to NOAA datasets and information. Additionally, through educational programming students, teachers, and visitors will obtain current and accurate information to help them make better-informed decisions. Through workshops hosted at NCARI, NOAA will also be included in valuable professional development opportunities.

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Title: Visitors and Visualizations: Creating Meaningful Experiences with Global Data
Institution: Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center
PI: Nancee Hunter
Total Project Funding: $99,768
Abstract: This project will establish a new spherical display system exhibit. The Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center (Newport, Oregon) will acquire and install a 3 ft. Magic Planet as part of a larger interactive data visualization exhibit. Pacific Northwest regional data sets will complement NOAA global data to serve as a model education program. Specific focus areas include coastal climates, hypoxia/dead zones, algal blooms, and/or aquatic invasive species. The Principle Investigator for this project have unique expertise in K-12 education, teacher professional development, curriculum development and evaluation, particularly in free-choice learning environments.

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Title: Global Connections: Science on a Sphere
Institution: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
PI: Susan Pion
Total Project Funding: $200,000
Abstract: The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, OH will develop and implement a new, permanent exhibition featuring NOAA's Science on a Sphere. The exhibition will build environmental literacy among public visitors, school and the myriad of groups that the Museum reaches. A significant portion of the audience will be from underrepresented groups. A special display within the exhibition will focus on the Mississippi Watershed and how it is related to the health of the oceans. Three interactive stations where visitors can engage in hands-on activities related to NOAA datasets will also be part of the exhibition.

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Title: Science On a Sphere in the Forces of Nature Exhibition
Institution: Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
PI: Steve Bishop
Total Project Funding: $198,744
Abstract: Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is developing a new permanent public exhibition gallery focusing on environmental and earth systems science to be called Forces of Nature. With NOAA support, Science On a Sphere will be the centerpiece for this new gallery. A collaboration is planned between Whitaker Center and the Department of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University in which existing datasets provided by Penn State researchers with NOAA data and meteorological models will be prepared for presentation on spherical display systems.

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Title: Installation of Science On a Sphere at Discovery Science Center of Orange County
Institution: Discovery Science Center of Orange County
PI: Kellee Preston
Total Project Funding: $199,943
Abstract: Discovery Science Center of Orange County (DSC) proposes a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to install Science On a Sphere (SOS) spherical display system showing Earth system science in DSC's informal educational science center under Priority 1 of this funding opportunity. With the closest SOS display system located in Northern California, installation of this technology at DSC will provide access to NOAA's data by over 400,000 students, their families and educators from Southern California annually. As partners, DSC will ensure that NOAA data sets are incorporated into educational resources that align with California State Science Standards and will meet NOAA educational plan goals.

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2008 - Priority 2 Abstracts:

Title: SOS Ocean-Atmosphere Literacy Partnership
Institution: American Museum of Natural History
PI: Rosamond Kinzler
Total Project Funding: $300,000
Abstract: The SOS Ocean-Atmosphere Literacy Partnership is a collaboration among the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, NY; Maryland Science Center (MSC) in Baltimore, MD; and Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) in St. Paul, MN. This collaboration will create two six-minute programs and two 30-minute live presentations for the spherical display systems, including NOAA's Science on a Sphere. The SMM will produce "Ocean-Atmosphere Thermodynamics"; the AMNH will produce, "Tropical Cyclones: Theory, Models, and Observations."

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Title: Linking Evidence to Explanation in Global Science
Institution: University of California, Berkeley (Lawrence Hall of Science)
PI: Barbara Ando
Total Project Funding: $299,759
Abstract: The University of California, Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS), in partnership with the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, HI, propose to develop and evaluate curriculum-based content modules for spherical display systems. These modules will combine successful research-driven curriculum materials with the compelling nature of a spherical display to engage and inform museum visitors in the process of observing and interpreting patterns of global climate data.

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Title: Crossroads: Education through Spherical Projection Systems
Institution: Bishop Museum
PI: Michael Shanahan
Total Project Funding: $299,571
Abstract: Both Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii and Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii have installations of NOAA Science on a Sphere and experience with developing programs for spherical display systems. In collaboration with NOAA Pacific Services Center (PSC), these museums will produce and distribute four modules on earth system science topics for spherical display systems. These four modules will focus on climate change, the restless earth, weather and climate, and real-time planet earth. Hawaii State Department of Education will produce pre-visit and post-visit lessons for each of four school programs.

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2007 - ELG K-12 Abstracts:

Title: Earth as a System is Essential - Seasons and the Seas
Institution: Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
PI: Janice Mokros
Total Project Funding: $566,467
Abstract: The project will fill the critical need for a relevant, contextual curricular theme for middle school learning. Its goal is to incorporate NOAA resources and virtual visits by NOAA scientists to integrate authentic earth systems science content into existing instructional units. Development of these materials -- in association with appropriate standards-based middle school learning goals and pedagogy, supported by substantive professional development, collegial networking, and supplied with the tools to meet this need, -- form the rationale for this proposal.

In EaSiE-SS, thirty middle school teachers from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts will become Teacher Resource Agents. Working with state science supervisors, NOAA scientists, educators, and MMSA staff, these individuals will complete 120 hours of professional development over 24-months including two Summer Institutes, two Fall Conferences, one Spring Conference, two web conferences, two unit implementations, webinars, podcasts, and web discussion boards. They will gain content background, integrate MMSA staff reviewed and aligned materials into their instruction, conduct field tests of the materials, and share them with colleagues in their own states and across the country through state science supervisors, the project web ite, marine science teachers, and state science teachers associations.

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Title: Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence for Grades 3-5
Institution: University of California, Berkeley/Lawrence Hall of Science
PI: Craig Strang
Total Project Funding: $720,641
Abstract: In close collaboration and partnership, the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at the University of California, Berkeley, the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory (COOL), Rutgers University Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences, and the Carolina Biological Supply Company will update, adapt, transform, and widely disseminate existing instructional materials from the LHS Marine Activities Resources & Education (MARE) and Great Explorations in Mathematics and Sciences (GEMS) programs. The materials will provide teachers with a standards-based tool for teaching basic science using the ocean as a compelling integrating context. The materials will be grounded in current research on teaching and learning and designed to connect to the National Science Education Standards, the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, and to a large sample of state science standards. The activities will be thoroughly pilot and field tested to ensure their effectiveness and applicability nationwide. The finished product will include print materials for teachers, with inquiry-based learning activities, student readings and data sheets, curriculum-embedded assessments, and commercially available materials kits that will allow the Sequence to be adopted by whole school systems and/or states.

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Title: Sailing Elementary Teachers Towards Ocean Literacy Using Familiar Water Resources
Institution: Eastern Michigan University
PI: Sandra Rutherford
Total Project Funding: $461,534
Abstract: This project plans to increase elementary and undergraduate ocean science and related Great Lakes science literacy that aligns with the Michigan Curriculum, the National Science Education standards, and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts. We will 1) develop an Elementary Storybook and elementary classroom materials that support ocean and Great Lakes literacy, 2) train preservice elementary teachers (at EMU) to use this Storybook, 3) develop undergraduate activities that support the NOAA Education Plan and Ocean Literacy in teacher education courses at EMU, and 4) train teachers in Detroit and Dexter (MI) and Golden (CO) to use an Elementary Storybook and activities that support Ocean Literacy. The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and oceanographic experts at GLERL and EMU (Dr. Serena Poli) will partner with us to develop this Elementary Storybook resource. This elementary resource will be freely available to all teachers, via the internet.

Our second objective is that teachers will relate ocean and Great Lakes science to theirs and their students' lives. We will accomplish this by 1) producing teacher-friendly web resources that make Great Lakes data from GLERL accessible for use by elementary teachers and 2) teaching pre-service teachers to interpret these data during undergraduate, inquiry activities at EMU.

Our third objective is to measure environmental, ocean and Great Lakes literacy among pre-service teachers and their students before and after implementation of targeted instruction. We will accomplish this via 1) assessing pre- and inservice teachers' content knowledge and ability to apply content knowledge in ocean and Great Lakes science, 2) assessing elementary children for content knowledge and ability to apply content knowledge in ocean and Great Lakes science, 3) performance assessments of pre- and in-service teachers' abilities to interpret environmental data, 4) standardized tests of Earth Science content knowledge, and 5) surveys of pre- and inservice teachers' affective attitudes towards ocean literacy and supporting materials.

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2007 - ELG Free Choice Abstracts:

Title: Here to the Ocean, a nationally traveling museum exhibition
Institution: Sciencenter
PI: Lara Kimber
Total Project Funding: $750,000
Abstract: The Sciencenter seeks to develop a 1,500-square-foot traveling exhibition, called "Here to the Ocean," on how activity in inland watersheds affects the health of the ocean, and therefore the planet. The unifying theme of the exhibition is "What we do here, has an impact there," and the key take-home message for museum visitors is that ocean water quality is not just a coastal issue. This exhibition will travel to museums throughout the United States, reaching an estimated 200,000+ visitors annually for at least seven years, resulting in an estimated total impact of 1.5 million visitors in at least 20 U.S. cities. The core audience of this exhibition will be families with children ages 6-12, and children visiting museums in school groups.

"Here to the Ocean" will feature interactive open-ended exhibits that bring watershed science to life, including an immersive experience allowing visitors to conduct their own virtual underwater tours of watersheds by stepping inside and operating a submersible research vehicle on an expedition from a backyard creek all the way to the ocean. This and other exhibits will feature stunning high-definition video footage depicting fauna from various water ecosystems, as well as human activities that affect watershed health. Additional hands-on exhibits will help visitors to understand how watersheds are connected to the ocean, basic concepts in hydrology, the impact of pollution, and what science offers in the way of solutions to watershed problems. Exhibits will be designed to inspire visitors to adopt behaviors that protect their local watersheds.

Visitors experiencing this exhibition will: 1) leave with an increased understanding of watershed science that will help them make informed, data-driven decisions on issues relating to watersheds; 2) have an increased awareness of the importance of watershed health and positive attitudes about the need to protect local watersheds; 3) have an increased understanding of the value of science in solving environmental problems and will be inspired to stay involved in science through school and/or career; and 4) feel an increased sense of personal watershed stewardship which they will share with others.

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Title: Building Environmental Literacy: How the Ocean Community Can Connect More Effectively with the American Public
Institution: The Ocean Foundation - The Ocean Project
PI: Bill Mott
Total Project Funding: $375,100
Abstract: In 1999 The Ocean Project completed a comprehensive opinion research on public attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge of the ocean ever conducted. The research identified a broad vacuum in public understanding of the ocean; a fundamental issue of ocean literacy. To further increase effectiveness in building ocean literacy, we will update and strategically expand our research to develop a more highly detailed database of public awareness, knowledge, and attitudes, and develop recommendations to enable free-choice learning educators to build ocean literacy more effectively in their visitors. Re-testing the 1999 findings will measure changes that have occurred and provide a more comprehensive metric for the future evaluations. These data will be essential as the institutions, agencies and organizations of the ocean community work together and independently to engage people, inform decision-makers, and enhance ocean literacy throughout our Nation. We will work closely with representatives from our NOAA partners and members of The Ocean Project's Leadership and Advisory Councils, which include some of the country's leading scientists, educators, and communicators.

The study will include a comprehensive review of existing literature, qualitative and quantitative research, analysis of the data, and publication and broad dissemination, including recommendations for programs and content that build ocean literacy. The qualitative research will help us better understand the motivations, psychology, and emotions behind segments of the public's attitudes toward the ocean and will be used to design the quantitative survey instrument. Traditional focus groups, as well as more modern online discussion groups, will be used.

In the second phase, The Ocean Project will embark on a two-tier communications strategy:
1. Broad communication of the findings to all our Partners to make them aware of the results and engage them in integrating the findings into their educational and communications efforts.
2. Focused communications in 10 metropolitan regions to help our Partners fully incorporate the findings through their exhibits and educational programs. These programs will then be shared in detail with the larger network. This work will significantly increase the capacity of staff at these institutions to effectively reach their millions of visitors with content that builds ocean literacy.

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Title: Ocean Interpretive Stations: a Proposal for Pilot Program for Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers
Institution: Dubuque County Historical Society - the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
PI: Jerry Enzler
Total Project Funding: $443,672
Abstract: This project will create a pilot program which will deliver ocean literacy learning opportunities to 3 million people across the country by installation of dynamic Ocean Interpretive Stations at four Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers: lead applicant the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA, the John G. Shedd Aquarium in
Chicago, IL, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. These Interpretive Stations will 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 will 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 will enhance ocean literacy among museum goers through multimedia offerings, providing current, newsworthy and foundational ocean topics to encourage learning for 3 million visitors. 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 to demonstrate effectiveness of this collaboration to other CERC partners, encouraging additional partnerships in the future.

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2006 - Priority 1 Abstracts:

Title: Building Ocean Literacy in our youth through unique learning experiences in our National Marine Sanctuaries
Institution: Camp SEA Lab/California State University - Monterey Bay
PI: Nicole Crane
Total Project Funding: $413,592
Abstract: This project aims to develop and implement residential and non-residential science camp and summer camp programs and related activities to over 1500 youth and teachers from 8 elementary and middle schools.  The NOAA/MBNMS MERITO program will serve as a key outreach mechanism to reach underserved youth and their families.  The proposed project will utilize existing ocean educational materials, including NOAA curricula, in experiential learning programs for youth through Camp SEA (Science, Education, Adventure) Lab.  The two major goals of the project are to: 1) Work closely with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to develop and implement marine-oriented outdoor science camp and summer camp programs, thus developing an effective model for dissemination of the Principles to large numbers of youth and their teachers.  A pilot MERITO summer program would be part of this; and 2) To develop a model and a feasibility plan to implement the program across a broader geographical area (e.g. through other Sanctuary sites). 

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Title: Ocean Science - Formal and Informal Education for Ocean Literacy
Institution: Seattle Aquarium
PIs: Kathy Sider
Total Project Funding: $599,735
Abstract:  Ocean Science will integrate 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 (opens spring 2007) 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 will display the outer coast marine environments and sea life of the Washington Olympic Coast national Marine Sanctuary.

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Title: Signals of Spring - ACES (Animals in Curriculum-based Ecosystem Studies)
Institution: U.S. Satellite Laboratory
PI: Glen Schuster
Total Project Funding: $599,862
Abstract: Signals of Spring ACES (Animals in Curriculum-based Ecosystem Studies), will use NOAA remote sensing data with curriculum-based activities for middle and high school students. Students use Earth imagery to explain the movement of animals that are tracked by satellite with NOAA’s ARGOS monitoring system. The project addresses the issues surrounding the animals and environments of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS).  Comprehensive teacher professional development will be delivered both onsite and online for 250 teachers. The project will impact 20,000 students and parents. Ten curriculum modules will be delivered to students, accompanied with an investigation of El Niño and animals, as well as ocean life and global climate change.  ACES will provide classrooms with the curricular area of conservation and the ecological issues surrounding the ocean, using marine animals as the engaging component.  Students will apply NOAA Earth data to animal migrations and the critical environmental issues that face these animals that are of depleting populations.  Once teachers and students have the necessary skills to interpret data, students will perform the ACES investigations. 

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2006 - Priority 2 Abstracts:

Title: CoCoRaHS: The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network- Enhancing Environmental Literacy through Participation in Climate Monitoring and Research
Institution: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University
PIs: Nolan J. Doesken, Robert Cifelli
Total Project Funding: $585,005
Abstract: The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) involves thousands of people of all ages in the observation and study of weather, climate and water resources. In CoCoRaHS, citizens of all ages help measure and report rain, hail and snow from their own homes, schools and businesses.  These data are then efficiently collected via the internet, archived in a national database, and made immediately available to participants, scientists and the general public showing the fascinating patterns of precipitation from each passing storm. The measurement of precipitation and the patterns, variations and impacts that result, open the door to creative study of our environment.  It is the “lowest common denominator” of hydroclimatic exploration. In this project, data from the CoCoRaHS “citizen science” network will be shared with and utilized by NOAA partners to help monitor drought, to help detect local severe storms, to alert local authorities to developing flash flood situations, to provide “ground truth” for NOAA and NASA remote sensing technologies, and to provide verification for both local and national weather and climate forecast products. 

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Title: Interpreting Global Half-Hourly Cloud Observations to Promote Weather and Climate Literacy
Institution: American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
PIs: Rosamond Kinzler
Total Project Funding: $580,665
Abstract: AMNH will use NOAA weather satellite data to annotate 72 high definition (HD) video time-series global cloud cover visualizations using thermal infrared brightness temperature data acquired by five geostationary satellites and joined into global mosaics at half-hourly intervals.  The HD visualizations will be used in informal and formal education activities and will be made available on the Web.  These media pieces will be used for informal education activities at AMNH and 28 other informal science institutions (ISI) around the United States .  The target population of visitors to subscribing ISIs is currently ten million and is projected to be over 15 million by the end of the grant.  The HD visualizations will be used in formal settings, as well.  Fifteen schools throughout New York City with large numbers of new English Language Learners will be targeted and professional development for teachers of ELL students will be provided through programs at AMNH as well. AMNH’s effort focuses on weather and climate patterns that will be visible in the cloud-data visualizations.  All viewers of the media will learn about general circulation patterns and changes in phase of water associated with the hydrologic cycle.

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2006 - SOS Abstracts:

Title: Bringing Knowledge of Planet Earth to a Wider Audience and Bringing a Diverse New Group to Careers in Science Teaching
Institution: University of Colorado
PI: Douglas Duncan
Total Project Funding: $99,966
Abstract:  Science On a Sphere (SOS) at Fiske Planetarium will raise awareness and understanding of Earth system science for over 30,000 visitors per year, using student docents and newly-developed, tested pedagogy. SOS will enhance Fiske’s ability to engage 3,000 university students and 30,000 K-12 students and members of the public.

A student docent program will transform the traditionally passive experience of a planetarium visit into an interactive learning opportunity. The docents will be drawn from two sources: undergraduates who will be future science teachers, who we take from a selective CU program called “STEM-TP”, and Hispanic university and high school students taught by Fiske's planetarium manager Francisco Salas. Docents will talk with visitors and help them understand key science issues that affect the earth, leading to more informed decision-making.

Fiske will develop bilingual pedagogical material and new data sets, and share them with NOAA and SOS sites. To support the docents, and visiting students and teachers, Fiske Education Manager Traub-Metlay will lead development of explanatory materials that challenge visitors and provide context for what they are seeing. These will be translated into Spanish by Fiske Manager Salas. New data sets, contributed by faculty members, will expand the range of SOS, into space, adding solar interior models, the celestial sphere, and the cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang, along with new terrestrial data such as the worldwide distribution of forest fires.

SOS will become a focal point in Fiske's longstanding tradition of teacher workshops, which are often done in cooperation with the University of Colorado and NOAA scientists and highlight NOAA’s role monitoring the earth and sun. It also will be integrated with a small suite of hands-on exhibits we are installing that explain how observations can be made in infrared, ultraviolet, and X-rays in addition to visible light. These would complement SOS, which features multi-wavelength data. Fiske and its Boulder Colorado-area partners have raised $75,000 to cover the full cost of SOS hardware, and have formal institutional commitments to long-term program development. This award from NOAA will go into materials development, evaluation, and student pay.

Colorado communities are aware of NOAA’s important work and the nearby David SkaggsCenter , but security measures make it difficult to visit there. Fiske is much more accessible.  Fiske will improve the usefulness of all SOS sites by conducting formative evaluation to assess what kinds of SOS presentations work best with public and school audiences, giving feedback to NOAA and all SOS users.

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Title: Envirosphere Educational Project
Institution: McWane Science Center
PI: Angela Turner
Total Project Funding: $185,948
Abstract: McWane ScienceCenter (McWSC) is a non-profit, interactive science museum committed to showing individuals how science and technology enrich our lives and help us solve problems. At McWSC, learning has become exciting, understandable and dynamic at a time when educational institutions are struggling to motivate students. McWane ScienceCenter ’s mission has touched over 2 million visitors including almost a million children and youth since opening eight years ago. McWSC has a goal of extending the power of experiential learning to as many people as possible, particularly those who would otherwise not be able to do so on their own.  McWane ScienceCenter continues to look for creative ways to offset the costs of exhibits and other operational expenses without compromising educational content for specific populations that can really benefit from what McWSC provides. This is why McWane ScienceCenter is interested in the Science on a Sphere (SOS) exhibit.

SOS will serve as the focal point for McWane’s environmental education initiative, the Envirosphere Educational Project (the Project). The Project will provide environmental education and workforce development programs for an estimated 200,000 people. This number includes the general public, school groups from across the region, and 2,500 children in low-income communities from across the state of Alabama. Grants from Alabama Power Foundation and Honda Corporation will provide the necessary funds for the 2,500 disadvantaged children to visit McWSC and participate in the Project. The Project’s goals will be enhanced by other McWSC exhibits, including a planned weather station, with a variety of weather instruments as well the ability to track the weather at McWSC in real time. These exhibit pieces will complement SOS data sets and messages about the environment. All visitors will have the opportunity to go to the SOS exhibit and participate in environmental education programs led by McWSC Education Staff. Each program corresponds to one of SOS data sets and to the Alabama Course of Study Standards for elementary and secondary schools. Visitors will be evaluated on-site at McWSC by McWane’s partners in the Department of Science and Technology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Evaluation of the Project will be conducted through surveys, interviews and touch poll stations in order to ascertain how effective the Project is in promoting environmental literacy. The intended outcomes of the Project are to make complex environmental science concepts more accessible to people of all ages; to provide educational opportunities to children who would otherwise not have access to this type of information; to partner with local and state academic institutions, school boards and municipalities to improve environmental science curricula and awareness; and to increase the visitor’s knowledge of and peak his interest in science and its related applications to life.

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Title: The Global Decision Room
Institution: The Orlando Science Center
PI: Brian P.Tonner
Total Project Funding: $175,000
Abstract:  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.

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2005 - Priority 1 Abstracts:

Title: Building and Distributing SciGuides and Science Objects
Institution: National Science Teachers Association
PI: Albert Byers
Total Project Funding: $463,071
Abstract: In fall 2004, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) embarked on a cooperative agreement with the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) to develop a series of education products for teachers corresponding to topics aligned to NOAA's mission. The products--called Science Objects and SciGuides--address teacher professional development needs, and provide classroom resources. The agreement includes both evaluative components and a means for dissemination. The topics are drawn from science education standards, specifically a draft Oceans map AAAS produced that is modeled after the benchmark maps found in the Atlas of Science Literacy (AAAS and NSTA, 2001). The topics are also informed by the National Science Educations Standards (N. R. Council, 1996). The topics were selected to support the curriculum at the high school level. These topics were in turn aligned to science research produced by NOAA scientists.

Several months after the cooperative agreement was formalized, NSTA and the NOAA Office of Education and Sustainable Development agreed to a work order to produce a single SciGuide at the middle school level that will draw on topics found in the AAAS Weather and Climate map. Production for this SciGuide is due to start in June 2005 and will be completed in November 2005.
To ensure topic choices, NSTA standards experts proposed a list from which to choose. Its experts also concentrated their analysis of the maps to the grade bands that interested each line office – high school for the NOS and middle school for the OESD. The universe of topics is far from exhausted. NSTA would like to expand on these partnerships to plan, implement, and evaluate two additional Science Objects and two SciGuides at the middle level, which will be disseminated through two Symposia that take place at NSTA conventions in fall 2006 and spring 2007. The additional development will fill in two of the gaps left open in the maps, and equip even more science educators to better teach the science of the NOAA, namely oceans, coasts, charting and navigation, weather, energy flow through an ecosystem, and climate. This partnership will bring NSTA educational professionals and master teachers together in an ongoing working relationship with NOAA scientists, writers, content experts, and communications professionals. 

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Title: DataStreme Ocean: AMS/NOAA Teacher Enhancement
Institution: American Meteorological Society
PI: Ira W. Geer
Total Project Funding: $990,000
Abstract: This project provides for the continued development of a national cadre of precollege teachers competent in ocean and coastal environmental science content and appropriate pedagogy who serve as Ocean Education Resource Teachers and leaders in their local areas and home states. In recognition of the vital role of teachers in promoting environmental literacy, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) proposes the ongoing offering and continual development of its in-service precollege teacher enhancement course entitled DataStreme Ocean.

The semester-long, three-credit hour graduate course will be offered at up to 25 sites nationally via three-member Local Implementation Teams (LITs). About 75 specially trained precollege teachers, college/university professors, and scientists serve on LITs. Project institutional partners include NOAA and the State University of New York at Brockport. DataStreme Ocean is partially delivered online and focuses on investigations of the ocean and coastal environment emphasizing the use of the most current NOAA data available on the Internet. Offered fall and spring semesters, 400 teachers will be trained during the 2005-06 school year. As part of their training, participants develop Plans of Action outlining their roles as Ocean Education Resource Teachers in their schools.

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Title: Multicultural students At Sea Together-3 (MAST-3)
Institution: Hampton University
PI: Benjamin Cuker
Total Project Funding: $ 359,099
Abstract: The primary goal of MAST-3 is to increase the diversity of students; particularly those from underrepresented groups, electing careers in NOAA related marine sciences. This is done through a multidisciplinary program that engages students in NOAA-related marine research, and explores marine policy, the heritage of African Americans and Native Americans in the coastal environment, and seamanship. MAST students will use the Chesapeake Bay to understand efforts to protect, restore and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management. To do this, Hampton University forms partnerships with various NOAA labs/sites, several university laboratories, the USEPA, various museums, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the menhaden fishing industry.

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Title: National Model Earth Science Lab Course
Institution: TERC
PIs: Daniel Barstow, Tamara Ledley, and Kathryn Manduca
Total Project Funding: $497,029
Abstract: A collaboration of five key states, an array of scientists and educators, and an experienced science curriculum team will develop and establish a National Model Earth Science Lab Course, providing standards and exemplary activities that will reach hundreds of thousands of students annually. The team will create a lab handbook with guidelines and exemplary activities in Earth system science and environmental literacy. All materials will be published on the web and available for free to teachers and students.

The initial set of four exemplary labs will engage students in field experiences, classroom experiments and active use of data and computer visualizations dealing with oceans, atmosphere and other NOAA domains. These hands-on learning experiences will help students develop environmental literacy, build deep understandings of Earth as a system, and apply scientific thinking, problem-solving and data analysis. The participating states view this as filling a crucial gap in the approval and implementation of Earth science as a standard high school lab science.

This project builds on planning done in a series of projects: National Conference on the Revolution in Earth Science Education, State Alliances for Earth Science Education, and Planning Grant for Earth System Science as a High School Lab Science. This National Model responds directly to essential needs expressed by the states. The labs will comply with national and state standards for Earth science and meet requirements for a true lab science course.

This project is bold and ambitious, but also essential for states striving to strengthen their high school Earth science offerings, and it is a practical response to NOAA's need to infuse its resources into the fabric of public Earth science education.

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Title: The Earth & Sky/NOAA Partnership
Institution: Earth & Sky
PI: Ryan Britton
Total Project Funding: $372,113
Abstract: The Earth & Sky radio series proposes to produce, distribute, market and evaluate 72 compelling environmental radio programs on oceanic and atmospheric topics featuring NOAA scientists, data and information. These programs will air at a rate of 24 programs per year over a three-year period as part of Earth & Sky's regularly scheduled programming to its many affiliates.

Earth & Sky will feature this new radio programming on our web site. The programs will be available in both text and a variety of audio formats including downloadable mp3 files, streaming m3u files, and will be available for podcast. The web site will also feature additional information that augments and supports the content of the radio programs, including links to relevant information, encouraging web visitors to delve deeper into a topic area and learn more.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. PLT will correlate their vast catalogue of existing environmental education curricula to each show. Correlations for each program will be listed next to that show in the dedicated PLT section of Earth & Sky's website.

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2005 - Priority 2 Abstracts:

Title: A Comprehensive Environmental Education Program Centered on NOAA's Science On a Sphere™
Institution: Bishop Museum
PIs: Mike Shanahan and Kay Fullerton
Total Project Funding: $493,970
Abstract: The Bishop Museum will develop, implement and evaluate of a full set of informal education programs centered on the Science On a Sphere™ exhibit. This proposal includes the following programs and exhibits:
-Eleven classroom modules on earth and ocean sciences (one module for each grade from kindergarten through 10th) using a field trip to the Science On a Sphere™ (SOS) and the new Science Adventure Center at Bishop Museum as the keystone for each module.
- Exhibits in the planetarium lobby that will augment the SOS display by providing additional content information, local tie-ins, and information on how SOS works.
- Daily live demonstrations at the sphere. This includes public demonstrations (1200 shows, 22,000 attendees during the grant period) and school children (400 shows, 9600 attendees during the grant period) for a total attendance of 31,600.
-Yearly teacher workshops (2 total, 80 educators) to promote the use of the classroom modules mentioned above with NOAA staff and museum staff.
Special-event programming incorporating the sphere: 1) An eight-session lecture series featuring NOAA staff; 2) Two annual ”Mad About Science” Festivals; 3) Eight Family Sunday events; 4) Twenty local television news and weather broadcasts using the sphere and its programs for content and background.

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Title: Educational Applications of the National Maritime Center Science on a Sphere™--A Collaborative Project
Institutions:
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hampton University
PIs: Steven Ackerman, University of Wisconsin-Madison; John Anderson, Hampton University
Total Project Funding: $500,000
Abstract: It is proposed to develop and implement a strong environmental literacy and science education program that promotes NOAA's Science on a Sphere™ (SOS), recently installed at The National Maritime Center's Nauticus museum. The program will create state-of-the-art science displays for the SOS that are integrated with high quality education materials that are aligned with national standards and specifically address the NOAA Education Plan. The University of Wisconsin (UW) has expertise in satellite data access and visualization systems. Hampton University (HU) has an excellent atmospheric and marine sciences education program. The National Maritime Center (TNMC), in close proximity to HU, has a strong education department interested in making effective use of the newly acquired SOS. The capabilities of these three partners will create an exciting and innovative education and information environment surrounding the SOS.

This program will use the SOS as a focal point to support learning about global oceanic and atmospheric circulations and their effect on local environments. The TNMC will have the capability to rapidly make the public aware of environmental events that are making the news. The team will create real time global displays of environmental phenomena for the SOS from the expansive UW environmental satellite database. Supporting computer visualization systems will allow viewers to move from global scale to regional and local scale in order to examine specific features of the phenomena being visualized. Thus, the program will create a rich data environment by integrating high spatial and temporal resolution visualizations of environmental phenomena to complement the global visualizations provided by the SOS.
Education materials will be developed that are suitable for formal and informal education programs. These will inform TNMC visitors about Earth environmental phenomena (e.g., Hurricanes and El Niño). User-driven interactive displays (e.g. kiosks) will allow visitors to learn about the physical processes producing the phenomena they see on the SOS and supporting systems, and then explore and understand them in greater detail. For example, the SOS display of a hurricane tracking across the Atlantic Ocean will be complimented with high resolution displays of the storm as it nears the U.S. East Coast. Viewers will be able to interactively investigate the storm using NOAA data, learn about the causes of hurricanes, and answer questions to test their understanding. Educators and scientists will collaborate to develop an online Problem-Based Learning (PBL) module on hurricanes to support classroom activities. To evaluate and improve these materials, the partners will provide field trips and docents to TNMC, including HU and UW graduate students. The teaming of HU, UW and TNMC in this program offers the opportunity to expose students from ethnic minority groups to various NOAA career paths and help produce graduates with solid technical backgrounds. The partnership leverages activities and expertise at each institution thereby reducing the cost and providing sustainability of the developed products. All three institutions have existing strong ties to NOAA's research and education programs.

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Title: NOAA's Science On a Sphere™ at the Bishop Museum (Installation award)
Institution: Bishop Museum
PI: Mike Shanahan
Total Project Funding: $170,000
Abstract: Bishop Museum proposes an installation of a Science On a Sphere™ (SOS) at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu , Hawai‘i beginning in 2005-2006. Science on a Sphere, a spherical multimedia display on which NOAA data can be displayed, provides an unparalleled opportunity for innovative and meaningful environmental education for all ages.

Teaching environmental literacy in Hawai‘i presents unique challenges and opportunities for the educator. Hawai‘i's natural environment is ideal for conducting research and education on significant topics of earth and ocean sciences; NOAA scientists currently play a large role in ongoing research in and around the Hawaiian Islands. Topics such as climate, ocean and coastal environments, weather, air and atmospheric quality and volcanoes are all of great interest to Hawaii's residents and visitors. However, the geographic isolation of the islands may result in a diminished global perspective among Hawaii 's student and general populations. These factors, combining demonstrated interest with demonstrated need, make Hawai‘i an ideal location for the Science On a Sphere™ project.

The addition of a SOS unit to the Museum will allow visitors to learn about the global earth systems that underlie the “science of Hawai‘i” featured in the Science Adventure Center at the Bishop Museum. The Bishop Museum plans to install the SOS as the central exhibit in a public gallery adjacent to the Museum's planetarium and the main entrance to the Museum grounds. The Science On a Sphere™ globe will feature a variety of data sets that will change on a regular basis when not being used by a live presenter. In addition, Bishop Museum staff and scientists will be able to assist in creating new and exciting visuals for SOS.

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Title: Science On a Sphere™ (SOS) Partnership Cooperative Agreement (Installation award)--A Collaborative Project
Institutions: Maryland Science Center, Science Museum of Minnesota
PIs: Manjit Goldberg, Maryland Science Center; Patrick Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota
Total Project Funding: $340,000
Abstract: This proposal is for the installation of a Science On a Sphere™ in the two museums comprising the SOS Partnership—a collaboration between the Maryland Science Center ( Baltimore ) and the Science Museum of Minnesota ( St. Paul ). Each of the two museum installations will take advantage of the wide variety of NOAA data sets that Science On a Sphere™ (SOS) projects onto a six-foot sphere, creating unique, animated, whole-planet views of real-time, past and forecasted, weather, climate and geophysical processes, and many other dramatic visualizations of the whole Earth.
Working with NOAA, the Maryland Science Center (MSC) experimented with SOS in its facility in June 2004 and learned about the considerable potential of this visualization technology to engage and inform public audiences about NOAA-related sciences. According to the SOS evaluation report prepared for MSC by RMC Research Corporation in December 2004, the vast majority of audiences stayed through 40-minute presentations, with many remaining afterwards to ask questions of the presenters. Most of these visitors said they would return to see this exhibit again and would recommend it to others. The overwhelmingly positive response of MSC audiences to SOS points to the potential for this technology to be a powerful visitor learning experience in the informal education environments of museums.

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Title: Science On a Sphere™ Partnership Programming Proposal--A Collaborative Project
Institutions: Maryland Science Center, Science Museum of Minnesota
PIs: Roberta Cooks, Maryland Science Center; Patrick Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota
Total Project Funding: $499,924
Abstract: Using the relative strengths of each museum, the Science On a Sphere™ Partnership between the Maryland Science Center (MSC) and the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) proposes to develop jointly two complementary but distinct exhibit approaches to Science On a Sphere™ (SOS). With its existing TerraLink exhibition and prior experience with SOS, MSC has strong in-house expertise in NOAA-related sciences and first-hand knowledge of how SOS works in an informal education setting. With its experience in the production of high-definition 3D cinema and its digital research and development center, SMM has expertise in the development and testing of new digital approaches to science learning.
Based on MSC's and SMM's combined yearly attendance, SOS will be available to 1.5 million visitors annually for the two years of this project. SMM—with the assistance of MSC—will incorporate SOS into a national traveling exhibition called “WATER PLANET.” Twenty museums already have expressed interest in hosting the exhibition. WATER PLANET, with SOS as one of its anchor experiences, will be seen by an estimated one million people a year once its tour begins in summer 2009.

Working with NOAA, MSC operated SOS in its facility in June 2004. Both SOS partner museums will develop and test somewhat differing approaches to presenting SOS to their audiences because of their different respective institutional settings for SOS, but both museums share in common expected outcomes for their visitors and for the project as a whole.

Audiences interacting with SOS will view the Earth in fundamentally new ways. A globe is the most accurate representation possible of the spherical Earth and thus SOS will enable viewers to observe global connections in geophysical phenomena not possible with any two dimensional representation of the Earth. Museum visitors will understand the technology of SOS and will recognize differences among past, real-time, and forecasted planetary data. They will appreciate how these data help humans monitor the Earth and will comprehend how human activities are influencing global processes now and might do so in the future. They will think about what actions need to be taken to support a healthy environment.
The SOS Partnership will develop ways to maximize the potential for museums to rapidly and readily refresh SOS content with current satellite datasets and will develop standardized SOS operation and maintenance protocols, thus facilitating adoption of SOS by other museums. The Partnership will develop means by which people can interact with SOS without the necessity of human mediation. MSC and SMM will experiment with how to use SOS to interest underserved audiences in science related careers. And the SOS partner museums will use SOS to test new partnership models for how informal science centers work with NOAA, other science research organizations, colleges and universities that broaden the educational impact of all groups.

The SOS Partnership will conduct a rigorous set of formative, remedial, and summative evaluations of this project. The evaluation work will be conducted both by museum staff and by an outside evaluator with considerable experience in evaluating these types of projects. Both SOS partner museums are committed to broadly disseminating information about SOS to the museum community and are already involved in activities that do so.

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Title: Integrating Science On a Sphere™ into The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California
Institution: The Tech Museum of Innovation
PI: Greg Brown
Total Project Funding: $170,000
Abstract: This cooperative agreement will support the Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech) in San Jose, California in acquiring SOS-related hardware and software, as well as providing the technical support to facilitate the installation of SOS in The Tech's Exploration Gallery in 2005-2006.
Science On a Sphere™ will be the focal point of The Tech Museum's newly renovated Explorations gallery. The dramatic sphere will draw visitors to the center of the 8,000 square-foot space. Hands-on experiences around the sphere will engage visitors in meaningful explorations of NOAA data. The Tech Museum will apply its exhibit and program development expertise to make SOS accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and educational levels. All panel text, audio, and captions will be presented in both English and Spanish to allow greater accessibility for local audiences.

The Tech's SOS system will focus on three topics of great interest to Californians:

Earthquakes, Oceans, Space. NOAA data will enable us to showcase the technology that is used to measure, monitor, and track environmental changes in our world. We hope to further address the potential of data modeling to aid in predicting the future state of the environment based on our actions.

The Tech is also opening a new environment exhibition, Green By Design (GBD) in 2006. This exhibit focuses on how sustainable design and technological innovation offer potential solutions to many of our global environmental challenges. SOS will provide a compelling centerpiece to support the educational purpose of this gallery as it effectively illustrates how data collected with remote sensing technologies are helping us understand and make predictions about our dynamic environment and the future of our planet. SOS will illustrate how these data collecting technologies assist us in developing our knowledge about our planet and its solar system.

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Title: The Tech Museum Environmental Literacy Programming Grant
Institution: Tech Museum of Innovation
PI: Greg Brown
Total Project Funding: $230,602
Abstract: The Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech) in San Jose, California proposes to partner with NOAA to integrate Science On a Sphere™ (SOS) into The Tech's Exploration gallery and to facilitate the development of informal and formal learning programs. Exhibits and programs at The Tech focus on the integration of emerging technologies into hands-on visitor experiences.

In 2004, The Tech partnered with NOAA, the Maryland Science Center (MSC), and a consortium of national science centers to explore the potential and effectiveness of SOS as a method of engaging and informing the general public about NOAA-related sciences. Initial testing of SOS at the Maryland Science Center revealed that SOS is a visually compelling and engaging medium for conveying complex scientific information to museum visitors. Ninety-eight percent of visitors tested regarded a facilitated SOS program as a good or excellent experience with strong visitor retention suggesting the potential of SOS as a compelling visitor tool. However, when the experience was not facilitated this retention dropped dramatically. Support from NOAA will enable The Tech to test SOS and NOAA data in a number of formats to determine the most effective ways to utilize this incredible technology. The results of this evaluation will be shared with other museums using SOS to improve its reach in teaching informal audiences and promoting interest in both STEM content and NOAA research.

The SOS exhibit will bring together scientists, technologists, informal education specialists, and young users to unlock the educational potential of NOAA's datasets and further NOAA's educational plan. Hands-on experiences using SOS will engage visitors in meaningful explorations of NOAA data. The Tech Museum will make SOS accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and educational levels. All panel text, audio, and captions will be presented in both English and Spanish to allow greater accessibility for local audiences. SOS will provide the programming platform upon which to explore the educational opportunities of this gallery as it illustrates how data collected with remote sensing technologies is helping us understand and make predictions about our dynamic environment and the future of our planet. SOS will illustrate how these data collecting technologies assist us in developing our knowledge about our planet and its solar system.

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