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NOAA OED - ELG FY2009 SOS Awardees
NOAA Office of Education NOAA Office of Education NOAA Homepage









Environmental Literacy Grants Program

Grants for Science on a Sphere Network Capacity Building: FY09

Back to Funding Competition History

Overview of Funding Announcement

In January 2009 NOAA's Office of Education (OEd) issued a request for applications or projects designed to build capacity within NOAA's Science On a Sphere (SOS) Users Collaborative Network (Network) to enhance the educational use of spherical display systems as public exhibits. Funded projects were required to be between one and three years in duration, support ocean education projects led by eligible applicants, and address the goals of this program: (1) to improve the understanding of how spherical display systems can be used to enhance informal science education learning, and (2) to build environmental literacy among the general public through increased use of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate data in informal education institutions.  Eligible applicants were U.S. institutions of higher education, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and state, local, and Indian tribal governments and Federal agencies in the United States.


The awards are summarized below. For more information regarding specific awards, please contact the Office of Education Grants Team.


Project Title


Full Amount Awarded


Building Capacity for NOAA's Science on a Sphere Network - Fiske Planetarium

Douglas Duncan, The Regents of the University of Colorado


see below

Science On a Sphere Revitalization Act for ASTC 2010 and Beyond

Leon  Geschwind, Bishop Museum


see below


Title: Building Capacity for NOAA's Science on a Sphere Network - Fiske Planetarium
Institution: The Regents of the University of Colorado
PI(s): Douglas Duncan
Summary: The Fiske Planetarium proposes 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.


Title: Science On a Sphere Revitalization Act for ASTC 2010 and Beyond
Institution: Bishop Museum
PI(s): Leon  Geschwind
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.