NOAA Education

Environmental Literacy Grants Program

Grants for Science on a Sphere Network Capacity Building and K-12 Education Announced: FY09

Overview of Funding Announcements

NOAA's Environmental Literacy Grants for K-12
In December 2007 NOAA's Office of Education (OEd) issued a request for applications for environmental literacy projects in support of K-12 education. Funded projects will be between one and five years in duration and will promote changes in K-12 education to expand the amount of Earth System Science taught in the classroom and improve student learning of that subject. Successful projects will catalyze change in K-12 education through development of new programs and materials and/or revision of existing programs and materials by supporting transformative methods: those practices (which are not necessarily new) that are likely to increase the environmental literacy of K-12 teachers and their students by increasing the amount of Earth System Science taught in grades K-12. This federal funding opportunity meets NOAA's Mission Goal to understand climate variability and change to enhance society's ability to plan and respond.  For any questions concerning this funding opportunity, please visit our FAQ website www.oesd.noaa.gov/elg_faqs.html before contacting the Office of Education.

You can view the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for details on this funding opportunity. Further information is also available on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for this competition.

 

NOAA's Science on a Sphere Network Capacity Building
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 need to 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 are 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. Individuals not affiliated with an eligible institution were not eligible to apply for funding under this announcement.

You can view the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for details on this funding opportunity. Further information is also available on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for this competition.

 

Awards

The awards, which total over $2.9 million, will support education projects designed to engage the public in activities that increase ocean and/or climate literacy and the adoption of a stewardship ethic. They support projects that involve: SOS software development, SOS hardware enhancement, enhancement of SOS audience interaction techniques, development of curriculum and curriculum enhancement materials, and pre- and in-service teacher professional development. 

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

Project Title

PI/Institution

Full Amount Awarded

Summary

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

Douglas Duncan /The Regents of the University of Colorado

$69,893

Click here

Science On a Sphere Revitalization Act for ASTC 2010 and Beyond

Leon  Geschwind/Bishop Museum

$49,990

Click here

Resources for Climate Literacy Instruction

Roseman/AAAS

$ 750,000

Click here

Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence for Grades 6-8

Strang/ Univ. of California -Berkeley, Lawrence Hall of Science

$ 748,811

Click here

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

Rack/ University of Nebraska - Lincoln

$ 694,093

Click here

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

Myers/ IGES

$ 645,815

Click here

 

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: 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(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.

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Title: Resources for Climate Literacy Instruction
Institution: AAAS
PI(s): Roseman
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(s): Strang
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(s): Rack
Summary: activities to promote environmental literacy using the essential principles of ocean and climate literacy. In partnership s with NOAA entities, school districts, and museums across the United States, we propose to 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 “grouphub”; 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(s): Myers
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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