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BOSTON (September 18, 2018) – The Museum of Science, Boston was awarded a $500,000 Environmental Literacy grant by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a project focused on educating communities about building resilience to natural hazards. In partnership with Arizona State University, Northeastern University, SciStarter, the National Informal Science Education Network, and educators from science centers around the US, the Museum of Science is will work to engage diverse groups of participants at 28 science centers around the United States in active learning and resilience planning around heat waves, sea level rise, extreme precipitation, and drought.
NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program is funding nine new projects that will use education to build the foundation for resilience to weather and climate hazards. Together, these projects — reaching from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands — will receive a total of $3 million to empower people to protect themselves and their communities from local environmental threats. This is the fourth year that NOAA’s Office of Education is funding community resilience projects through its Environmental Literacy Program. The Museum of Science’s project, named Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities (CSCRC) will enable participants to collect, analyze, and share data relevant to local resilience planners, learn about vulnerabilities through visualizations of geospatial data and participate in deliberative problem‐solving, sharing perspectives about resilience strategies and their societal and environmental trade‐offs, formulating community resilience plans, and presenting findings and recommendations to resilience planners and the public.
“Hurricane season reminds us of the importance of building awareness and informed decision making about climate hazards and community resilience. We need to engage a variety of stakeholders to maintain safe and prosperous communities across the country,” said Ioannis Miaoulis, President and Director of the Museum of Science, Boston. “NOAA’s Environmental Literacy grant provides us with an incredible opportunity to collaborate with partners on a larger scale, expanding the project’s reach to engage diverse groups, who will in turn help inform planners and their communities. Addressing today’s realities of extreme climate events necessitates an all-hands-on-deck approach and this award will allow us to reach out to as many people as possible.”
The 2018 competition received 237 pre-applications from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories, with a total request of more than $100 million. Of these, 59 applications were accepted for full review. The nine grantees were selected through rigorous peer review by a group of experts representing the fields of science education, resilience planning, and education evaluation.
"We're pleased to support these nine new projects and expand our network of partners supporting community resilience through education,” said Louisa Koch, NOAA Director of Education. “Not only will they expand the geographic impact of our work but just as importantly they will bring new perspectives and expertise to use informal and formal education as tools to help people and their communities become more resilient to climate and severe weather hazards.”
Recent climate and environmental events and hazards underscore the need for resilience education. The CRSC project aims to sustain engagement and increase environmental literacy among forum and citizen science participants, contribute citizen-created data, local knowledge and community values to local resilience planning efforts, increase capacity among ISE institutions for convening and leading participatory activities to engage citizens in resilience planning and data collection, and develop a theory of action to inform future resilience planning efforts.
About the Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world's largest science centers and New England's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces more than 1.3 million visitors a year to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through the world-class hands-on exhibits, programs and pre-K-12 curricula of its William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center. An extraordinary variety of learning experiences span the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. The Science Behind Pixar, created with Pixar Animation Studios, is touring internationally. The Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® has transformed STEM education nationally and internationally through advocacy, standards and assessment reforms, teacher professional development, and curriculum development. The Museum’s pre-K-12 curricula, including its award-winning Engineering is Elementary®, have reached an estimated 15 million students and 165,000 educators. Visit: http://www.mos.org.