Headwaters to Oceans Education Program
Headwaters to Oceans Education ProgramLauren Bien, Prince William Sound Science Center
Scope of Work:
Our direct engagement track consists of education programs (each described below) for elementary and secondary school students in Cordova and other communities in coastal Alaska. This year PWSSC will frame all of our programs around the theme “understanding our home”. It is our goal to help future leaders become scientifically and ecologically literate so they are prepared to make informed decisions that promote sustainable resource use and preserve interconnected and diverse natural systems. We are committed to engaging students in their local environment to allow them to develop an intimate understanding and appreciation of their home to meet this goal.
Discovery Room provides hands-on science education to students in Cordova’s elementary school with the goal of inspiring a life-long passion for science and increasing scientific literacy. PWSSC proposes to deliver and share lessons and materials related to OSRI’s mission of understanding the effects of oil spills, oil spill response and recovery, technology development, and characterization of Arctic and sub-Arctic marine ecosystems where spills may occur. OSRI funding will support program delivery to allow for connectivity between the Discovery Room and Secondary School Outreach activities we support. The hands-on, inquiry-based Discovery Room experiences will give students the familiarity of healthy marine ecosystems, the skills needed to monitor natural systems, understanding of human impacts such as climate change and oil spills on marine ecosystems, and allow for exploration of oil spill response strategies.
Secondary School Outreach programs allow PWSSC to keep older students engaged in marine science-centric activities that promote critical thinking, problem-solving and ecological literacy. OSRI funding will support program delivery of lessons about ocean sciences to secondary school students in Discovery Room, Outreach Discovery, and National Ocean Sciences Bowl programs.
Outreach Discovery programs extend Discovery Room programming to audiences outside of Cordova and increase the number of individuals served by Science Center education programs. Many of the students served by Outreach Discovery programs qualify as “underserved populations” and often have limited access to science and environmental education resources and opportunities. We propose to apply OSRI funds to support the delivery of marine-themed Outreach Discovery programs focused on engaging youth from Northern Alaska, Western Alaska, or the Aleutian Islands. Outreach Discovery may also occur in Prince William Sound or beyond. Additionally, we will develop an assembly guide for our remotely operated vehicle kits.
Mini Discovery programs: PWSSC staff plans to engage youth who are not yet school age in hands-on activities that emphasize the diversity, role, and value of Arctic and sub-Arctic marine ecosystem components. These Mini Discovery programs, which may be offered in any season, will prepare youth and their parents for eventual participation in Discovery Room or Outreach Discovery activities and inspire young ecosystem stewards.