Headwaters to Ocean Education ProgramLauren Bien, Prince William Sound Science Center
Scope of Work:
The Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) requests $60,000 form the Oil Spill Recovery Institute to support the direct engagement track of our Headwaters to Ocean Education Program (H2O). This proposal addresses the K-12 Education portion of OSRI’s FY19 Work Plan. 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 continue to frame all 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 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 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.
Discovery Outreach 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 Discovery Outreach 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 delivery of marine-themed Discovery Outreach programs focused on engaging youth from Alaska, outside of the Prince William Sound area. Additionally, we will publish a video for our remotely operated vehicle kits.
Discover Cordova 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 Discover Cordova 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.