NOAA Announces $4.5 Million in Environmental Literacy Grants to Support K-12 Science Education and Stewardship Projects

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry one of the grant recipients

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 20, 2012.  NOAA announced yesterday the results of its recent competitions for education grants to enhance science education activities in classrooms, aquariums, museums and other institutions across America. A total of $4.5 million in grants from the NOAA Office of Education’s Environmental Literacy Grants Program will be awarded to support six unique, multi-year projects.

Projects are designed to increase stewardship and informed decision-making within a diverse pool of educators, students and the public to help promote environmental literacy. The selected projects will partner with NOAA’s research laboratories, national marine sanctuaries, Climate Program Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Weather Service, Pacific Services Center, Coral Reef Conservation Program and Sea Grant.

“NOAA’s Office of Education is proud to partner with such an impressive group of organizations,” said Louisa Koch, director of education at NOAA. “It is only with the help of institutions such as these that we can successfully engage the public in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics while supporting NOAA’s mission of science, service, and stewardship’.”

These multi-year projects will focus on engaging formal and informal educators along with K-12 students. Project activities include formal K-12 educator training programs to help teachers incorporate NOAA data and other resources into experiential learning activities; service learning programs for K-12 students that combine standards-based learning with stewardship activities in students’ local communities; and professional development to enhance informal science educators’ effectiveness in increasing public understanding of complex ocean topics. 

Recipients include:

  • Angelo State University (San Angelo, Texas): “Earth system science for elementary teachers” — $403,436
  • Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago, Ill.): “Great Lakes revealed: Piloting professional development for high-need educators using NOAA’s Science on a Sphere and an inquiry- and problems-based approach to learning climate and Earth science” — $446,580
  • Earth Force, Inc. (Denver, Colo.): Global Rivers Environmental Education Network: Great Lakes science and service learning initiative — $677,192
  • Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.): “Into the Woods: Using student research in the urban environment to enhance elementary school environmental literacy” — $1,355,463
  • Nature Bridge (San Francisco, Calif.): “Environmental literacy for all: Creating comprehensive environmental service learning and professional development for diverse K-12 students and teachers” — $682,742
  • Florida Aquarium (Tampa, Fla.), Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, Calif.) and Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward, Alaska): “Building Ocean Awareness Together: Interpreting challenging ocean issues” — $898,490

The eight grants will be two to four years in duration and range in value from approximately $232,000 to $1,355,000. Awards were selected through peer-reviewed processes from a total of 104 applications received. NOAA’s program offices and research laboratories work closely with applicants to ensure projects incorporate the agency’s unique assets and current oceanic and atmospheric research in order to increase the awareness and utilization of NOAA’s work in education projects.

Congress established NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Grants Program in 2005. NOAA is planning to release a new funding opportunity in late winter 2013. A comprehensive list of awards and more information on NOAA’s Office of Education funding opportunities is available online.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at and join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels