This project will prepare 250+ elementary students from rural and immigrant/refugee communities to participate in Maine’s growing aquaculture industry through an integrated suite of carefully designed learning experiences. These experiences will include hands-on field experiences at active aquaculture farms, mentorship with local farmers, and classroom-based activities which foreground the affordances of scientific modeling as a means to represent, test, and understand relationships within the natural world.
The goal is to establish a bridge between the classroom and a regional workforce, and to develop multiple areas of skill and knowledge – including systems thinking and economic reasoning – that can be flexibly deployed across a students’ entire academic career and across evolving future work environments. This project will elucidate a model for connecting local youth with regionally relevant careers and contribute to the understanding of how a learning model connecting students with a local workforce can support the development of STEM knowledge and identities, particularly in those from underrepresented backgrounds.
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, award #2048828.
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