NASA Grant Provides $6.5 Million for Science Literacy

Announcements | Dec 31, 2015

Chief Education Officer Leigh Peake stands behind a brown podium, facing to the left with her hands gesturing.

In the fall of 2015, NASA committed $6.5 million — the largest grant in our organization’s history — to GMRI and a set of significant national partners.

This grant will help create a new LabVenture! experience, in which students will explore the dynamic relationship between weather and climate. This interdisciplinary and data-rich content will immerse students in one of the most important challenges of our time: our changing climate.

This effort will also provide technical infrastructure to deliver GMRI’s educational content beyond our lab, throughout Maine and across the country. Updated technology will make the program web-accessible for classrooms and informal science education organizations nationwide.

Educators and students will be able to customize and localize the program to their regional experiences of weather and climate. This allows GMRI to support other science and technology centers in the development of rich partnerships with schools and a sustained connection to NASA earth science.

Through localization and customization of the program, students anywhere will be able to use NASA data to investigate: What’s happening in my home? In my region? Around the globe? In my time? And in the past?

In the last decade, we’ve served over 100,000 Maine students — from York County to Aroostook — through our LabVenture! program. This NASA grant expands the impact of LabVenture!, both in terms of content and national reach.

Leigh Peake Chief Education Officer
Leigh Peake Chief Education Officer

This new initiative builds on our long organizational history of providing free, immersive, authentic science education experiences that develop the universal skills needed for active citizenship and rewarding careers.

We begin this effort with the strong support of our state and community. Senator Angus King joined many others in congratulating GMRI on the award.

“The scientists and educators at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute embody Maine’s innovative spirit, and this exciting collaboration with NASA is yet another example of their forward-thinking leadership,” said King. “GMRI’s work to equip students and teachers with interactive science and technology will help inspire the next generation of scientists and, ultimately, advance our knowledge of climate change.”

The five-year project is already underway, with students set to experience new program content starting in the 2018-2019 school year.

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