Archives

Spotlight on NEOSEC Ocean Literacy Summit Planners – Megan Strand and NESS and SENEME

Megan Strand is the NEOSEC representative from both New England Science & Sailing (NESS) and Southeastern New England Marine Educators (SENEME) and is serving on this year’s Ocean Literacy Summit Planning Committee. “I’m proud of being part of an awesome team at both places. We are passionate about what we do. We couldn’t do what we do without that passion.” When Megan first joined NESS, the NEOSEC representative was leaving and the 2016 summit planning was underway. Megan took on the role. “I never left the Planning Committee. It’s good to have people with different ideas – teamwork!” Both NESS and SENEME tie in with the NEOSEC mission. “You want to push the ocean literacy principles because everyone should have knowledge of the ocean. We are trying to keep ocean resources as healthy as possible.”

NESS is an ocean adventure non-profit that provides STEM-based education on and off the water. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations, including team-building programs for teachers and corporate groups. Megan is enthusiastic about her role as education specialist at NESS. “NESS provides a unique learning environment on the water. In one of my courses, I teach physics on a kayak. We can teach about physics by focusing on forces because while the water pushes the kayak up, gravity pushes the kayak down. Buoyancy comes into the equation and based on the surface area of the kayak, you have a floating boat. Add in the forces created when using a paddle and it’s a real-life physics lab! It’s fun – science learning as an adventure sport.” Megan sees that some students aren’t engaged at first. “It really, really bothers me when I get a student or group of students who have been told they can’t do something. They’ve lost self-worth. This leads to apathy towards education and our environment. I sometimes see this at the beginning of our program but then we get them outside and it doesn’t last long.”

NESS links all their plans to ocean literacy standards. “We are constantly building what schools don’t have the ability to do. They can come to us. We have programs that teachers can’t replicate.” Megan is currently learning how to program Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) so she can teach how to use computers to get real-time data. In addition to supporting traditional schools, NESS provides programs for home schooling, summer camp, and AmeriCorps at the New London middle school. Inclusiveness is one of the core values of NESS along with experiential learning, personal growth, and stewardship. Megan describes how NESS fulfills its values. “Sailing tends to be a money sport. Our president was concerned about that. He wanted to offer sailing to everyone. Our New London initiative is an inner-city program. Many of the students have never been on the water, even though the live on the coast. We really try to get everyone on the water, regardless of ability to pay.”

The SENEME regional chapter is a professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to the cause of marine education in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Megan serves as President. “I facilitate all the wonderful talents of other board members.” SENEME promotes marine education in many ways including publishing teaching aids, classroom resource lists, and a newsletter featuring bulletins about conferences and workshops. SENEME provides scholarships and mini grants for teachers. They also offer workshops, an annual conference, and field trips to diverse marine ecosystems throughout the region.   

Megan, thank you for your energy supporting the oceans and NEOSEC!

Biomimicry Workshop for Informal Educators

 

Workshop for Informal Educators:
Biomimicry
New England Aquarium
February 27, 2015                        9am – 3:30pm

 
Join with other informal education professionals to explore Biomimicry – the process of emulating nature’s strategies. For 3.8 billion years plants, animals and microbes have been evolving and solving complex problems. Using an approach to innovation that seeks inspiration from nature, Biomimicry often looks to the ocean and marine animals. You are invited to join in exploring this fascinating topic and its potential in engaging a range of audiences through informal education.  This workshop will be an opportunity to learn from experts and practitioners on how Biomimicry can address some of the top environmental issues and how as informal educators we can inspire a new group of innovators to look towards nature to create sustainable solutions. 
 
This workshop, designed for and by informal educators, will include:
·        Keynote address by Sam Stier, Founding Director, Learning with Nature and former Director of Youth Education at Biomimicry 3.8. Sam will provide an introduction to biomimicry with an emphasis on the marine world followed by some examples of how it has been included in informal education for children.
·        Q&A with Sam Stier and group reflections on how Biomimicry can be used as a platform for informal education.
·        Planning and discussion groups based on topic areas the group identifies that will allow each educator to leave with one or more concrete ideas or activities to advance their work.
 
Offered by the New England Aquarium and Biomimicry New England
 

Cost:  FREE                                                              
Registration is required and space is limited
Register by Wednesday, February 25th
Please click on this link to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BiomimicryforIE

 
Please bring your own lunch or be prepared to purchase lunch from area vendors.
Driving, parking and public transportation information can be found here:  http://www.neaq.org/visit_planning/maps_directions_and_parking/index.php
Unfortunately we cannot offer free parking.  Public transportation is recommended.
Workshop will be held in the New England Aquarium’s Ocean Center.
 
Contact Rebekah Stendahl with questions: rstendahl@neaq.org, 617-973-6580

Introduction to Evaluation and Visitor Studies

New England Museum Association presents this workshop: Introduction to Evaluation and Visitor Studies.
This workshop is designed to give you the basics of evaluation techniques and visitor studies, so that you can “do it yourself,” even on a shoe-string budget. Not many museums can afford their own evaluation team, so take advantage of learning from the pros at the Museum of Science! They will discuss the role of evaluation in museums as well as share the nuts and bolts of conducting evaluations at your own institution.

When: Friday, May 14, 2010, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Museum of Science, Boston, MA (parking is free!)
Register online at www.nemanet.org/workshops/10adminworkshop.htm
Questions? Call NEMA, 781-641-0013.
This workshop is just one of the many that are being offered this spring. Click here for a complete list.

Job Opportunity – Summer Programs Educator, VA

The Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, housed at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point, VA seeks a full-time Summer Programs Educator.  This temporary staff person (June through August 2010) is responsible for supporting five summer camp programs for students in 1st-8th grade, including materials coordination, assisting with camp lab and field programs, and supporting other education programs.  For more information and to submit a cover letter and resume, contact Sarah McGuire, Education Coordinator (mcguire@vims.edu).   Deadline for applications is 3/31/10.

Ocean Observing Stories – Newest Addition

As an informal educator, Katie Gardner works hard to help students understand how scientists observe and monitor the ocean.  She even replicates many of the common problems scientists run into in the field, so students can appreciate how difficult it is.  Even still, she wonders whether the path ahead to engaging students in ocean observing systems is daunting.

Read the latest addition to COSEE-Networked Ocean World’s Ocean Observing Stories :

The Challenge of Understanding Measurements

NASA Funding Opportunity for Informal Education Institutions

NASA has announced a competitive funding opportunity for informal education that could result in the award of grants or cooperative agreements to several of the nation’s science centers, museums and planetariums. Approximately $6 million is available for new awards.  Proposals for the Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums are expected to use NASA resources to enhance informal education programs related to space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science or microgravity. Full proposals are due Sept. 10.  Proposals for the program are expected to encourage life-long engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and focus on NASA’s contributions to these disciplines.  NASA will accept proposals from institutions of informal education that are science museums or planetariums in the United States or its territories. NASA centers, federal agencies, federally funded research and development centers, education-related companies, and other institutions and individuals may apply through partnership with a qualifying lead organization.  For detailed information about the opportunity, click on “Open Solicitations” and look for Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums (CP4SMP) or solicitation number NNH09ZNE005N at: http://nspires.nasaprs.com