October 20, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today applauded an announcement that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded $6.5 million in grant funding to Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) to support climate change education in Maine and across the country.
“Providing students with innovative educational opportunities is crucial to engaging our nation’s students with STEM fields,” said Senator Collins. “GMRI gives students from Maine and from around the country the chance to gain first-hand experience in understanding the challenges faced by our state’s coastal communities. This important investment continues to build on the impressive educational opportunities already provided by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and will help to empower students to pursue careers in STEM and scientific discovery.”
“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,” Senator King said. “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. With the changes we’re seeing in the Gulf of Maine and around the globe, this mission has never been more important. I am thrilled NASA has recognized GMRI’s excellence in science and technology education, and look forward to following this innovative program as it enables our students build a deeper understanding of the impact of climate change on the world around them.”
The grant, titled Real World, Real Science: Using NASA Data to explore Weather and Climate, will support a redevelopment of GMRI’S existing LabVenture! Program, which is currently featured in the Cohen Center for Interactive Learning in Portland. This renewal will allow the Cohen Center technology to be web-accessible for classrooms and informal science organizations nationwide. Educators and students will be able to customize and localize the program to study the effects of climate and weather in their specific region.
GMRI is a nonprofit organization that researches the complex marine ecology in the Gulf of Maine and studies the many challenges of ocean stewardship and economic growth in the region. GMRI provides students and teachers with science education resources and engages fishermen in collaborative research. This is the largest grant in the institute’s history.
The funding, awarded through NASA’s Science Mission Directorate education program, officially starts on November 1, 2015 and is a five-year grant. The new program content will be available for students in the 2018-2019 school year.