FRAMINGHAM – As climate change-fueled weather continues to wreak havoc across the globe this summer, Framingham State’s Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning is aiming to inspire the next generation of scientists and environmental activists who will confront this growing crisis.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded the McAuliffe Center a $49,964 grant to run a project-based program that aims to foster awareness and understanding of global and local environmental issues among high-school age youth and their communities.
Called Perspective of Earth Team Mentorship, the effort builds upon the work the Center has been doing with limited resources over the past three years through its See Yourself in STEM program. It integrates environmental and climate education with civic engagement and engages youth in a project-based learning experience during out-of-school time.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for supporting this
initiative,” says McAuliffe Center Director Dr. Irene Porro. “Not only does it allow us to expand our efforts, it also validates the work our small team has done over the last three years in collaboration with Framingham, Milford and Marlborough High Schools.”
The goal of the program is for the youth to develop an understanding of environmental challenges and create an awareness campaign directed to their own communities that uses video production and both permanent and traveling exhibits. The proposed approach is supported by evidence that science learning experiences linked to societal needs motivate youth’s engagement in STEM and communication practices.