The NOAA Office of Education and NAAEE have a 5-year partnership in place to increase environmental and science literacy among NOAA’s partners and external networks.
Education plays a significant role in supporting NOAA’s mission. The NOAA Office of Education coordinates activities across the agency and supports the integration of NOAA science into education programs. Through this partnership, NOAA and NAAEE aim to create a more environmentally literate society that has the knowledge, skills, and motivation to conserve our natural resources and build more resilient communities across the country. NAAEE helps NOAA strengthen professional networks, disseminate best practices, support high-quality STEM education, and provide education and outreach for educators and other target audiences.
Administering the 21CCLC Partnership
Through the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Watershed STEM Education Partnership grant program, NAAEE supports the mutual STEM education goals of NOAA and the U.S. Department of Education. These grants provide 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) with access to authentic STEM experiences that use NOAA's unique education mission as a context for engagement.
eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy Mini-Grants
Through the NOAA-NAAEE Collaborative Aquaculture Literacy mini-grants program, NAAEE supports partnerships sharing the mutual aquaculture literacy goals of NOAA's Office of Education, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and National Sea Grant Office. These mini-grants provide informal learning institutions (e.g., aquariums), aquaculture industry (e.g., shellfish, finfish, seaweed farmers), and NOAA partners with support for the co-development of innovative educational experiences that explore aquaculture topics. Successful proposals are using the unique education mission of NOAA’s Office of Education and NAAEE eeBLUE partnership as a context for engagement and advancement of public aquaculture literacy.
Facilitating Partnerships With and Between External Networks
NAAEE works with NOAA to identify stakeholders with complementary environmental and scientific literacy missions in order to facilitate partnerships and help build networks. Activities include a range of involvement, such as sponsoring professional society conferences and co-hosting workshops that address issues of common interest and enable collaboration and capacity building among NOAA partner networks.
The SOS workshops optimize the utilization of spherical display systems for providing science educational messages. Participation in this workshop is limited to members of the NOAA Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network and invited groups who are working with the network.
The NOAA Office of Education Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) currently funds projects that build the environmental literacy necessary for community resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards. NAAEE supported the 2nd Resilience Education Grantee Workshop in 2019. Hosted at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, grantees learned about each other's projects, lessons learned, and impacts to date; met with local scientists and other resilience programs; and provided input to a theory of change on education for community resilience.
The Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center (CELC) Network is a consortium of 27 aquariums and marine science education centers located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAAEE works with NOAA to support workshops that bring together the aquariums’ education directors to discuss impacts and collaborate on priorities and signature initiatives. In addition, NAAEE is supporting a CELC Network Youth Summit in 2020, where the aquariums’ youth leaders will travel to NOAA Headquarters for interactive workshops and action-project planning.
NOAA B-WET is a competitive grant program that funds locally relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 audiences through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). NAAEE provides support for B-WET regional meetings to support collaboration and grantee capacity building.
Managing and Supporting STEM-focused Competitions
NAAEE supports competitions that facilitate science and environmental literacy, including but not limited to, science fairs, art competitions, and small-scale grant awards.
Science Olympiad is an academic competition for students in grades K-12. NOAA has teamed up with Science Olympiad to provide in-depth and up-to-date resources. At the national competition level, NOAA sponsors Meteorology and supports Dynamic Planet.