The environmental science department at Queens College received a $1.3 million grant to train teachers to instill a better understanding of science in elementary schools.
The grant — awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Sept. 25 — recognized the college’s work with Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment — NY Metro program. This partnership is part of a global initiative which aims to foster more scientific understanding and appreciation in students from primary to secondary schools.
The project — Into the Woods: using student research in the urban environment to enhance elementary school environmental literacy — was awarded a total of $1,355,463.
Awards were selected through a peer-reviewed process from a total of 104 applications. The award winners will have the opportunity to partner with NOAA’s research laboratories, national marine sanctuaries and climate, fisheries, weather, reef and sea services.
QC was one of eight recipients of the grant across the nation, receiving the largest chunk out of the $4.5 million grant.
The money will be paid out in annual chunks over the next four years. The largest piece goes directly to supporting the participating teachers, through stipends for attending the weekend workshops, materials for conducting long term environmental research activities with their classes and supporting them and their students to participate in an annual GLOBE Science Symposium to be held at QC.
There is also a piece to pay release time to faculty members conducting the required workshops and money to pay GLOBE NY Metro staff to work directly with teachers in their schools or going on field trips.
“Since the award was to foster Environmental Literacy we are encouraging the teachers to run a lot of field trips to local parks,” said QC Prof. Peter Schmidt, associate director of GLOBE-NY Metro.