Pacific Ocean Literacy for Youth, Publics, Professionals and Scientists - 09.15.2008Ocean sciences faculty and educators in the University of Hawaii System and COSEE California propose a new collaboration to extend the COSEE California courses Communicating Ocean Sciences (COS) and Communicating Ocean Sciences for Informal Audiences (COSIA) to the Central Pacific region. The new project, Pacific Ocean Literacy for Youth, Publics, Professionals and Scientists (POLYPPS), will be based in Hawaii. It will focus on training educators and scientists to effectively communicate ocean sciences to a multi-ethnic population within a range of cultural contexts. Lead by the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), POLYPPS is a collaboration with a broad set of partners, including universities, community colleges, research institutes, professional societies, aquariums, museums, community organizations, governmental agencies, and private companies. The partners advocate that education in the ocean sciences should involve teaching students to apply ocean literacy concepts and use inquiry-based leaning to improve not only their own lives but also their local, national, and global communities.
The primary objective of the POLYPPS collaboration with COSEE California reflects the COSEE network's mission of integrating research and education in the ocean sciences. Intellectual Merit: POLYPPS will engage researchers, educators and a range of community partners in a network that builds ocean literacy for (1) Hawaii's youth (K-16 students) and public, including Hawaii's substantial, year-round transient tourist population; (2) professionals working in ocean-related businesses; and (3) scientists engaged in ocean research. We will adapt and implement the COSEE California COS and COSIA courses for our island setting. Broader Impacts: The training for these courses and the teaching of them will create relationships to bridge formal and informal education, research, traditional cultural practices, and public activities. During the three-year period, POLYPPS will help educators employ contextual, place-based ways to engage students in STEM courses. POLYPPS' long-range goal is to build a collaborative network that connects ocean research and teaching with traditional knowledge to facilitate active engagement in stewardship and policy by all ocean users.
The main activities of POLYPPS will be:  Organize a training workshop in collaboration with COSEE California staff that will train a cadre of professionals in Hawaii to teach the COS/COSIA courses;  Organize both COS/COSIA as either credit or non-credit courses throughout the University of Hawaii System for: (a) graduate science students participating in GK-12 programs and other graduate students with an interest in education and for community college students in ocean sciences who may consider a career in education; (b) pre-service and in-service K-12 educators; (c) informal educators in non-profit organizations, aquaria, museums, and government educational agencies; and (d) ocean-related businesses, hotels, and tour operators; and  Develop new course components that will integrate Hawaii resources, including unique traditional cultural practices and ocean policies, current research on ecosystems of particular relevance to local and regional communities and exemplary curriculum materials.
Source: NSF Award Abstract #0828783
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