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Youth Programs Awarded $75,000 for STEM Program

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Youth Programs

WCE Youth Programs has received a $75,000 Duke Energy Foundation Grant to support MarineQuest’s outreach program, Project TECHNOcean.

As part of the Duke Energy Foundation’s $10 million Water Resources Fund to aid Carolina waterways, this grant will provide local, underserved middle school students access to a unique learning experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while engaging them in the local marine environment.

TECHNOcean’s mission is to provide students a hands-on, inquiry-based learning experience that improves awareness of ocean science related environmental issues. The program offers authentic field and lab experiences for students to practice skills associated with marine science research and data collection. The project will engage students with ocean monitoring, exploration and conservation. So far this semester, eighth grade students from New Hanover County’s Murray Middle School have designed, constructed and operated working models of remotely operated vehicles (ROV).  In December, they will visit the Center for Marine Science to operate a real ROV and learn more about ocean exploration and monitoring.  On Nov. 7, students from Pender County’s Cape Fear Middle School spent a day at the ocean – a first time experience for many of them – learning about ocean conservation.

Youth Programs director Sue Kezios said the program is aligned with national Ocean Literacy Principles and the North Carolina Essential Standards for Science. Sixth graders will explore the interactions between the ocean and lithosphere, seventh graders will investigate the relationship between the ocean and atmosphere, and eighth graders will immerse themselves in the study of the hydrosphere. Participants will become familiar with technologies and equipment that is utilized to study the marine environment and employ engineering design principles to create ROVs, wind turbines and buoys.