BELLE ISLE AQUARIUM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN CHOSEN TO BE A PART OF A RESEARCH GRANT FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION TO PROMOTE INTEREST IN SCIENCE CAREERS FOR DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOL COMMUNITY DISTRICT STUDENTS THROUGH PLACED BASED EDUCATION.
The NSF-funded ITEST PROJECT: “Promoting Student Interest in Science and Science Careers through a Scalable Place-based Environmental Educational Program at a Public Aquarium” is a collaboration between Wayne State University (WSU), Michigan Technological University (MTU), the Belle Isle Aquarium (BIA), elementary schools located within the city of Detroit, and Hezel Associates (evaluators). The goal is to increase interest, knowledge and activity choices of students in ways that promote science education and STEM career choices among minority youth related to fisheries, wildlife, conservation and aquatic sciences. An intended long-term outcome is the establishment of Communities of Learning centered on the Belle Isle Aquarium (BIA) to achieve a lasting impact.
The program includes a 4-day Summer Institute for up to 30 teachers each summer, for 3 years, for a total of 90 teachers. The objectives of the Summer Institute are to enhance teachers’ science content knowledge, familiarize teachers with the Belle Isle Aquarium (BIA) field trip and how it can be integrated into their curriculum, provide resources to support student engagement in the BIA, establish a Community of Learners centered on the BIA, promote STEM careers and explore ways they can be incorporated into the curriculum. Participating teachers will also have opportunities to engage in follow up activities including lesson plan development, focus groups, and a small grant program to support activities that relate to the BIA and student learning. Further information about these NSF-sponsored activities can be found at http://www.BIAquariumstem.org .