Nurture Nature Center (NNC) is excited to begin working on five new grant-funded projects, including a million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation.
Beginning in July 2021, NNC will lead the four-year project “Building Insights through Observation: Researching Arts-Based Methods for Teaching and Learning with Data” funded by the National Science Foundation’s Discovery Research PreK-12 program. The project will conduct foundational research to understand the ways in which arts-based instructional methods and geospatial data visualization can be successfully applied by science teachers. NNC will partner with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Education Development Center, and J. Sickler Consulting, LLC (evaluator) on the project.
In July, NNC will start “Youth Leading the Way: an education and leadership program in the Lehigh Valley” that engages high school youth in an education and leadership program including a Youth Climate Summit, a youth art exhibition, and a ten part Climate Leadership series. This one year project is funded through the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Education grants program.
NNC is also developing nature journaling kits through a Lehigh Valley Greenways funded project “Increasing Access to Nature Journaling to Connect to the Outdoors”. These journaling kits will be available to local Lehigh Valley partners to expand access to educational activities, build connections to the outdoors, and increase awareness of climate change impacts.
NNC continues its social science research work through two grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Joint Technology Transfer Initiative, expanding focus from flooding to winter weather. In “Winter Storm Severity Index: Improving Storm Readiness through Severity and Social Impact Forecasting”
NNC and partner East Carolina University are working with the Weather Prediction Center and six Weather Forecast Offices throughout the country to use situation-based in-person and web-based focus groups, surveys and interviews to solicit feedback from users about the index, how it would be used in decision-making and how its presentation could be improved to be more useful. “Winter Storm Severity for Alaska” is the second new social science study and will expand the Winter Storm Severity Index into the Alaska region, identifying the most critical impacts for Alaskan stakeholders.
These funding opportunities enable NNC to continue its critical work in the Lehigh Valley region related to nature and climate change education, and with its social science research related to the National Weather Services’ forecasting communication. Further, the new National Science Foundation grant positions NNC to significantly contribute to the development of science and art based approaches to learning in middle school education. To stay up to date on NNC’s work visit nurturenaturecenter.org or follow NNC on Facebook and Instagram.