Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)
ORCA, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Marine Station, Florida Institute of Technology, and the Indian River State College was honored to be awarded a 5-year grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation to form a new Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE). COSEE is a national network of regional centers that integrates ocean science research and education in order to advance public understanding of the ocean.
The future of the ocean, and all aquatic ecosystems, depends on an educated public making well-informed decisions about marine and coastal resources. Toward that end the Florida COSEE focused on training teachers to use engaging ocean science concepts in their classrooms to excite student interest in science and providing scientists with better opportunities to design those concepts using the sum and substance of their research. The Center’s theme of “Water as Habitat” brought in issues of water pollution and its impact on such charismatic animals as dolphins and turtles. ORCA’s part in the collaboration involved bringing its high-tech, science-based approach to conservation and water-quality monitoring into the mix by providing research experiences for educators, bringing real-time monitoring directly into classrooms, recruiting researchers for ocean science outreach and developing innovative teaching tools and curricula.
Learn more about COSEE Florida at http://www.coseeflorida.org/
COSEE Research Experience for Pre-Service Teachers
The COSEE Florida REPT program provides Indian River State College teachers-in training with hands-on experience in marine science research projects. Funded by the National Science Foundation through the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) this program is designed to improve ocean science teaching in classrooms by exposing teachers to both the thrill and the real-world applications of marine science, while exposing scientists to what teachers need in order to best be able to convey these concepts to their students. Improving America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 science and math education is critical to revitalizing our nation's economic engine and the most direct way to accomplish this is through teachers. Learn More
Save the Water Babies Project
ORCA, in partnership with Indian River Charter High School, received one of the four prestigious Indian River Impact 100 grants of 2012. The award of $100,000 will be used to continue mapping pollution in the Indian River Lagoon with ORCA's Save the Water Babies project. Using ORCA's FAST Program (Fast Assessment of Sediment Toxicity) this project is designed to give students at the Indian River Charter High School a real world science and education experience which they will use as the basis of an initiative to transform the Indian River County community's understanding of how their actions (or inactions) may contribute to the death of marine mammals. Kids To Help Map Pollution In Lagoon
With a strong commitment to educating the scientists of the future, ORCA internships provide valuable research skills and lab experience for local college and high school students. ORCA interns are mentored by scientists in hands-on projects that generate a level of interest and commitment to marine science and conservation that will support the scientific endeavors of the student interns throughout college and into their careers.