Offshore wind joint development partners Ørsted and Eversource today have awarded a $950,000 grant to Groton, Conn.-based Project Oceanology and its hands-on, inquiry-based K-12 STEM program focused on climate change, sustainability, energy generation and offshore wind.
Grant funding will be distributed evenly over four years, starting in 2021 and continuing through 2024.
During the first year of the new program, which will launch in fall 2021, Project Oceanology will develop and design educational units with the goal of recruiting nine southeastern Connecticut schools (three elementary, three middle school and three high school levels) to participate in the first year. The program will focus on reaching students from schools serving economically disadvantaged and underserved communities, with plans to reach 12 school groups with the programs in 2022, 15 in 2023, and 18 in 2024.
Additionally, Project Oceanology will provide teachers with professional development sessions and develop fundraising capabilities to sustain long-term program accessibility for underserved schools.
“Our collaboration with Ørsted and Eversource will help ensure that we are training the STEM workforce of tomorrow for the critical fight against climate change,” says Project Oceanology Executive Director Jim McCauley. “We are also making sure to be inclusive as we provide hands-on, STEM-focused educational opportunities to students across the region, especially those from underserved communities.”
“Addressing climate change is one of the crucial challenges of our time and will require innovative ideas and new solutions,” adds David Ortiz, Ørsted’s head of market affairs for New England. “We are proud to support Project Oceanology as we work together to educate and train our future leaders in sustainability and clean energy.” Ørsted and Eversource are jointly developing Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind.