Grants Support Programs New and Old
Maintaining our reputation as an innovative leader in educational research and curriculum design means striving to ensure we have the funding to carry on that work. That funding comes from both private organizations and taxpayer-supported agencies. In 2009 we were able to land some new work and also receive additional funding for projects we have been working on.
One of the major awards was almost $750,000 through NASA to develop online courses on astronomy and Earth science for high school students. Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland is the primary grant recipient, and the Center for Educational Technologies will partner with the school system over two years to develop and teach an online course about the solar system and also contribute to astronomy and Earth science courses. The center will also lead a social networking component and the project's overall evaluation.
Through a grant from the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network, we are working with Wheeling Park High School in Wheeling on the Ohio County Neighborhood Mapping Project. Park students will use multimedia and Internet tools to create an online history and interactive map of their Wheeling neighborhood as part of the afterschool program. The grant will connect high school students with education students from Wheeling Jesuit University for two hours a day, four days a week after school for science and technology tutoring and guidance on the community mapping project. Educational technology and graphic design experts at the Center for Educational Technologies will also present to the students.
In addition we received additional funding to carry on projects that started in previous years. The National Science Foundation is continuing funding for our CyGaMEs research into educational videogames and how they can best be used in classrooms. The National Institutes of Health is funding the CyberSurgeons™ online mission for high school students to put to use their biology, anatomy, and problem-solving skills. NASA has also continued funding for the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future program and the MoonWorld simulation in the Second Life virtual world.
On the private side, the International Union of Operating Engineers provided funding to complete an eight-hour hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) refresher course manual. It is based on the 40-hour course we completed earlier in 2009. The union also funded us to create training manuals for disaster site workers.