STEM outreach program to teach underserved children about marine science


California State University Channel Islands is implementing a one year Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) for middle and high school students in Ventura County. The project is building and utilizing ongoing interdisciplinary, collaborative projects between CSUCI and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bay Watershed Education Training Program (BWET).

The program is supported by collaborating partners such as the Channel Islands Boating Center, Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary (CINMS), the Santa Rosa Island Research Station, and Channel Islands National Park. We are constructing aquatic ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) which will help establish educational curriculum within Oxnard School District in collaboration with OpenROV. Toward the end of the program we will be taking a NOAA research vessel and deploying the ROVs in the Channel Islands.

This project builds on previous mentoring research in both the formal and informal science education fields. At the university level, successful mentoring programs for minority undergraduate students pursuing natural resource careers have been developed as part of Project ACCESO at CI. It is a goal of ours to spark interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) fields for previously underrepresented students at an early age.

We will be posting blog posts on progress with the program, modifications to our ROVs and expeditions we take.