Since our Education and Outreach group was formed in 1995, we have been committed to connecting the resources of the Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, to K-16 students and educators locally and globally. We develop the future STEM workforce through the development of resources and teaching materials, and the implementation of high quality training programs.

By partnering university researchers, educators, and students with innovative programs and volunteer opportunities, we help produce winning grants, meaningful education and outreach programs, and a platform to make a difference in advancing STEM.

What we do

We interpret Earth, Oceans and Atmospheric research for the science-interested public locally and globally to promote science literacy and the development of the future STEM workforce. Our mission is to provide public audiences with opportunities to experience and understand cutting edge science.

We focus on:

  • Visualizing scientific data: We develop resources for K-16 educators and their students to bring ocean research to the classroom.
  • Professional development programs for K-16 educators: In an effort to support the Next Generation Science Standards, we provide a wide variety of training programs and fellowships for educators seeking partnerships with practicing university scientists. We also provide training for early career scientists in science communication.
  • Grant writing support: We provide end-to-end support for researchers in broadening their reach and improving the capacity for and quality of impact beyond the university and academia through a range of services. We also help connect researchers to evaluators who can help assess the impact of their education and outreach work.
  • Implementation of on- and off- campus programs: We develop and implements a suite of programs and activities designed to increase interest in K-16 students in STEM both in and out of school.

Examples current projects include:

  • Rutgers Collaborative for Raritan Education & Observation: For Rutgers students the Raritan River is a problem, a physical barrier separating campuses experienced primarily through the windows of a bus. The Raritan River Initiative proposes to transform the Raritan Basin into an academic solution, an interactive field laboratory that enhances the student experience by linking science, engineering, and humanities programs through interdisciplinary classes, projects and activities that take place not only on the banks of but actually on and in the Old Raritan and its tributaries.
    • Center PI – Schofield
  • Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (Polar ICE): Polar-ICE is providing opportunities to expand teaching and learning innovations in middle and high school classrooms as well as enhance science communication. Our mission is to connect Polar scientists with broader audiences to further the impact of their research, while connecting educators and students with data and cutting edge science. Our objective is to engage students in understanding how polar regions influence our lives while improving their understanding of how scientists work and understand a changing climate system.
    • Center PIs – Schofield and McDonnell
  • Data Explorations with Ocean Observing Data: We provide a range of free, interactive Data Explorations using authentic, raw data that is relevant to various concepts you are already teaching in introductory courses. The Data Explorations are quick (15-20 minute) interactions with data so that you can easily integrate them into your current classroom teaching while increasing your students understanding of the concept.
    • Center PIs and staff: McDonnell, Litchtenwalner, Schofield, and Glenn

Past Projects

  • Project Converge (2015): Middle and high school students worked with research scientists to learn about interdisciplinary oceanographic research taking place at the West Antarctic Peninsula in January 2015. Both students and the public, through collaborations with the Liberty Science Center and Cornell Ornithology Lab, followed the mission blog posts and interacted with scientist through Live Video Broadcasts. Moreover, students gained a greater understanding of the research and scientists through classroom lessons and a Spring Research Symposium, where they met the scientists.
    • Center PIs and staff – Kohut, Hunter-Thomson, McDonnell, and Ferraro
  • project parkaProject PARKA (2012-13): This project connected Kansas high school classrooms with researchers studying the synergistic effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperature on the metabolism, growth, and reproduction of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). Students participated in research-specific science lessons, talked with the science team while they were down in Antarctica, engaged in the research mission through science and student blogs, and attended a Student Research Symposium, during which the students and scientists presented their research to one another.
    • Center PIs and Staff- Saba, Hunter-Thomson, and McDonnell
  • ross sea connectionRoss Sea Connection (2011): Middle and high school students worked with research scientists to learn about interdisciplinary oceanographic research taking place in the Ross Sea.
    Both students and the public, through collaborations with the Liberty Science Center followed the mission blog posts and interacted with scientists through Live phone calls.

    • Center PIs – Kohut, Kuska, Litchtenwalner, and McDonnell
  • cosee swirlCenter for Ocean Science Education Excellence Networked Ocean World (COSE NOW) (2002- 2014): This is a legacy site for the 10 years of NSF investment in developing an online network of scientists and educators focused on using emerging Ocean Observing Systems (OOS) technologies and real time data for public education across a broad continuum including community colleges, the K-12 formal education community, and informal learning institutions.
    • Center PIs and staff: McDonnell, Schofield, Glenn, Lichtenwalner and Ferraro.