UNH Researchers to Create Sustainability Science-Based Afterschool Program for Rural and Indigenous Youth of New England

UNH Researchers to Create Sustainability Science-Based Afterschool Program for Rural and Indigenous Youth of New England

Oct 03, 2012

A multidisciplinary team led by UNH researchers will engage over 2000 rural and indigenous youth in afterschool programs across New England in which they will map sustainable practices (MSP) within their communities.

The goals of the project are to (1) strengthen the connection for youth between science and their home and community lives, and (2) research whether the program improves science achievement in traditionally underachieving groups.

The three-year project, supported by a $1.2 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), will examine changes in the knowledge, attitudes, and motivation of the youth for learning sustainability science as they participate in MSP projects. 

MSP is not a single prescribed activity but is a way to contextualize science learning by providing a unifying framework while allowing each community team to create approaches based on local strengths and interests.

The project's interdisciplinary research team consists of:

  • Eleanor Abrams, professor of education and senior faculty fellow with the Office of the Vice Provost for Engagement and Academic Outreach
  • Michael Middleton, associate professor of education and chair of the Department of Education
  • Tom Kelly, chief sustainability officer at UNH and director of the UNH Sustainability Institute
  • Judy Dow, traditional ecological knowledge educator at Gedakina, Inc.
  • Rick Pouliot, executive director of Gedakina, Inc.
  • Ruth Varner, research associate professor in Earth sciences
  • Claes Thelemarck, extension field specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension
  • Mike Young, program team leader with UNH Cooperative Extension
  • Patrick Messer, director of the UNH Research Computing and Instrumentation Center

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