On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, aggravating a decade-long fiscal crisis that had already weakened its educational, social, and economic infrastructure. This historic storm has underscored the urgent need—and created new opportunities—to rethink education in Puerto Rico.
Now, more than ever, students need to be empowered to become problem solvers and play an active role in Puerto Rico’s recovery. To achieve this, Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) is launching a pilot project to bring together scientists, educators, and students to facilitate that they co-create of science lessons that encourage creativity, resilience, entrepreneurship, and the development of problem-solving skills. The initial set of science lessons focuses on renewable energy, environmental sustainability, clean and potable water, and terrestrial ecosystems—topics that are not only relevant immediately after Hurricane Maria, but for a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico in the long-term. The lessons, developed in partnership with Echar Pa’lante, a multi-sector coalition in Puerto Rico that promotes education and innovation, can be followed and applied in schools, as well as at home, in community centers, and in after-school programs, allowing students displaced and affected by the hurricane to continue learning. They incorporate project-based learning and community service to teach students how science is relevant to their lives and culture, and how it could help them solve problems faced by their communities.
Your donation will help us meet our goals of:
- identifying and training 50 educators in Puerto Rico on how to use and implement the lesson plans by March 2018;
- purchasing and delivering low-cost research and educational materials, including the paper-based microscope Foldscope, to up 2,500 Puerto Rican students by March 2018; and
- disseminating the results of students’ projects so that they can inform their communities and help us impact thousands of people in Puerto Rico.
This pilot project will kick off the implementation of our new strategic direction of transforming science education in Puerto Rico by bringing discovery, experimentation and problem-solving into classrooms in a way that is relevant to the culture and reality of Puerto Rican students. For the past year-and-a-half CienciaPR has been hard at work on a bold 10-year plan to do this. Hurricane Maria made our new goals even more urgent. Moreover, what we learn from this project can benefit students around the world who are affected and/or displaced by natural disasters.
You can read more about CienciaPR’s new 10-year strategic plan HERE.
BUILDING UPON CIENCIAPR’S SUCCESS
This project and our new strategic direction build upon CienciaPR’s decade-long success harnessing the power of its vast scientific community to create social impact in Puerto Rico by improving scientific literacy, increasing access to role models, and creating culturally relevant science education resources. Through projects like Semillas de Triunfo, Ciencia Boricua, and others, we have involved more than 270 scientists in education and outreach, trained over 390 teachers to make science education more relevant to their students’ lives, and engaged more than 100 middle school students in service-based science outreach projects that impacted over 10,500 people. In 2015, our efforts garnered recognition as a Bright Spot for Hispanic STEM Education by the White House.
La Poderosa Corporation: www.lapoderosacorp.wixsite.com/lpcu
Alice Davenport McCarthy
Ricardo Gonzalez Mendez
Michael J Leibowitz, MD, PhD
BARBARA M GOLDMAN
MONICA J ALBE
Departamento de Ciencias de Computadoras
Amy C. Vollmer
Jose Liquet Gonzalez
Timothy J. Ryan
Sofía Macchiavelli Girón
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