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EPA Announces Grant to Science and Arts Center to Teach Students about Science and Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Release Date: 11/15/2013
Contact Information: Terri A. White 215-814-5523 / white.terri-a@epa.gov

HARRISBURG (Nov. 15, 2013) -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Harrisburg's Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is the recipient of a $205,305 environmental education grant.

The funding will be used to train middle and high school science teachers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to conduct hands-on scientific investigations with their students in the Susquehanna River, the bay's largest river. The Susquehanna River provides nearly 50 percent of the fresh water coming into the bay.

The Expedition Chesapeake Educational Project has already attracted applications from more than 800 science teachers from schools located in the Chesapeake Watershed which includes Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

"Expedition Chesapeake is taking science to the classroom in a mindful way where students will learn about scientific research, field work and data collection, right in their own backyard," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "These students are today's environmental stewards and getting out of the classroom for fieldwork is a far more effective and fun way to learn about science and the environment."

The primary goal of the Expedition Chesapeake Educational Project is to engage middle school and high school students in exploring and analyzing the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, its ecosystem and inhabitants. In addition to gaining scientific knowledge, the students will also learn about the local civic decision-making process. This learning experience will provide them with a personal connection to restoring the overall health of the bay.

“Today’s financial and symbolic endorsement from EPA is the catalyst necessary to advance the Expedition Chesapeake watershed education program beyond Central Pennsylvania and beyond the watershed itself,” said Steve Bishop, project manager and vice president of science and IMAX programs at Whitaker Center. “It also increases awareness of Whitaker Center as a source for cutting-edge educational experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.”

For more information about environmental education grants, go to: http://www2.epa.gov/education

For more information about Whitaker Center, go to: http://www.whitakercenter.org/