Thousands of Alaska’s K-12 students statewide are learning more about seas and watersheds after increased investment and innovation solutions by Alaska Sea Grant and partners. Marilyn Sigman, marine education specialist, worked with the Anchorage School District on a three-year $10,000 grant to the district—Alaska’s largest—to improve marine literacy instruction.
With her assistance, the district developed a fourth-grade science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) teaching kit with emphasis on the salmon life cycle. The classroom teaching kit was implemented in January 2017 as the required fourth-grade curriculum in 150 classrooms, reaching 3,750 students annually.
Sigman extended the grant program statewide to help districts upgrade their science curriculum to meet new national standards. Three-year $10,000 grants also paid for field trips and equipment and supplies.
Beginning in 2014, Alaska Sea Grant committed $113,000 to 10 of Alaska’s 56 school districts in 19 communities. Professional development was provided to 171 K-8 teachers who reach 3,500 students. More than 1,000 students participated in field trips in spring 2016. Sigman helped school districts engage dozens of community partners allied with education, stewardship and celebration of the local environment.