EPA awarded the Birmingham Zoo $91,000 in Environmental Education Grant funds by the US Environmental Protection Agency to support their work in promoting environmental science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (E-STEM) education in the Birmingham, Alabama community.
The grant given to the Birmingham Zoo is one of 36 grants awarded nationally under the 2017 Environmental Education Grants Program.
“This grant helps teach Alabama students and their families about protecting their water resources through hands-on activities while exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career paths,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The Birmingham Zoo received the grant award to fund a two-year Water Investigations Project through its ZooSchool program. ZooSchool is a hands-on, E-STEM (environment, science, technology, engineering and math) initiative offered at no cost to participating public school students and their teachers. The program is carried out over 20 weeks and implemented as a weekly immersive experience that takes place at the Zoo and is specifically targeted to 7th grade students who attend Birmingham City Schools. Program activities will reinforcement learning opportunities for students and families, professional training for K-12 teachers, and interactions with program partners.
“The funding from this EPA Environmental Education Grant will allow the Birmingham Zoo to reach a much broader community with our conservation messaging,” says William R. Foster, DVM, President & CEO, Birmingham Zoo. He adds, “Through our own educational programs as well as collaborative relationships with community partners such as Birmingham City Schools, University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Community OutReach Development (CORD) and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, we will be promoting environmental stewardship and helping develop responsible citizens with regard to protecting water as a limited resource.”
Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 million to 3.5 million a year in support of more than 3,600 environmental education grants. EPA seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques.