Education is one of the founding pillars the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre relies upon to achieve our mission as a non-profit society dedicated to conserving aquatic life. We are also driven by our commitment to deliver on our promise to engage, amaze, inspire. A recently approved grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) helps us to continue this mission.
NSERC’s PromoScience program supports hands-on learning experiences for young Canadian students and their science teachers to promote a deeper understanding of science. The Vancouver Aquarium received two PromoScience grants this year to assist us in further developing our onsite education lessons and our community outreach program, AquaVan.
AquaVan is our unique mobile marine biology classroom that brings the Aquarium into schools and communities spread throughout Western Canada. It offers teachers and students a wide range of hands-on lessons involving live displays, science experiments and inquiry based learning tailored to students of all ages. NSERC has generously supported this program with $76,500 to be used over three years to further develop the program and assist us with ensuring under-represented students, including those from First Nations communities and at-risk schools, have access to these incredible learning opportunities.
We also received an additional $15,900 to help launch a new program called Science Works in 2015. Taking aspects of our Work Experience, Practicum Teacher Training and Science Clubs programs we will be able to provide in-depth, hands-on science training to those students who have a keen interest in learning what it takes to develop a career in a scientific field.
This combined grant is the largest we have ever received from NSERC and speaks to the quality of our science education programs. We are hopeful that further financial assistance will be secured during the year to enable us to develop these programs to their full potential and offer opportunities for further student participation.
Learn more about learning and education opportunities for teachers and students with our learning resources online.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways you can donate to the Vancouver Aquarium, visit us at: vanaqua.org/join/support/how-to-donate