Informal Education

MARE has programs and projects for informal educators to share and reflect on their teaching practice in informal science environments.

Communicating Sciences College Courses

NSF’s emphasis on educational outreach and the broader impact of research led to the development of the Communicating Ocean Sciences college courses, COSIA (Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences) and Communicating Climate Science. The target students for the courses are science majors interested in learning how to communicate science more effectively to the public and other diverse audiences. COSIA was strategically designed to be an engaging and effective vehicle for university students to provide educational outreach to the public and students visiting informal science institutions. As such, the courses are designed to be taught by science faculty bringing ocean &/or climate expertise paired with a formal or informal educator who brings educational expertise.

Professional Learning for Informal Educators

Reflecting on Practice (RoP), is a professional learning program that immerses novice and experienced science educators in informal environments in discussions about, reflections on, and applications of research and theory on learning and teaching science. The program seeks to connect practitioners with literature in the learning and teaching field, engage practitioners in habits of reflection, and nurture a tradition of continued professional learning through building a professional learning community. The RoP program includes a curriculum guide and Coaching Workshops (in-person or blended) to prepare those participating to implement the program back at their site with their own educators (full- or part-time, seasonal or volunteer). Contact for more information.

Ocean Sciences Activities for Informal Science Institutions

Looking for ocean sciences activities to use on the museum floor or for outreach? Search for high-quality hands-on activities developed and tested by other informal science institutions on the SMILE pathway. The Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE) pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) is a national partnership among science and technology centers, museums, community-based organizations, and out-of-school educators dedicated to making science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) engaging and accessible for all learners. The Lawrence Hall of Science has partnered with other institutions to develop this searchable database of science activities, which includes activities developed for the Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences (COSIA) college course.