The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding a $91,000 environmental education grant to the Universidad Metropolitana, known as UMET, to enhance environmental education for students islandwide.
The UMET was one of three entities to receive grants from EPA Region 2, which is responsible for Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, New York, New Jersey, and eight tribal nations. A total of $273,000 was awarded in EPA Region 2 for the three grants, and funding nationwide for this round of grants totaled approximately $3.3 million.
“It is important that we give young people in Puerto Rico the education they need about critical environmental issues facing the island — particularly climate change,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA regional administrator.
“Environmental education is essential to protecting human health and the environment, and this grant will result in better environmental education for students across Puerto Rico by providing training for teachers and establishing model environmental education programs at several schools,” she said.
The UMET project will train science teachers to teach junior high school students about climate change and other environmental issues, such as coastal issues and air quality. The school will hold four professional development workshops for educators on topics including climate change impacts on coastal areas and air quality.
The workshops will provide information on integrating climate change into class curriculum, and ways to improve student’s research and critical thinking. The UMET will launch model education programs at ten public schools in Puerto Rico. This project will support climate change education for students and encourage them to enter into careers in science and the environment.
The grantees were selected from more than 400 applications received in February and March 2015.