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Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Mini Grant Worth Nearly $5,000 to New Albany-Plain Local Schools

Ohio EPA has awarded a $4,934 environmental education mini grant to New Albany-Plain Local Schools to help students gain awareness of the presence of wildlife around them and a better understanding of how human activity is impacting wildlife and habitat in Franklin and Licking counties. Thirteen projects throughout the state were funded for $50,000.

Ohio EPA’s grant will help create a wildlife tracking expedition for students as part of a week-long summer science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunity. The expedition will then be incorporated into the curriculum of five classrooms to reach at least 150 students beginning this fall. A version of the program also will be offered to local residents to educate them about local wildlife.

Students will learn the basics of reading animal tracks and signs to understand animal behavior and document their findings using CyberTracker technology. Lessons also will include the use of animal tracks in forensic anthropology. By blending outdoor learning experiences with hand-held GPS and videoconferencing technology, students will be able to gather, sort, analyze, report and share their findings with others, using discussion, debate and research to draw connections and conclusions.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund gives out approximately $1 million each year for environmental education projects targeting kindergarten through university students, the general public, and the regulated community. General grants are given for projects lasting up to 30 months and costing up to $50,000.

Mini grants are available for projects lasting up to 12 months and costing between $500 and $5,000. Proposals for classroom projects, conference speakers, and other activities that are eligible under the general grant program are eligible under the mini-grant program, but the application process is streamlined. Ohio EPA's Office of Environmental Education reserves up to $50,000 each grant round to fund projects submitted under this program. Just like the general grant program, there are two mini-grant rounds each year, with the next application deadline on July 16, 2012. An electronic letter of intent to apply is due on July 9.

For more information, contact Ohio EPA's Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873. Staff is available to assist potential grant applicants who contact the office before the submission deadline. Information also is available online.

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