U Arizona, Tucson Unified Receive Grant for Environmental Ed Center

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The University of Arizona College of Education and Tucson Unified School District in Arizona have received a grant from the Qwest Foundation to help fund the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, which aims to provide out-of-school science, social studies, reading, and writing education for preK-12 students.

The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning (formerly Cooper Environmental Science Campus) is a partnership between TUSD and U Arizona that provides outdoor experience as a part of students' science education. As it was described in materials released this week, the center "uses an innovative approach combining fundamental science concepts with real-world emphasis to provide students with proper context surrounding the importance of science. Teachers work with the UA College of Education faculty to develop the connections between school learning and out-of-school experiences in science, social studies, reading and writing. The Cooper Center provides UA College of Education students with opportunities to teach [preK-12] students develop and implement innovative curriculum and conduct important research."

"We truly appreciate Qwest's contribution to the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning. This program exists in large part due to Qwest's generous support," said Ron Marx, dean of U Arizona's College of Education, in a statement released this week. "The work that the Cooper Center does, using the natural environment as a catalyst for engaging students in out-of-school education experiences, is vital to understanding science in the real world."

The $30,000 grant, which is being awarded today (Oct. 8), will help fund real-world experiments focused on green technologies and issues, including photovoltaic electrical generation and automated systems for rainwater harvesting, among others. Qwest said the grant will help the program reach some two-thirds of the students in the Tucson area. Tucson USD itself serves about 60,000 students.

Further information about the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning an be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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