Sharing Power: Aquariums & Community Groups Advancing STEM Literacies in Climate-Threatened Areas

A study of cross-organization collaboration shows ways to create equitable partnerships.

by Rupu GuptaNicole LaMarcaJohn FraserKathryn Nock
Jan 11, 2021

The pilot test of a capacity building program for informal science learning institutions and community-based non-profits identified a new path for advancing community STEM literacies. The experiment established partnerships between aquariums and local non-profits in two cities to address environmental justice and social disparities in areas threatened by climate change. This work identified five recommendations to reset the role of informal science learning institutions, such as aquariums, so they can be more useful to their communities’ resilience and justice work: 1) Allocate time to build relationships; 2) Develop a shared definition of resilience; 3) Situate community aspirations as context for STEM learning; 4) Redefine informal science learning centers’ role as a service not a destination; and 5) Commit to transparency and equity in funding.

About the Project

This work was produced for Changemakers: Advancing Community Science Literacy, a research project funded in part through The National Science Foundation, Award #1713428.

Photo credit: Arthur Reeder on Unsplash.

Join the Conversation
What did you think of this? How did you use it? Is there something else we should be thinking of?
Support research that has a real world impact.