The RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program gives young people in Miami, Florida inspiring, hands-on science experiences unlike any other. In 2013, for example, it brought more than 1,100 young adults on 71 trips to do actual field research on sharks and marine biology, With sufficient funds, some 3,000 more young people could , and many more youth could benefit from virtual expeditions, school visits, and teaching materials for schools..
The goals of the RJD program are: (1) to provide high school students with engaging scientific research opportunities that inspire youth to learn STEM skills and (2) to foster development of marine conservation stewardship, attitudes, and behaviors.
In addition to the actual shark field-research expeditions attended by students, teachers implement a custom-designed online curriculum that conforms to Florida State standards in STEM. Online resources include a virtual shark-tagging experience to prepare students for field research. University of Miami graduate students also visit classrooms to prepare students for the expedition by working with teachers to implement curriculum and train students in data collection.
It costs about $3,000 to bring about 15 young people on an expedition. The program's leaders aim to attract students from new areas of Florida, such as Palm Beach and the Florida Keys.Funders and Partners
The Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, UMiami; The Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, UMiami; Batchelor Foundation, Inc.; Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund; Wells Fargo; National Geographic Society; Biscayne National Park; Everglades National Park
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.