July 10 – 12, 2019 – Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) and Melekeok Elementary School (MES) collaborated to establish a Geo-Literacy Summer Camp held at Melekeok Elementary School.

There were around 20 participants aged 10-15 who went on arduous and fun journey through numerous geo-literacy activities.   Participants visited Ngardok Nature Reserve and Ngermedellim Marine Sanctuary to integrate informal learning and development through learning modules that blend local, traditional, indigenous knowledge of the protected areas. Participants closed out the event with a Mini-Art Galleria presenting works of art by the participants at the Melekeok Old Age center in Ngerang Hamlet. The parents and community members attended the art galleria with astonishment and applauded the camp for its innovative learning activities.

“Geo-literacy is knowing how to “read” the skies, the lands, and the waters—and how to learn from them and make good decisions for ourselves and our communities. It is a sense of place that enables us to understand the world around us.”

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), in partnership with Island Research and Education Initiative (iREi), is excited to present “Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia” (GEM). This project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program within the National Science Foundation (NSF). (STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics”).

The primary goal of GEM is effective intergenerational, informal learning and development of geo-literacy through an Informal STEM Learning Team (ISLET) model for Pacific island communities. This is accomplished through a suite of six informal learning modules that blend local/traditional/Indigenous knowledge systems (LK), Western STEM, and active learning. GEM takes a community-based participatory research approach for these modules. This project is implemented in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) [Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Yap states], and the Republic of Palau (ROP).

GEM is conducted primarily through ISLET efforts, supported by GEM management, adjunct staff, and local partners. Over the course of the project, ISLET members will:

(1) Demonstrate that they are effective in engaging communities in geo-literacy activities

(2) Increase their own geo-literacy knowledge and advocacy skills

(3) Produce and disseminate geo-literacy educational materials and resources

(4) Show that local residents use these geo-literacy educational materials and resources to positively influence decision-making

The event was a success and the goals were met accordingly. And the participants of the camp enjoyed learning about our world. (PR)