Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) was recently awarded a 10,000 USD grant from the Government of Australia’s Direct Aid Program (DAP). Australia has expanded their presence to open an embassy in Palau, and in their first year of operation shown to be a strong supporter of the Center.
The resources awarded by the DAP fund will be used to support PICRC’s newly developed school program, with the purchasing of equipment such as microscopes, tablets, and Lego kits. The new program is aligned with Palau’s Ministry of Education Science Standards and the idea is for students to reinforce the concepts that they are already learning in the classroom. Lessons target various learning styles and have a hands-on approach. Depending on the age group, activities may vary between storytelling, singing, arts and crafts, model making, and experimentation. The program was launched in October 2020, in celebration of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary’s (PNMS) 5th anniversary, and since then, has already hosted 7 schools and about 150 students.
The Center is working on expanding its website to include an Education Tab with more detailed information about the lessons offered. PICRC is expecting to have this resource finished by March 2021, in celebration of Education Awareness Week. With the new funding by the Australian Government, PICRC will be able to expand the range of activities offered in the classroom, with the goal to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and environmentally aware citizens.
PICRC would like to thank Australian Ambassador Richelle Turner and the Government of Australia for their trust, support, and vision.