The Cary Institute has received $158,549 from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Grant Program. Funding will support the Hudson Data Jam, an annual competition that melds science, data, and creative expression – with the goal of increasing environmental awareness among students and the community.
Since 2014, hundreds of middle and high school students have participated in the program, using data from the Hudson River watershed to inspire poems, songs, movies, interpretive dances, paintings, and more. Data sets are curated by Cary Institute educators and available online. Workshops are also provided for teachers. Student submissions, judged by scientists and educators, are shared with the public at the Data Jam Expo, hosted by Marist College.
Grant support will help Cary Institute educators develop new web-based resources for students and teachers, including datasets that draw on the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS). Funds will also enable teacher-training workshops and a partnership with Spark Media aimed at increasing the participation of students in three environmental justice communities: Beacon, Kingston, and Poughkeepsie.
The grant was part of a $1.3 million pool awarded to 12 projects, with the goal of helping communities along the Hudson River Estuary improve recreational access and river education.