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Maine Research Facility Wins $6.5 Million NASA Grant

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Tom Porter
/
MPBN
Gulf of Maine Research Institute Chief Education Officer Leigh Peake (left) and GMRI President Don Perkins

PORTLAND, Maine -  The Portland-based Gulf of Maine Research Institute has received a $6.5 million NASA grant to support climate change education in Maine and beyond, with an initial focus on fifth and sixth graders.

Leigh Peake is GMRI's Chief Education Officer. She says the difference between climate and weather is a tough distinction for young people to make.
 
"Weather is ever present and ever personal, and it's hard for them to see how weather is connected to global climate trends, and, of course, our GMRI scientists are working on that every day," Peake says. "And so we want to connect them to those realities, give them a feel for what it really means for our climate to be changing."

This initiative will build on GMRI's LabVenture experience, which is free to any school anywhere in Maine and has served nearly 100,000 students over the past 10 years. GMRI says this is the largest grant it's ever received.