News Release                                             Contact : Sondra Katzen
September 25, 2013                                                                               Public Relations
                                                                                                         708.688.8351
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               sondra.katzen@czs.org


National Science Foundation Awards Major
Advancing Informal STEM Learning Grant to Chicago Zoological Society

Brookfield, IL— The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, was recently awarded a $1.658 million National Science Foundation grant for its SCIENCES Program–Supporting a Community’s Informal Education Needs: Confidence and Empowerment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The project will create, implement, and research a “STEM ecosystem” in support of lifelong environmental science learning in Fuller Park, a severely under-resourced Chicago community.

The National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program invests in the research and development of innovative and field-advancing out-of-school STEM learning and emerging STEM learning environments that emphasize in making learning lifelong, life wide (occurring across multiple venues) and life deep (occurring at different levels of complexity).

In partnership with Eden Place Nature Center, located in the Fuller Park community, a full suite of environmental science learning opportunities targeting teachers, youth, families, and adults will be woven into an “ecosystemic” learning model. In addition, a research component led by the University of Illinois at Chicago will expand the understanding of the role of large cultural institutions, such as CZS, with diversified informal science learning portfolios, in helping enhance science knowledge and interest for diverse audiences.

“Deep community engagement and broad participation in science learning are national priorities. Under-resourced populations have undervalued skills and experiences and as a result they are often overlooked as potential contributors to science,” said Alejandro Grajal, Ph.D., senior vice president of conservation, education, and training for CZS. “Our project will improve scientific literacy through the implementation of science education resources that are relevant to and meet the needs of the Fuller Park community.”

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. Open every day of the year, Brookfield Zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

# # #

Volunteer Application
   (Why do we ask for age verification?)
 
If you work outside the home, please provide the following information:

 
  A conviction will not necessarily eliminate you from consideration for the volunteer program, and factors such as the time since conviction, the seriousness of the crime, and the nature of the crime relative to the position for which you are applying may be considered.
 
Who can we notify in case of an emergency?
Miscellaneous Questions
 
 
 
Please list any conservation organiazations that you belong to, if any:
 
I certify that the answers given by me on this application are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge. I understand that any misstatement or omission may result in the withdrawal of my application or, if I have been placed as Chicago Zoological Society volunteer, in the termination of the volunteer assignment at any time. I authorize investigation of all information contained in this application, on my resume, and/or provided during any interview as may be deemed necessary by the Chicago Zoological Society to make a volunteer placement decision. I also authorize any previous employer or references to release to the Society any and all infor-mation concerning my work history and background or my past volunteer experience and background, including, but not limited to, performance, disciplinary, and attendance records, etc. to consider my application for placement as a Society volunteer. I also hereby consent to a complete background check, including a criminal background check.

If I am placed as a Society volunteer, I agree to abide by all current and subsequently issued rules and policies of the Society. I understand the Society shall be entitled, without further consent, to use in any manner any picture, audio, or video recording of me or my voice in association with my volunteer assignment(s). Placement and volunteer assignments are at the sole discretion of the Society. Accordingly, any assignment by the Society may be withdrawn, and placement in the Society’s volunteer program may be terminated at any time.