NOAA Ocean Exploration and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation have a long history of working collaboratively to support ocean education. Since 2003 they have leveraged the public-private partnership to enhance America’s environmental literacy through the development of educational materials and educator professional development offerings that bring exciting deep-sea phenomena into the classroom to increase students’ understanding of our ocean planet.
In 2021, the two established the Ocean Odyssey Grants (previously called Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Ocean Exploration Education Grants) to expand the reach of ocean education by funding ocean workforce development initiatives that are equitable, inclusive, and accessible to all. The overarching goal is to support a future ocean workforce that is more representative of U.S. demographics by funding projects that minimize barriers to entry and increase retention of diverse learners from communities historically marginalized from ocean science and exploration industries.
Ocean Odyssey Grants are investments in projects and partners that are leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programming for diverse youth in middle school, high school, undergraduate, and/or community college to learn about the ocean, develop or advance STEM skills, and increase awareness of ocean science and exploration careers.
2023-2024 Ocean Odyssey Grants
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and NOAA Ocean Exploration invited educators and education program implementers who are advancing DEIA in ocean education and career pathways by providing STEM education and/or workforce development opportunities for diverse youth (middle school, high school, and college students) historically and consistently marginalized from the field to apply for the 2023-2024 Ocean Odyssey Grants. This year, funding was divided to strategically support multiple stages of the ocean science and exploration workforce development pipeline. Learn more about each opportunity below.
[NEW] Mini Grants Up to $5,000
Middle School or High School Educators or Education Support Personnel
Mini grants were available to support projects that build capacity for educators at underserved middle or high schools to bring ocean science and exploration into the classroom, deepening students’ understanding of ocean sciences, increasing their awareness of ocean careers, and to help students develop STEM skills needed for future education and career demands.
Grants up to $20,000
Formal or Informal Education Programs Supporting Middle School, High School, or College-Age Students
Grants were available to support education programs that advance STEM skill development and provide exposure to industry experts and/or technologies beyond the walls of a traditional classroom for communities historically and consistently marginalized from ocean science education and career paths.
The request for proposals for the 2023-2024 Ocean Odyssey Grants has closed.