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Norwalk Public Schools and The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk today announced they received $1,323,660 in federal funding, secured by Congressman Jim Himes in the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations agreement, to create a K-12 Marine Science Pathway for students.
The K-12 Marine Science Pathway builds on the district and Aquarium’s successful four-year Marine Science Academy, created at Norwalk’s Brien McMahon High school in 2019. This funding will expand the pathway at Jefferson Marine Science Elementary School and West Rocks Middle School.
Students enrolled in the program will gain knowledge of the diverse opportunities available in the fields of marine science and marine operations, and will be better prepared to secure good, well-paying jobs in a critical sector of the local economy.
“This funding will significantly catalyze and expand the partnership between Norwalk Public Schools and The Maritime Aquarium to build an unprecedented educational marine science pathway for students K-12, improving quality STEM education while creating job opportunities for when they graduate,” said The Maritime Aquarium President & CEO Jason Patlis. “I want to especially thank Congressman Jim Himes for championing this important funding request, and I want to thank House Appropriations Committee Chair DeLauro, and the Connecticut Senate delegation for their work on the legislation and their commitment to our students.”
“We are incredibly thankful for the Congressman to secure this funding that will allow us to establish a K-12 Marine Science Pathway in Norwalk Public Schools. This pathway will bring the opportunity to explore, engage and interact with this unique ecosystem to more students across our district,” said Norwalk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Alexandra Estrella. “We are already so fortunate to have a wonderful partnership with The Maritime Aquarium that brings their expertise directly into our classrooms as well as invites our students and staff to their world-class facility in South Norwalk. Thank you again to Congressman Jim Himes for his continued support of our schools so we can provide such amazing opportunities for our deserving students.”
Congressman Jim Himes said: “I am thrilled that this year’s omnibus includes funding for the fourteen projects that I fought for and that this legislation will make a substantive impact for families throughout Southwest Connecticut. These funds are an investment not only in our state’s infrastructure, but in our women owned businesses, our recovering veterans, our district’s working families, our schoolchildren, and many more. I was proud to vote for this legislation today, and look forward to seeing it signed into law by President Biden.”
The program will kick off with six months of intense curriculum development involving teachers, curriculum leaders and Aquarium staff. Contingent on funding, pilot implementation is expected to begin in early 2023.
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