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Wegner Recognized for Engaging Students in Ocean Science

03/30/10 Hillsboro, Ore.

Karen Wegner, CMOP Director of K-12 Education, was recognized as a valued partner in education by the Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD). Wegner was instrumental in organizing the Ocean FEST science night that took place at the ESD in Hillsboro, Oregon on March 1.

Wegner receives award from Jim Mabbott, ESD superintendent.Wegner receives award from Jim Mabbott, ESD superintendent. View photos from Ocean FEST event.Ocean FEST (Families Exploring Science Together) brought together students and their parents for a night of hands-on ocean science experiences. They spent the evening learning about the role of oceans in climate change and how geoscience is directly relevant to their lives.

The event was a collaboration of two National Science Foundation Science and Technology Centers, the Center for Microbial Oceanography (C-MORE), the Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction (CMOP), and the educational service district.

Ocean FEST was enormously successful in engaging underrepresented American Indian and Alaskan Native students in careers in ocean science and related Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields through fun and engaging activities.

“Many, if not all, students who participated in Ocean FEST are probably going to consider this one of those life-changing experiences that they will be talking about for a very long time to come,” said Ruth Jenson, NWRESD’s Title VII Indian Education Program Coordinator.

Wegner’s work on behalf of the educational districts K-12 population is an example of the positive results that come from a strong collaboration between CMOP and the community. The educational service district said they were “honored” to acknowledge Wegner.

“Ocean FEST was a terrific opportunity for two STC's to come together and provide an outstanding experience for students,” Wegner said. “Dr. Barbra Bruno, C-MORE Education Director, enthusiastically engaged students and parents with ocean-related activities. With C-MORE's encouragement, CMOP will work with other organizations to provide Ocean FEST in the Portland Metro area.”

Wegner’s accomplishment was recognized on March 10, 2010 at the ESD’s Regional Office board meeting in Hillsboro.

Written by Jeff Schilling


OceanFEST was a success due in part to the support of volunteers including; Angel White (OSU), Karen Kitchen (Portland Public Schools), Ed Edmo, Joe and Heidi Hulsey (Parent Volunteer), Virgene Blair (NWRESD), Melissa Gilbert and Michelle Maier (CMOP), and “The Student Volunteer Group” from the NWRESD. View photos from event.