UC Santa Barbara Research Team Participates in National Lab Day in Washington, D.C.

Researchers from UC Santa Barbara's DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea project participated in a two-day conference earlier this month in Washington, D.C., that highlighted innovative approaches to educating youth using digital technologies. The researchers were among those representing media projects funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea is a project of the Environmental Media Initiative organized by UCSB's Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media.

The conference, which took place on May 12-13, was held in conjunction with the first National Lab Day, a grassroots partnership between science and engineering societies and educators that was created in response to President Obama's call for making science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education a national priority.

As part of National Lab Day activities, the MacArthur Foundation honored researchers funded through its 2009 and 2010 Digital Media and Learning (DML) Competitions. DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea was one of the foundation's 2009 winning DML projects. The foundation also used the National Lab Day event to announce the winners of the 2010 21st Century Learning Lab Designers competition. Part of the $2 million DML Prize, this first-ever competition challenges entrepreneurs to design new hands-on STEM learning.

"It was a great honor for our DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea team to be part of this White House event celebrating innovative research in science education," said Constance Penley, co-director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and principal investigator of the Sampling the Sea project. "We are gratified that we have been able to bring marine science into today's curriculum by offering students a chance to collaborate on gathering and sharing data, images, and stories about the health of the world's ocean."

The DML Competition is an annual program that provides $2 million in awards to innovators shaping the field of digital media and learning. The competition seeks designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others to build digital experiences in the learning labs of the 21st century that help young people interact, share, build, tinker, and explore in new and innovative ways. The competition is funded by a MacArthur grant to the University of California, Irvine, and is administered by the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), a virtual network of learning institutions.

A short film about DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea can be seen on DigitalOcean's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/digitaloceansts1.

Descriptions of the 2010 DML competition winners can be found at www.dmlcompetition.net/year_3/winners.php.

Related Links

Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaborat

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