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Trahan Announces $5.3 Million in Federal Grant Funding for Concord Consortium

Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03)

LOWELL, MA – Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) announced $5,392,880 in grant funding for the Concord Consortium for two projects designed to help educate young students about the Earth using state of the art tools. The funding will be distributed by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

“I am thrilled to see this award go to a nonprofit organization that is so dedicated to educating our students. Concord Consortium is a leader when it comes to expanding the ways youth learn in the 21st Century. I am excited to see the monumental impacts these projects will have on the future of STEM in our area,” said Congresswoman Trahan. 

"We are thrilled to add two new grants to our portfolio. These cutting-edge projects show how technology can open new opportunities to teach and learn about topics that are traditionally difficult. The dynamics of our Earth and the science of radio wave communications are two examples of important topics for learners to understand as preparation for a complex and changing future,” said Chad Dorsey, President and CEO of the Concord Consortium. 

The first award, totaling $2,408,293, will support the project, Geological Construction of Rock Arrangements from Tectonics: Systems Modeling Across Scales, or GeoCRAFT. The project, conducted under the leadership of Amy Pallant, will create a model simulation of Earth’s moving tectonic plates to be used in science classes for middle and high school students so they are able to better visualize and understand the shifts happening beneath our planet's surface. The award starts Oct. 01, 2020. 

“The Earth is complex and dynamic, but it is both too large and too slow to be easily observed, making Earth science challenging to teach and to learn. GeoCRAFT will develop a sophisticated web-based modeling simulation to help middle and high school students explore the interconnected geologic processes that shape Earth's surface across scales of time and space," said Principle Investigator of GeoCRAFT, Amy Pallant. 

The second award, totaling $2,984,587, will support the project Empowering Informal Educators to Prepare Future Generations in Wireless Radio Communications with Mobile Resources. The project, under the direction of Sherry Hsi, will bring together experts to design, evaluate, and launch tools to engage and educate youth and the public about radio frequency communications so that wireless communication may be further developed and improved. This project will also begin on Oct. 01, 2020. 

"Radio waves are critically important to cell phones, computers, medical equipment, satellites, and more and are relevant to the technological lives of today's youth and public and important for advancing workforce development. We're designing and evaluating digital apps, a craft-based toolkit, and mobile online professional learning to engage informal educators and the public,” said Sherry Hsi, Investigator of "Empowering Informal Educators to Prepare Future Generations in Wireless Radio Communications with Mobile Resources.” 

You can learn more about the Concord Consortium here. 

The National Science Foundation supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting-edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future. 

The abstracts and other information regarding these awards will soon be publicly available via the NSF Award Abstracts database, located at:

nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2006144 (GeoCRAFT)

nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2005784 (Wireless Radio Communications)

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