2019 Grant Recipients

MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II) and StoryCenter

Using the power of storytelling to inspire innovation

The MATE ROV Competition, in partnership with the StoryCenter, will use the Great Blue Challenge grant to empower student participants to reflect, document, and share their stories of how the competition has impacted their lives, education, and career paths; increased their awareness and understanding of ocean issues; and motivated them to work collaboratively, within the competition setting and beyond. The project will showcase diversity (gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status) to inspire other students to participate and gain confidence they can become the leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers of the future.

MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to providing students with educational experiences where they are inspired and supported to develop their technical, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial skills.

StoryCenter We create spaces for transforming lives and communities, through the acts of listening to and sharing stories. Our public program enables people to register individually for storytelling workshops. Our custom program collaborates with organizations around the world, on workshops in story facilitation, digital storytelling, and other forms of participatory media production.

Dobyns-Bennett High School

Ocean Processes Capstone Course

Bringing the ocean to the classroom

“The act of physically interacting with marine animals is completely different from watching a video or something synthetic. It provides that real connection with the animal that cannot be substituted by anything else, and in the people, who are interested by the animals, that physical interaction will be the key factor in them deciding to pursue Marine Sciences. When they are there with the animals, the connection is made and will forever impact the students. I know this is true because the same thing happened to me.” Dobyns-Bennett student, Val Giaudrone.

The Great Blue Challenge grant will enable Dobyns-Bennett to provide a unique learning experience and connection to the ocean by funding a salt water aquarium and ecosystem in the classroom. In addition to hands on and real time marine learning, students in the school’s technology and robotics programs are developing and building an ongoing monitoring and maintenance using the Raspberry Pi platform and a webcam. Located in Kingsport, Tennessee, some of the Dobyns-Bennett students may never experience the ocean first hand.

The aquarium and included ecosystem provide a unique experience for students to interact and apply classroom learnings into a live environment. Students from multiple disciplines will benefit from collaborating on this unique opportunity – both as they establish the ecosystem and develop the technology to support it.