NEMO launched in the 2013-14 school year and in its first ten years it has provided free class programs for more than 10,400 Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) 4th grade students. This program is part of the CLE4SCI collaborative, a team of Cleveland informal science institutions that provide experiential learning about environmental and physical sciences for pre-school through 12th grade CMSD students. Other participating organizations include the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Great Lakes Science Center.
In this place-based science field experience, CMSD district 4th graders explore aquatic animal adaptations and habitats through science inquiry. From 2014 through the spring of 2020, this was an in-person field experience at the Aquarium offered to all CMSD 4th grade classes. In 2020-2022, the program pivoted to accommodate the pandemic’s remote learning operations and was presented as a live virtual stream via Zoom. Regardless of delivery format, NEMO includes an interactive Aquarium tour with an Aquarium Educator and a curriculum guide with pre and post visit science lessons for the classroom teacher to implement. Beyond 2022, the program now operates in a hybrid format, empowering teachers to either connect virtually or attend in-person.
NEMO aims to increase 4th grade student proficiency in science. Designed with a focus on Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science, and correlated to the district’s Science Fusion textbook, NEMO reinforces science concepts in life science, earth science, and science inquiry. Expanding science beyond the classroom walls, students experience real world science applications in the Aquarium setting.
With the help of donated and granted funds, NEMO can continue to provide Aquarium access to classrooms and students to whom an Aquarium visit may otherwise be beyond their economic means.
We are grateful to the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, the Abington Foundation and the Thomas H. White Foundation, OH Lottery, and the Comprehensive Extracurricular Activities Plan for funding NEMO in the past.