WAVE Foundation’s Education Program Earns “Top Honors” Award from Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Silver Spring, Maryland (October 2, 2018) – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium (WAVE) has been recognized with AZA’s 2018 Education Award for the Foundation’s Living Curriculum Initiative (LCI). WAVE Foundation was selected as the “Top Honors” recipient of this national award during AZA’s September conference in Seattle.

WAVE Foundation wins Top Honors at AZA

Dan Ashe, AZA President and CEO, presents the 2018 Education Award to Scott Wingate, Executive Director of WAVE Foundation, and Erin Shultz, Community Outreach Coordinator for WAVE Foundation.

The AZA Education Award recognizes outstanding achievement in educational program design.  Programs are judged on their ability to promote conservation knowledge, attitudes and behavior, show innovation, and measure success.

“Education at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums is marked by a sharing of scientific discovery and a love of nature,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium is a leader in conservation education; with its immersive Living Curriculum Initiative instilling among its participants what Rachel Carson called, ‘a sense of wonder.’”

WAVE created the Living Curriculum Initiative, a program built to integrate science into a reading and writing focused curricula inspired by bringing live sharks into classrooms. The LCI works to revolutionize how science is introduced to elementary school students in public schools throughout Cincinnati. Based on increased pressure of common core standardized testing, many elementary schools across the nation are required to focus on reading and writing in grades K-3; often neglecting authentic science instruction before 4th grade. Correspondingly, students miss a critical development period to cultivate curiosity through experiential, knowledge building scientific inquiry-based practices.LCI Team

“The LCI program is developed to provide formal public learning institutions an intentional opportunity to integrate informal learning tools into their classrooms to provide improved outcomes on learning objectives and increase conservation ethic in participating schools, students and teachers,” said Scott Wingate, Executive Director of the WAVE Foundation.

WAVE Foundation is one of seven informal learning institutions that work in collaboration with Cincinnati Public Schools District (CPS) to advance formal education and boost achievement on standardized testing. Annually the program engage 30 science teachers, administrators and curriculum developers from CPS to address the science learning gap and develop innovative curriculum that advances our mission, the objectives of CPS, and their students.

Collaborative partners for this project included Cincinnati Public Schools and TutorGen, Inc.

To learn more about AZA’s Honors and Awards, please visit https://www.aza.org/honors-awards.

About WAVE Foundation
WAVE Foundation, in partnership with Newport Aquarium, strives to excite, engage and educate our community about the wonders of aquatic life and the importance of conservation. Programs exist in three core focus areas: education, conservation and volunteerism. WAVE provides unique education curriculum and experiences for students of all ages; supports and provides leadership in local, national and global conservation efforts; and has a vibrant volunteer program with over 500 dedicated volunteers. To learn more, visit: www.wavefoundation.org

About AZA
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

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