This is a brief I just wrote for Friday's Inquirer. The news was just announced today:
The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it is awarding the Franklin Institute more than $5 million to educate Philadelphians and other urbanites about climate change. Franklin Institute will be sharing the money with partners in New York, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.
"I have been leading the fight in Congress to make science and research funds available to institutions in Philadelphia and nationwide," said Congressman Fattah, the leading democratic appropriator for science and the NSF. "Education and research provide the key to American innovation and to securing our future as world leaders. That includes leadership to combat human-created climate change while we still have time to act."
The educational outreach will include K-12 classrooms as well as programs aimed at adult residents in neighborhoods around Philadelphia, said the Franklin Institute's Steve Snyder, who is listed as the principle investigator on the grant.
"There's a lot of discussion of climate change but people don't understand the basics so they can make sense of all the information floating around," said Snyder, who is the Franklin's VP for exhibits and program development.
The plan is to educate people on the ways urban residents can adapt to climate change, and how we can mitigate its effects. The focus, he said, will be on things urban people deal with every day – our food, water systems, transportation and energy. "We're trying to get at an understanding of how climate works and the underlying science of climate change," he said, "so we can do something about it."