Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is pleased to recognize support from Manatee Community Foundation for Mote’s award-winning education programs. Thanks to The Bishop-Parker Foundations Fund of Manatee Community Foundation, Mote and partners at Pace Center for Girls will provide year-round monthly STEM programming for 40 Manatee County students at Pace for the year. This is the 7th year of partnership between Mote and Pace, which works to create an environment that fosters the long-term growth and development of young women in the community.

“Our partnership with Pace allows our educators to connect with Pace students and their instructors to provide hands-on opportunities, both at Pace and during seasonal field trip visits to Mote Aquarium,” said Elaina Wheaton, Mote’s Director of Education. “By partnering directly with alternative schools and afterschool programs such as Pace, we are able to fill gaps in local education programming by leveraging Mote science and educators to engage participants in highly-interactive learning experiences.”

Through virtual interactive lessons, in-person visits to Mote, and targeted lesson plans, students at Pace will learn more about marine animals, the factors that contribute to healthy marine ecosystems, and learn more about conservation-minded practices. Participation in the program also helps girls develop the self-confidence needed in academic settings to engage with STEM content.

“By partnership with Mote, we’re able to give our girls the confidence to look towards STEM career options that they might not have otherwise thought available to them,” said Pace Program Coordinator Lena Neal. “The hands-on activities and opportunities to visit Mote are lifelong memories for the girls, and we can see their passion towards marine science and STEM develop over the course of the program.”