Climate Change Education And Literacy
In 2011, UMass Lowell hosted the Carbon Smarts Conference which brought together accomplished individuals from many disciplines to explore the use of Out-of-Home Media (OOHM) to help people learn about climate change.
Out-of-Home Media (OOHM) is any form of communication that an individual might experience while out of the home. The original Cool Science pilot project focused on the advertising spaces on the inside and outside of buses as well as posters at the main bus terminal for the Lowell Regional Transit Authority. The idea was that if these spaces were so effective at selling products and services to the bus riders and pedestrians, why not use the spaces to help people learn about science?
Over the years, Cool Science received thousands of entries from K-12 students from cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. Each year, around six winning entries were put on public display throughout the Lowell Regional Transit Authority so riders could appreciate and learn from the students’ works of art. The student artwork was also honored at a ceremony at the UMass Lowell campus each spring.
In 2014, the Cool Science pilot program received a Hatch award for creative excellence in advertising from the Ad Club. In 2015, one of the researchers behind Cool Science, Dr. David Lustick from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, received the “Champions of Change for Climate Change Education and Literacy” award from the White House in part for his work on this project.