By Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has committed $25,000 to support the expansion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs at Ocean Institute.

Science (GIOS) Conference, which was launched in 2005, is a nationally recognized program that aims to provide inspiration and spark curiosity in middle and high school students through hands-on science workshops and interaction with accomplished female scientists. Scientists who headline the GIOS Conference represent diverse, ocean-scientific fields of study, like coral conservation and research.

“(We are) pleased to support Ocean Institute’s ocean education programs for youth in Southern California—in particular, young women—to inspire future generations of ocean advocates and marine scientists,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chairman and President of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. “Younger generations today, as environmental stewards of the future, are an important source of hope for the long-term health of our oceans.”

High school students will take part in the GIOS Conference this month, working side by side with scientists in Ocean Institute’s science labs and on its research vessel, R/V Sea Explorer. This program provides access for students and their mentors to explore the 3.5 square-mile Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area adjacent to Ocean Institute’s waterfront campus. Students rotate through various ocean-related topical stations and collaborate with scientists to actively conduct research and experiments during the conference.

A portion of the grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation will provide access and hands-on STEM education experiences for one hundred underserved students across Southern California.

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