LOWELL -- UMass Lowell has launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, seeking support for a program that provides climate-change education to schoolchildren in the classroom and commuters in the neighborhoods where they live, work and shop.
In the next three weeks, donors to IndieGoGo at www.indiegogo.com/projects/cool-science
will help fund the second phase of the Cool Science program. The initiative invites the state's students to create illustrations depicting their understanding of climate issues, and transforms the best of the submissions into educational media displayed on the outside and inside of Lowell Regional Transit Authority buses and bus terminals.
An estimated 5,000 commuters a day throughout Greater Lowell saw Cool Science's first educational campaign, which ran from January to June. That campaign was funded by a one-time grant from the UMass President's Creative Economy Initiatives Fund.
Cool Science was so successful, its leaders want to continue the program, broadening its reach in the coming academic year with the help of public support.
Donors to IndieGoGo may give gifts of $10 to $5,000 in support of the project, with UMass Lowell providing matching funds of up to $5,000 donated through the website. All donations are tax-deductible.
As they did during the first campaign, the LRTA and Anastas Advertising Associates of Lowell are donating the advertising space for the initiative. Money raised will help implement the initiative's next phase, which calls for the program to expand beyond the LRTA to other mass-transit authorities across Massachusetts.
Cool Science is led by David Lustick of Nashua and Jill Hendrickson Lohmeier of Westford, both professors in the UMass Lowell Graduate School of Education, along with Professor Robert Chen of UMass Boston.