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Coastal Carolina University GK-12 program wins national award for Web site

April 27, 2009

The GK-12 program at Coastal Carolina University, a project that partners University graduate students and Horry County K-12 teachers in coastal science research, won a national award recently at the annual GK-12 conference in Washington, D.C.

The University's GK-12 program received the award for most effective Web site. The Web page was cited for its success in explaining and promoting the GK-12 mission.

"With more than 120 active GK-12 projects around the country, this is a major accomplishment for a program that is in its first year," said Craig Gilman, associate professor of marine science and principal investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that funds the program.

The winning site was designed by Courtney Burge, Web site designer in the University's Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies. The site is located at

The GK-12 program at Coastal Carolina University was established in 2008 with a $2.3 million NSF grant -- the largest grant the University has received. The five-year project funds six graduate students and Horry County science teachers each year. The participating students, known as GK-12 Fellows (the "G" refers to graduate students), develop and teach lesson plans based on their specific research projects. They also serve as a scientific resource for the classroom teacher and as tutors and mentors to the students.

The research they conduct focuses on some aspect of coastal science, including sharks, blue crabs, wetland biodiversity, fungus in area beach sand and the ecology of the area's former rice fields.