MILESTONES TO DATE
Explorer At Large (XAL) has raised $1.35 million to date from funders who believe in our vision and mission to create generations of curious and courageous explorers. Here's a quick recap of key milestones to date:
Josh Bernstein and a small production crew of friends establish the foundation for Explorer At Large's immersive style and hands-on approach to creating educational STEAM content. Throughout 2012 and 2013, Josh films with experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on a variety of STEAM topics and STEAM-related career paths. In all, 10 episodes are filmed in Florida, Massachusetts, California, and Cuba, on topics ranging from aquifer water quality to coral conservation strategies to shark migration patterns.
The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) signs a contract with Explorer At Large to produce 10 videos hosted by Josh Bernstein highlighting "the exhibits, artifacts, research centers and staff of the Smithsonian Institution." By Summer 2014, Josh is filming with experts at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park. By Winter 2014, SSEC funds an additional 10 episodes, bringing the total to 20. Filming expands to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse.
With a planning grant and then a subsequent challenge grant from the Bezos Family Foundation, Explorer At Large raises funds from a trio of philanthropies in Central Ohio: The Harold C. Schott Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, and the Battelle Memorial Institute. With these funds, a pilot study is put into 20 classrooms for SY2017-2018 in Central Ohio. Based on the success of this pilot, an additional pilot, funded by the Harold C. Schott Foundation, brings Explorer At Large to Cleveland and additional Columbus classrooms for SY2019-2020.
2020 and beyond
In early 2020, Tony Keyes joins Explorer At Large as Vice President, Strategic Relationships, to focus on launching a campaign to bring Explorer At Large to Partner Cities outside Columbus, Ohio. Miami, Philadelphia, and Chicago are selected as XAL Partner Locations for 2021. As preparations are being made, the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, closing schools and forcing millions of students, teachers, and school districts to re-evaluate what role e-learning and distance learning can play in formal education. Explorer At Large accelerates its plans to offer an online learning component, targeting Fall 2021 for the launch of a public-facing Explorer At Large platform. The campaign for this platform will be announced soon.