Herring Gut Coastal Science Center has been chosen as one of 64 quarterfinalists for the Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless Education (STOP). The Yass Prize is a national competition that acknowledges organizations that provide educational programs addressing significant challenges in education with a focus on new ideas, technologies, and approaches to learning in the 21st century.
Out of almost 2,000 applications, which represented 27 million students across various education sectors and grades, Herring Gut Coastal Science Center was selected. The applicants included charter schools, private schools, education technology companies, national school networks, and educator recruitment programs.
Being chosen as a quarterfinalist means that Herring Gut will receive a $100,000 prize to support their mission of educating students and communities about the connections between the ocean, inland waters, and the economy of Maine.
The Yass Prize Quarterfinalists embody personalized approaches to education in the 21st century, catering to students from pre-K to higher education. Janine Yass, founder of The Yass Prize, praised the innovators who applied for the competition and commended the hard work they put into the process.
Out of the 64 awardees, Herring Gut is one of just three from New England to be recognized as the most innovative education providers of 2023. The other two New England awardees are Old Sturbridge Academy in Massachusetts and St. George Municipal School Unit in Maine, which is a partner of Herring Gut.
Philip Conkling, president of the Herring Gut Coastal Science Center Board, expressed pride in the national recognition, attributing it to the dedication and creativity of their teaching staff. He also highlighted that the award received by their partner, St. George Municipal School Unit, exemplifies that smaller organizations can be at the forefront of educational excellence and innovation.