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Recent Science and Technology News from the MDOE Newsroom

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The Science Listserv, hosted by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, is a valuable source for professional development information and science and technology updates.  To subscribe to the listserv via the World Wide Web, click here; via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to:


Recent Science Listserv Postings from Anita Bernhardt at Maine DOE (View archived postings.)


Maine Air Museum Offers Free Use of STEM Exhibits to Schools (9/10/12)

The Maine Air Museum has four aviation-related science, technical, engineering and mathematics (STEM) exhibits available at no charge for loans to schools and libraries beginning Monday, October 1, 2012. Each of the four exhibits will be made available for weekly loan during the school year after October 1, 2012; as soon as the museum is closed to the public for the season.

The exhibits can be view this month at the Maine Air Museum at 98 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine,  just north of where Hammond Street meets the runway at the Bangor International Airport or can be viewed online at

The museum is open to the public Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. through September 30, 2012.

For further information call the Maine Air Museum at (207) 941-6757 or Bob Littlefield at 989-3050.  For additional information go to



Maine is ME Student Art Challenge - Connections to Science Abound! (9/9/12)

I am forwarding the information below about the Maine is ME Student Art Challenge.  This challenge provides many opportunities for connections to science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Maine. – Anita

First Lady Ann LePage announces the Maine is ME Student Art Challenge, in partnership with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. The First Lady invites students in grades K-8 to submit an original work of art depicting what living in Maine means to you.

Selected artwork will be featured in the First Lady’s upcoming new family friendly Love.Read.Learn!™ Baby Journal. The journal is to promote literacy and health to families of newborn babies in Maine and will be provided at no cost to parents of newborns in 2012-2013.

Prompt: Create a 2-­dimensional original artwork that represents what living in Maine means to you. The artwork may be inspired by a wide range of images from favorite places, outdoor activities, foods and state symbols to families having fun together.

Students should consider the use of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.

Student artwork should be two-­dimensional, measure 9” X 12” and may be created using any medium including pencil, crayon, graphic, pastel, watercolor, oils, etc.

Entries must be postmarked by October 30, 2012 and the artists are expected to be notified during the week of November 12, 2012. Please send entries to the  Blaine House – Maine is ME Art Challenge, c/o Paula Benoit, 192 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330.

All selected artists must be a Maine student (grades K-8), during the 2012-2013 school year, and be a legal resident of Maine at the time of his/her application. Students must return the student-parents forms with their artwork.

Complete details about the Maine is ME Art Challenge, guidelines and parent consent forms are also available online at: as well as



Information Regarding New STEM Competition Administered by NSTA (9/8/12)

I am sharing the following information regarding the eCYBERMISSION program that NSTA is taking over. – Anita

I’d like to introduce myself to you, share some information, and ask for your support—all in one fell swoop!

I’m Sue Whitsett, eCYBERMISSION Outreach Manager at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the information I’d like to share is about the U.S. Army’s eCYBERMISSION program, an online collaborative learning competition designed to inspire student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world challenges in their local communities.

Earlier this month, NSTA announced that the association would manage the program, now in its 11th year. Through the program, teams of three to four students are asked to identify an issue in their community related to one of seven mission challenges. After selecting a mission challenge, teams—under the guidance of a team advisor—apply the scientific method/inquiry or engineering design process to propose a solution. Each team then submits a mission folder, the official write-up of their project. A panel of virtual judges evaluates and scores the mission folders on the basis of several criteria to identify winning teams. Teams have the opportunity to win state, regional, and national awards and the students on the four national winning teams can receive up to $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.

Student teams (comprised of three to four members), in grades six through nine who are enrolled at a U.S.-based public or private school, a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school abroad or a U.S.-based home school, are encouraged to compete. Each team must have a team advisor. Team advisors must be a teacher, coach, counselor or leader in a youth group organization and at least 21 years of age. Teams must register by December 14 in order to participate.

eCYBERMISSION is an excellent teaching tool to help students learn the real-life applications of STEM. Additionally, the program can be incorporated into classroom or home-school curriculum or used as an extracurricular activity. Although we reach a large number of individuals involved in the science education community, there are still many science educators out there that don’t know about this amazing program. I’m hoping that you’ll help spread the word by encouraging science teachers to participate and including information about this competition on your websites and/or in your member newsletters and communications. Attached is a flyer about the program; please feel free to forward/distribute to teachers or anyone else that you think would be interested. The most comprehensive information about this program can be found here.

If you have any questions please let me know. Thank you for your efforts to get this important information out.



Discover of Sound in the Sea (DOSITS) Media Survey (9/7/12)

I am forwarding the following information on behalf of the University of Rhode Island. – Anita

Subject:  Discovery of Sound in the Sea continues to seek input from formal and informal educators

The Discovery of Sound in the Sea website (DOSITS; provides information on the basic science of sound in the sea, how both people and animals use sound under water, and the effects of sound on marine life.  In addition to in-depth science content, there are galleries and educational resources that pro­vide a wealth of information for educators and students.

The DOSITS Team still needs your input!  We would like to know how formal and informal educators use the DOSITS website and its associated resources. Do you use the website with your students and/or for curriculum prep?  Do you use the DOSITS cd’s? Would a DOSITS app and/or ibook be helpful/practical? 

lease take a very brief survey (linked below) to help us answer these questions.

DOSITS Needs Assessment:

If you have any questions or problems, please contact Holly Morin (

DOSITS has been developed by the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) in partnership with Marine Acoustics, Inc. (MAI) of Middletown, RI. The website and associated educational resources have been developed with support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA/NMFS).



Upcoming EEAB Webinar – MSL Landing Success: Curiosity's Journey Begins! (9/7/12)

I am forwarding this great opportunity to participate in the NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond classroom distance learning event. – Anita

The Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program is planning to schedule its next classroom connection distance learning event. This event will feature an interactive presentation, led by a scientist from the NASA Johnson Space Center and will focus on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Lander.   The title of this event will be called, “MSL Landing Success:  Curiosity’s Journey Begins!” The presentation will last approximately 50 minutes followed by an optional 10-25 minutes of Q & A from you/your students. 

To participate in this event, all you would need is 1) an internet connected computer and 2) a speaker phone to hear the speaker.  (Note: If you want to have sound through your computer, you can call in using Skype or Google Voice (if you have account with either of these and know how to use them).
Due to the date/time constraints of our presenter, who is a team member on this mission, we hoping to schedule this presentation on one of the following days:  September 19, 20, 24, 25, or 28th.  The event will be scheduled for 1 hour (although we will stay on the line for additional Q & A).  If you are interested in participating in this event, let us know which date/times would work for you.  To indicate your interest, do the following:

Go to this doodle link:

Type in your name

Put a check mark next to all times you would be able to participate

Click Save

I will work to schedule this event according to the availability of the majority of those of you interested.  If you are interested, please provide your feedback by Wednesday, September 12th.  If you are not interested, please disregard this email.  I will send out a follow-up email once the event has been officially scheduled so you can register if you wish to participate.  If you would like to be removed from this distribution list, please let me know.

Thanks!  I look forward to possibly connecting with you and your students!



Webinar: Next Generation Science Standards & ELLs (9/4/12)

I am forwarding information regarding this webinar related to the Next Generation Science Standards and ELLs. The presenters are nationally recognized. Okhee for her ELL work and Helen for her work on Science Framework. I encourage you to register. – Anita

Next Generation Science Standards & ELLs

Sept. 19, 2012 , 4:00pm to 5:00pm PDT

Helen Quinn and Okhee Lee will discuss NGSS and ELLs in this upcoming webinar.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) come at a pivotal moment in U.S. history, as major educational changes take place at the national level: On one hand, student demographics are changing rapidly while science achievement gaps persist. On the other, a new wave of science standards is emerging in states across the country. In addition to the focus on disciplinary core ideas, these standards emphasize scientific and engineering practices. Many of these practices are language intensive, and so the standards cannot be achieved unless students and teachers recognize and address the increased language demands and opportunities. This is especially true for the millions of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the nation’s schools.

This free webinar will address the following topics: First, Helen Quinn and Okhee Lee will summarize major shifts in the NGSS, as compared to earlier standards. Second, they will share tools and resources to help teachers of ELLs navigate this new landscape. Third, they will discuss language demands and learning opportunities as ELLs participate in the science and engineering practices.

Ten lucky registrants will receive an "Understanding Language at Stanford University" mug!

Register Here

Find more info at

Jesse Markow, Director-Communication and Business Development
WIDA Consortium at WCER, University of Wisconsin-Madison
P 608.262.7594



Bug Maine-ia at the Maine State Museum (Sept 12) and Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum (Oct 17) (8/27/12)

I am sending the following on behalf of the Maine State Museum. - Anita

Bug Maine-ia at the Maine State Museum - Wednesday September 12,  9:00am to 3:00pm

The museum will be abuzz with insects of all kinds, from honeybees to walking sticks, as we celebrate our 10th annual Bug Maine-ia! Entomologists, environmental educators, foresters, and others will be on hand to guide you through the expansive, yet often itsy-bitsy world of insects. Come explore the many fascinating ways that bugs affect our lives!

A LIVE insect zoo will give adventurous students an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s largest insects. Check out a display of exotic butterflies, or hold a Tarantula in the palm or your hand! Free Admission All Day!

Insect head close-up

To make a reservation for Bug Maine-ia contact the museum at 207-287-2301 or go to the following link to fill out the online reservation form:

Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum - Wednesday October 17, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Prospecting for gold and exploring how to quarry granite are just two of the many activities offered at the Maine State Museum in Augusta on Earth Science Day, Wednesday October 17, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students and visitors of all ages will find something to investigate in the museum-wide celebration of the various Earth sciences.

Earth Science Day reminds people that earth science is all around us, and encourages responsible stewardship of the Earth. Earth scientists, industry professionals, artists and educators from around the state will share their knowledge and expertise in celebration of our home, the planet Earth. Free Admission All Day!

To make a reservation for Earth Science Day contact the Museum at 207-287-2301 or go to the following link to fill out the online reservation form:



Cross Discipline literacy Network (8/26/12)

The Cross Discipline Literacy Network provides a great opportunity to learn more about connecting Literacy and Science. Sign up today. – Anita

Cross Discipline Literacy Network

Are you looking for low cost, high quality professional learning connected to Maine’s learning standards and your daily instructional practice?

Are you eager to engage in collaborative study with colleagues across the state to fine tune your teaching?

Are you interested in a combination of face-to-face conversation and technology-based learning experiences?

If you answered yes to these questions, the Cross Discipline Literacy Network is for you.  This professional learning network will foster literacy practices that support learning across content areas.  The goal of the literacy network is to provide K-12 educators access to professional learning communities focused on content literacy strategies that:

  • Build capacity for educators to engage in collaborative, reflective study around literacy practices that benefit content area teaching and learning
  • Promote ongoing literacy learning and sharing among professionals across content areas from across Maine; and
  • Increase student achievement of learning standards through improved literacy instruction across content areas.

The network will operate regionally across the state, utilizing both online webinar sessions interspersed between face-to-face networking sessions. 

The webinar portion of the network will require participants to select literacy strands on which to focus their study throughout the year.  The literacy strands will support the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Literacy Across the Disciplines, and will include both content area focused strands (e.g. science, social studies, math, etc.) and general literacy strands (e.g. text complexity, writing instruction, and word study).  Webinars will be developed and delivered by MDOE content specialists and Maine educators with discipline specific expertise at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.  Participants will be expected to connect webinar content to their practice and to share evidence of this application during face to face meetings. Additionally, some webinars may require text reading of web-based articles or professional texts (to be purchased separately by participants). Webinar presentations will be held afterschool and archived so that participants can watch them again and/or obtain the content at a later time if they miss the live presentation.  Dates of webinar sessions will be sent to participants by October 1, 2012.

Participants will also select a local site at which they will attend face-to-face sessions three times throughout the 2012-13 school year. These sessions will provide participants with the opportunity to engage in extended conversations related to a variety of literacy practices and topics connected to the literacy strands on which they are focusing their study.  Opportunities for text discussions, sharing instructional strategies and student work, and networking with other educators will be abundant during these sessions which will run from 4:00-5:30 p.m.  Conversations and sharing at local sites will be facilitated by trained educators, and sites will be organized to support educators from the K-5, 6-12, or K-12 grade spans. 

Finally, participants in the Cross Discipline Literacy Network will also have the opportunity to connect with local site colleagues and literacy strand colleagues via an online networking platform,, that will be introduced during the first face-to-face session.

To register, visit where you can view the 2012-13 Cross Discipline Literacy Network master schedule, literacy strand options, and local site options.  Once you know which site and which webinar strand(s) you want to select, click the registration link to complete the online registration. 

Registration cost is $25 for the year (includes face-to-face sessions and up to 2 webinar strands). The registration deadline is October 5, 2012.   For additional information, please contact Lee Anne Larsen: e-mail or phone 624-6628. 



NSTA Web Seminars on Scientific and Engineering Practices (8/17/12)

Yesterday, USM hosted the second of two mini-courses on the Framework at the Glickman library.  The rain made it a perfect morning to be inside attending a workshop and once again the turnout was great.  In addition to some insightful conversations about engineering across the K-12 continuum, we had some provocative discussions about the need for professional development support to assist educators to make the transition to the Framework vision.  I keep saying that there are groups around the country working on resources and the information below from NSTA is a great example. This fall NSTA will host a series of webinars on the engineering practices. Science education experts from around the country will be the presenters for these workshop. It is a great opportunity to learn more.  I hope you will sign up to attend.

And be sure to become follower of the SciTech Framework website and receive regular updates about the NGSS and Framework like this one.  (Go to and type your email address in the "Become a Follower" box.) - Anita

NSTA is presenting a series of eight web seminars on the practices described in The Framework for K-12 Science Education, released in 2011 by the National Research Council (NRC).  The Framework describes the major practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school and is being used to guide the development of the Next Generations Science Standards. 

Each web seminar focuses on a particular practice outlined in the Framework (see below) and will provide teachers with information on:

  • the key elements of the practice;
  • how the practice is part of the broader set of practices that work together (and how no practice is taught in isolation);
  • how the practice can be used in combination with disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts to form performance expectations; and
  • what the use of the practice really looks like in the classroom.

The practices included in the Framework (and eventually the NGSS) represent current research about how students learn best. Teachers are encouraged to learn more about these practices now in advance of the release of NGSS and begin incorporating them into instruction to provide students the skill sets they need to be successful in learning any content.

The web seminars will be a valuable professional development experience for any science educator, but will be especially practical for those at the middle and high school level. They will also be helpful for science coordinators, supervisors, state science supervisors and others.

The web seminars are offered free of charge and are designed so that participants can attend just one or all eight sessions.

They will run from 6:30-8:00 pm Eastern Time every other Tuesday starting on Tuesday, September 11.



Real World Design Challenge Registration is Open! (8/9/12)

Registration is now open for the 2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge.  The Challenge starts in the fall, but you can sign up today.

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual aviation design competition for teams of 3-7 high school students.  The Challenge is FREE for students and teachers.  And each teacher that signs up a team will receive $1 million in professional engineering software as well as access to mentors from industry, government, and academia.

State Champion teams get an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC for the students and the teacher to compete in the National Challenge. Every team that wants to participate needs to register EVEN IF THEY PARTICIPATED IN THE PAST.  You can register now and add your roster of students later.

Teams can register by clicking the following link Registration for the 2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge is Now Open! Sign Up Today! or by going to and following the registration link there.  The team’s teacher/coach should do the registration.

Please get the word out to anyone else who might be interested in participating.  The sooner they sign up and get started, the better.



Bigelow Laboratory EXPLORING Oceanography Summer WORKSHOP (6/20/12)

Bigelow Laboratory has room for five more high school science educators to join them for their EXPLORING Oceanography Summer WORKSHOP.  Participants work with scientists conducting research that is important locally and globally.  More information about this great opportunity follows below. – Anita

Explore ocean science at Bigelow Laboratory this summer!

What: Ocean Science Professional Development Workshop

Where: Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, East Boothbay, Maine

When: July 24-27, 2012

Who: Maine high school science teachers (interested middle school teachers may also apply!!)

Cost: $100

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is offering a four-day professional development workshop to teachers interested in working with Bigelow scientists to increase their knowledge of ocean science and involve their students in hands-on science exploration. 

Educators attending the workshop will learn how to teach fundamentals of ocean science in a local and global context.  Topics covered include the history of oceanography, the carbon cycle, primary productivity and climate change.  Participants will spend a day in the field on a research cruise, attend seminars by Bigelow scientists and engage in hands-on learning activities.  All attendees will receive curriculum materials, lab equipment and follow-up academic year support, as well as 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

The workshop will be taught by Dr. David Fields and Dr. Nicole Poulton, both Research Scientists at Bigelow Laboratory.

Housing near the Lab, a transportation reimbursement and some meals will be provided.  For registration and more details, please visit:

For more information, please contact Nicole Poulton: or (202) 747-3255 x 513



NAEP Data Suggest Need for Implementation of Framework Vision (6/20/12)

Take a few minutes to check out the NAEP innovative science assessment data that was released this week.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released the results of the interactive science assessment administered nationwide to students at grades 4, 8, and 12.  Along with ... (read more at   

And... when you are done reading, enter your email address and become a follower of the MDOE SciTech Framework page.  Stay up to date on information related to the Next Generation Science Standards and the implementation of A Framework for K-12 Science Education.

NAEP online:



Promising STEM Youth Event at Capitol (6/13/12)

Last week the Governor met with a group of Promising STEM Students at the Capitol.  He spent an hour talking and shaking hands with students and recognizing their accomplishments.  Below are two links related to the event.  The first is to an article about it and the second is to photos.  Take just a few minutes to look.  The Hall of Flags was abuzz with STEM.  Happy Summer!

The following is a news release from the Office of Gov. Paul LePage:

AUGUSTA – Science, robots and the students who designed them took center stage Tuesday at the State House as Governor Paul LePage awarded the first ever Governor’s Promising STEM Youth Awards.



Presidential Awardees Announced! (6/13/12)

Please join me in congratulating Ken Vencile from Camden Hills Regional High School.  Ken was selected as the 2011 PAEMST Awardee for Science! – Anita 

Ken Vencile, an honors and advanced placement biology teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School, was named this week as one of 97 mathematics and science teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

“I have been lucky to work with dedicated and reflective science instructors, and even more fortunate to share my energy, enthusiasm and knowledge with students who are willing to take risks, be spirited, think critically and dedicate themselves to hard work,” Vencile said. Camden Hills is part of Five Towns CSD.

Vencile's instruction fosters a passion for science, and he brings lessons alive through rich and varied methods of teaching in a rigorous environment. Outside of the classroom, Vencile has established an immersive course in tropical marine ecology in which students conduct independent primary investigations. He also collaborates with the University of Maine at Machias to offer students advanced field research experiences.

Vencile has spent seven years in his current position and taught for the previous seven years at Georges Valley High School in Thomaston.

The honor is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners are selected by a national panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.

“We know that the single most important school-based factor in student achievement is an effective teacher,” Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said. “The fact that Ken Vencile has committed himself not only to great teaching, but to the rigorous Presidential Award process, serves his students well.”

All Maine Department of Education news releases can be found online at:



Who Could You Nominate for the Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award? (5/29/12)

Did you think of someone quickly?  If so, nominate them today! - Anita

NSTA: Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award

The Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award recognizes excellence in the field of aerospace education. The recipient of the award will be honored during the Awards Banquet and the Aerospace Educators Luncheon at the annual NSTA Conference.

Maximum award: $3,000, and $2,000 in expenses to attend NSTA's National Conference. Eligibility: educators in informal education settings (e.g., museums, government, science centers). Individuals must be nominated for this award; self-nominations accepted.

Deadline: November 30, 2012



National Weather Association: Sol Hirsch Teacher Grants (5/23/12)

National Weather Association Sol Hirsch Teacher Grants improve students' education in meteorology. Teachers selected will be able to use the funds to take an accredited course in atmospheric sciences, attend a relevant workshop or conference, or purchase scientific materials or equipment for the classroom.

Maximum award: $750. Eligibility: K-12 teachers.

Deadline: June 1, 2012



Texas Instruments Workshops (5/14/12)

I know many of you use handheld calculators and probes. You may be interested in these Texas Instruments New England workshops. – Anita

All workshops are three consecutive days

Cost: $350 - Includes:

  • Three days of Professional Development from T3 (T-Cubed) Instructors
  • TI-Nspire™ CX handheld or TI-Nspire™ CX CAS handheld
    • Rechargeable battery
    • Full color
    • Supports use of color images
    • Backlit screen
  • TI-Nspire Teacher Software single user perpetual license
  • Printed workshop materials, electronic files and lessons
  • Workshop cost without included technology (Handheld and Teacher Software) is $300.

Special Offers:

  • Bring your team: When five educators from the same school or school district register, the 6th is free.
  • Pre service Teachers: $125 for the full three day workshop which includes the Handheld and Teacher Software.
  • Special offers expire May 31, 2012 and may not be combined.

Registration closes two weeks prior to workshop start date - Get complete details and register now at

New Britain, Connecticut (Hartford area): June 27-June 29, 2012

  • Getting Started with TI-Nspire -High School Mathematics
  • TI-Nspire for Intermediate Users-High School Mathematics

Lynnfield, Massachusetts (Boston area): June 26-28, 2012

  • Getting Started with TI-Nspire -Middle School Mathematics
  • Getting Started with TI-Nspire -High School Mathematics

Worcester, Massachusetts: August 15-17, 2012

  • Getting Started with TI-Nspire - High School Science
  • Getting Started with TI-Nspire -High School Mathematics
  • TI-Nspire for Intermediate Users-High School Mathematics

Vergennes, Vermont (Burlington area): July 30 - August 1, 2012

  • Getting Started with TI-Nspire -High School Mathematics
  • TI-Nspire for Intermediate Users - High School Mathematics

Questions? Contact Jim Donatelli or Terri Viana.



AAPT: Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching (5/1/12)

The American Association of Physics Teachers Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching was established to support special activities in the area of physics teaching. Activities can include but are not limited to the development and distribution of innovative apparatuses for physics teaching; traveling exhibits of apparatuses; and local workshops.

Maximum award: $500. Eligibility: AAPT members.

Deadline: July 1, 2012



Gender Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM): Research, Issues, and Strategies (4/29/12)

I am sharing the following opportunity being hosted by the Coastal Studies for Girls. – Anita

Join fellow educators for a day of learning and discussion at Coastal Studies for Girls, and take home new strategies and materials to use in the classroom.

  • Share personal successes and challenges in the classroom
  • Hear about the current status of women in STEM fields and the role of education in making change
  • Gain a new perspective on strategies for increasing participation of girls and women in STEM courses and careers
  • Participate in a marine science field investigation as a teaching model to engage female learners
  • Learn about the history of "scientific sexism", gender and neurology, and the challenges of gender equity in STEM
  • Take home a packet of materials and strategies to use in the classroom

When: June 22, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Coastal Studies for Girls, 308 Wolf Neck Road, Freeport, Maine

Who: K-12 Science Teachers, Administrators, Science Department Heads & Curriculum Specialists, Girl-serving Program Leaders, STEM education professionals


Val Dusek, Professor of Philosophy, UNH, Durham

Dr. Christy Hammer, Associate Professor of Sociology and Education, USM

Dr. Loraine Washburn, Marine Science teacher at Coastal Studies for Girls

Tara Treichel, Director of Education at Coastal Studies for Girls

One day workshop fee $85, includes packet of teaching materials, morning refreshments, and catered lunch. Information and registration online:



RoboCup Competition at Bowdoin This Weekend (4/19/12)

I noticed the following Bowdoin announcement for RoboCup and thought some of you might be interested. – Anita

RoboCup This Weekend

Bowdoin will be playing host to the RoboCup 2012 U.S. Open this weekend at Watson. Teams expecting to compete include Carnegie Mellon, Texas, Penn, WPI, and Bryn Mawr. Expect continuous matches on Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Semi-finals and finals will be held Sunday starting at 10:00 a.m. Admission is free and open to the general public.

Bowdoin has played host to the U.S. Open for four straight years, but this may be the last year we host.

Things to look out for this year:. Our robots are considerably faster and more stable. However, the rules have changed this year to make both goals the same color. This means there are no visual cues whatsoever to tell the robots what side of the field they are on. All a part of the plan to make the contest more and more like real soccer every year. Note, however, that our goalies do NOT wear special colored jerseys to help players localize.



GREAT opportunities!!! (4/13/12)

Please hand this information on to others as well. – Anita

NSTA: New Science Teacher Academy

The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy Foundation is a professional development initiative created to promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence, and improve teacher content knowledge.

Maximum award: program expenses. Eligibility: middle or high school science teachers entering their second or third year of teaching, working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in science.

Deadline: July 1, 2012

Mickelson/ExxonMobil: 2013 Teachers Academy

The Mickelson ExxonMobil 2013 Teachers Academy offers a program designed to provide third- through fifth-grade teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to motivate students to pursue careers in science and math.

Maximum award: all expenses paid five-day program in July 2013. Eligibility: third- through fifth-grade teachers from all over the United States.

Deadline: October 31, 2013



Information about Baxter Academy (4/11/12)

I am sharing the following information on behalf of John Jaques and the Baxter Academy. – Anita

The Baxter Academy for Technology and Science (BA) is a proposed STEM charter high school that plans to open in Portland in September 2012.  BA will serve students in grades 9-12.

This will be an exciting and innovative FREE public charter high school, the first in Maine!

Enrollment to Baxter Academy in 2012 will be limited to 160 students in grades 9 & 10.  The school will be non-residential and serve students from all towns in southern Maine.

We anticipate charter approval and registration to begin July 1, 2012.  We would like to explain our exciting and innovative educational program, and to answer any questions that you may have about Baxter Academy.  We will also cover the topics of charter school philosophy, limited student enrollment, admissions policies, lottery rules, transportation, and extracurricular activities.  We anticipate that these and other items may be of interest to your family, we encourage you to bring your questions.

Please feel free to forward this email to other interested families.

USM - Portland
Glickman Library 7th Floor
Thursday April 12 at 5:30 pm - link to our web page for directions and the Google map.



Advanced Placement Summer Institutes at Schoodic Center (4/9/12)

I am sharing this information on behalf of the Schoodic Education and Research Center. – Anita

The Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) Institute, which is located in Acadia National Park, is offering six Advanced Placement Summer Institutes this year. These institutes are sanctioned by the College Board.

In addition to the biology, environmental science and statistics offerings we have added chemistry, art and world history.

We now offer graduate credits for biology, environmental science, statistics and world history. We still have scholarships available for Maine teachers.

For more information or to apply please visit our website



Maine School Garden Day - K–12 Educator Training Workshop April 28 (4/6/12)

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom

In cooperation with RSU#10, Oxford County Cooperative Extension and the Maine School Garden Network Present Maine School Garden Day: K–12 Educator Training Workshop at the National Award winning Garden program, Buckfield Jr / Sr High School

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

8:00 AM-3:30 PM

All participants will receive Certificates for 7 contact hours or .7 CEU’s. The cost for the workshop is $30 ($40 after April 13th) and includes morning coffee and “local foods” luncheon. Scholarships are available.

For more information, registration and breakout sessions please contact go to:

Registration Form -

Agenda & Breakouts -



College of the Atlantic Scholarship Opportunity for Maine Educators (4/6/12)

I am forwarding the following information on behalf of College of the Atlantic. – Anita

This summer, College of the Atlantic (COA) is offering a number of partial scholarships to Maine educators who participate in the college’s graduate-level courses for K-12 teachers. The college is offering one and two-week courses (for 2-4 semester credits) on a wide range of subjects including geology, photography, biomechanics, climatology and climate change, great letters, Wabanaki studies, and supporting students with disabilities. Most courses have a field component, and all are taught on COA’s oceanfront campus in Bar Harbor. 

Scholarships in the amount of $100 - $385 will be awarded as applications are received and until all available funds have been depleted.  Teachers who are awarded scholarship funding will be given a personal discount code and a week to complete their course registration.  The final deadline to receive applications, based on the availability of funds, is April 30, 2012.

More information on course offerings can be found online at To download scholarship eligibility guidelines and an application form, visit

For more information, or to receive the scholarship application by email, contact Jean Sylvia in COA’s summer programs office: 1-800-597-9500 or



Bates College Museum of Art Grants and Training for Science Teachers (4/3/12)

I am forwarding the following on behalf of Bates College. – Anita

Catherine Jones, Museum Education Fellow at the Bates College Museum of Art, and writes to tell you about the Museum's Thousand Words Project (TWP), which has been the Bates College Museum of Art’s flagship education program for over a decade. Through the generous support of the Maine Community Foundation's Androscoggin County Fund, the Museum offers ten $500.00 grants to Androscoggin County teachers in all subject areas to support the creation of new TWP lessons. TWP is an innovative set of interactive educational tools that uses the museum's collection as a resource for teaching Language Arts and other disciplines.  Language Arts lessons can be seen at

Some examples of lessons that would be appropriate to propose include, but are not limited to:

  • Exploring the Solar System with the Starstruck exhibition
  • Teaching Spatial Relationship Vocabulary through Art in an ELL Classroom
  • Analyzing Color and Composition with Geometry
  • Sketching: The Art and Science of Recording Observations
  • Political Cartoons and the Reconstruction Era
  • Hot Spots in the Cold War
  • Propaganda Strategies

Although all teachers in Androscoggin County are encouraged to apply, we are particularly interested in the development of new TWP lessons in the area of science. The Museum's June-December 2012 exhibition Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography will be among the first major exhibitions treating astrophotography as an art genre. Starstruck presents the genre through a variety of subjects, from landscapes to deep sky objects. We encourage science teachers to explore the use of Starstruck as a jumping-off point for TWP lessons.



Educators in the Tri-County Region... Find Out What the Future Holds for Your Students! (4/3/12)

I am forwarding this opportunity for educators in the Tri-County Region of the State to learn more about the workforce development needs and student opportunities.  This is such important information for guidance counselors and for teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Please share with others. – Anita

You are invited to spend a day at the University of Maine to learn about the workforce development needs of the region and ways to support these needs by bringing innovation into your k-12 classroom. You will have the opportunity to tour state of the art facilities while doing hands-on activities that you can replicate with your own students.

What you will experience:

Advances Structures and Composites Center – Designing a wind blade

Foster Center for Student Innovation – Innovate a new food product

Aquaculture Research Center – Learn about growing fish

April 18, 2012    9am-2pm    0.5 CEUS

This event is FREE for teachers, but registration is required!

For registrations contact: Amy Smith at  942-6389 ext. 3236

For more information, please visit:



$25,000 to Innovative STEM Educators (3/30/12)

McGraw Hill to Award $25,000 to Innovative STEM Educators

McGraw-Hill Education just launched the STEM Innovative Educator Awards to recognize and reward teachers who are finding innovative ways to reach today’s students. The awards, known as the STEMIEs, will acknowledge teachers who are pioneering effective techniques to engage their students in science, technology, engineering, or math – fields of study critical to our nation’s economic growth.

Teachers can enter by submitting a 2-minute video, a short essay, and lesson plan that demonstrate an innovative lesson or other project from their classroom. First place will receive $15,000, second place gets $5,000 and third place wins $2,500, plus McGraw-Hill will grant an additional $2,500 in other awards.

In addition to the judging panel, members of the general public will have the opportunity to vote online for their favorite video. Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2012. For more information about the STEMIEs, please visit



Project Reach Professional Development (3/26/12)

I am forwarding the following on behalf of Nancy Mullins at the Department of Education. – Anita

“Teaching Science to English Learners” Workshop

K-12 Classroom Strategies

Monday, May 14, 2012 · 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Live at the University of Maine and Simulcast at the University of Southern Maine

  • UMaine, 11 Shibles Hall
  • USM, Luther Bonney Hall room 144

Ever wonder how you are going to fit it all in? Need techniques to make your lesson time more effective and fun for all your students especially your English Learners (ELs). Learn some research-based best teaching practices to help you plan and help your ELs learn. We will focus on climate change science concepts specifically concerning the carbon cycle and ocean carbon sequestration. However, the methods and techniques in the workshop will be applicable to all classrooms and all teachers.

For more information:
Jane Dare
Project Reach
Administrative Assistant
York Complex #4
Ph (207) 581-3847



Invitation for 20 HS teachers – Opportunity to Attend International Conference and Partner with Scientists (3/26/12)

I am forwarding the email below from Sarah Nelson.  This is an invitation to high school science teachers to participate in an international Science Conference.  The University of Maine will cover the registration. – Anita 

We would like to invite Maine science teachers to an international science conference that is coming to Maine in summer 2012 (BIOGEOMON) - including a one-day workshop to follow the conference where teachers will be teamed with a watershed scientist to work together on a scientific data set, to sharpen teacher data literacy skills and help scientists sharpen their skills in communicating about their work to educators and students. This will be an intensive workshop focused on data - working with data, presenting data, and finding the "stories" in data.

Teachers who are interested should contact as soon as possible - spaces are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. More information can be found at:

Sarah J. Nelson
Assistant Research Professor
Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research
Cooperating Assistant Research Professor in Watershed Biogeochemistry
Department of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences
University of Maine
102 Norman Smith Hall
Orono, ME  04469
(207) 581-3454



Science INPUT Needed for MLTI Tools (3/26/12)

Jeff Mao asked me to reach out the science education community and ask for input regarding MLTI tools.  This feedback will be critical to the development of a new contract with a future provider.  Sadly there has been NO input on the science post.  Please take a few minutes to provide feedback.  It will shape the learning technology resources you have in the future. – Anita

Have you ever wished your MLTI device could do things it doesn’t do? Are some parts of the MLTI solution better than others? Did you know that the tools provided are mostly the result of a public competitive bidding process called a Request For Proposal (RFP). Every few years, the State issues an RFP that describes what we want in a solution, and companies respond with their best solutions and pricing. That’s what determines the device, the software, how tech support is provided, and much more. The next RFP will be released in December of 2012, and we’re looking for input.

Please visit and provide us your best thinking! Check back (or better, subscribe to the blog) because we’ll be posting new questions each week. Your feedback will help us ensure that we get the best tools and solutions to empower your classroom and help you and your students.

Share this with your students too. We want feedback from everyone!


Jeff Mao, Learning Technology Policy Director, Maine Department of Education



STEM Grants (3/23/12)

Two grant opportunities. – Anita 

Captain Planet Foundation: Grants for the Environment

The Captain Planet Foundation funds hands-on environmental projects that encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities.

Maximum award: $2,500. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations.

Deadline: May 31, 2012

AIAA Foundation: Grants for Excellence in Math, Science, Technology and Engineering

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Classroom Grants encourage excellence in educating students about math, science, technology, and engineering.

Maximum award: $200. Eligibility: current AIAA Educator Associate or AIAA Professional members actively engaged as K-12 classroom educators.

Deadline: rolling



Field Test of Immune Defense Video Game at Grades 9/10 (3/6/12)

I am sending this on behalf of John Newlin at MICDL.  Sounds like a great opportunity. – Anita

Maine International Center for Digital Learning

9th and 10th grade teachers, get involved!

The Maine International Center for Digital Learning (MICDL) is field-testing a new online video game called "Immune Defense."  Immune Defense is designed to teach high school students about cell biology, biochemistry and immunology. We welcome interest from any 9th-10th grade teachers, although we think high school biology and chemistry teachers are likely to be the most interested group.  We hope you will be interested in this opportunity, but we also hope you will forward this email to others in your school who might be interested.

Immune Defense is being developed by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in collaboration with our organization, MICDL, and the Center for Educational Policy, Applied Research and Evaluation (CEPARE) at the University of Southern Maine. We are looking for high school teachers in Maine who would be interested in having their students play the game and provide feedback to the game developers. More specifically, participation will help students learn about:

  • proteins, receptors, cells, the immune system;
  • how cells work together to track, destroy and warn other cells about pathogens;
  • the affinity of molecules for their receptors;
  • random diffusion of molecules in a space;
  • how cells respond to signals, differentiation and gene regulation; and
  • scientific investigation.

Teachers and students can get involved in one or both of the following ways:

  1. Beta Testing is starting now through the Summer of 2012. For Beta Testing, any number of students, large or small, can play the game during a single class period or as part of an after school activity, during study hall, credit recovery situation, etc.  Students will play the video game and answer short-answer questions, and they may be asked to discuss their answers with game developers at FAS.
  2. Controlled Evaluation Testing will happen over three class periods during the first few days of the 2012-2013 school year. We are hoping to find high school biology and chemistry teachers who would like to start the school year off with a unit that involves their students in a highly-engaging learning experience that teaches important content and gives students a meaningful experience as a reflective participant in a well-designed scientific investigation that will help determine factors that impact the effectiveness of video games in learning.

Educators who participate will receive gift certificates.

If you would like more information, please contact John Newlin, MICDL Executive Director, at or 207-831-3259.



Support for Proficiency-Based Science Education (3/4/12)

The Framework (and soon the Next Generation Science Standards) will strengthen proficiency-based education efforts in Maine. The NGSS  will help to outline a clearer progression of student learning outcomes. This clarity will support the development of more effective instructional units and make it easier for districts to collaborate on professional development to increase educator content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.  We know that increases student learning are positively related to an educator’s understanding of the content they teach and their use of effective practices for teaching that content.

To read more go to:

Become a follower of the SciTech Framework Blog today (right side of the home page  Ensure that you receive the most recent updates about NGSS and the Framework.



Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams (3/2/12)

The Lemelson-MIT Program is dedicated to supporting and encouraging invention, and seeks to inspire students and rising inventors. InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own problem to solve.

Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: high school science, mathematics, and technology teachers at public, private, and vocational schools and their students.

Deadline: April 6, 2012



Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (3/2/12)

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are among the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science and recognize highly qualified teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

Maximum award: $10,000; a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; a citation signed by the President of the United States. Eligibility: U.S. citizens teaching grades K-6 in a public or private school with 5 years experience teaching math or science.

Nomination deadline: April 1, 2012



Perloff Family Foundation STEM Grants for Maine High Schools and Academies (2/27/12)

The Perloff Family Foundation, in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation, is pleased to announce a new Fast Track Grants program focused on science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). STEM4ME ( aims to increase the opportunities for student-driven STEM projects at publicly-funded Maine high schools and academies.

Grant amounts of up to $5,000 will be made available to small teams of students mentored by a STEM-experienced educator. The emphasis will be on thinking "outside of the box" to create real-world solutions to problems in areas such as renewable energy, ecology, robotics, and sustainable food production. Preference will be given to two-year projects that involve substantial innovation, are closely aligned with the needs of Maine businesses, and are linked to existing programs and initiatives at Maine colleges and universities.

Over the past 12 years Dr. and Mrs. Perloff have provided in excess of $200,000 in STEM-related grants for K-12 programs throughout Maine.  Through a competitive grant process, these programs are intended to develop and reinforce student interest in science and mathematics, especially at Maine’s smaller rural schools which are often lacking in such opportunities.

As described at, educators interested in applying for a STEM4ME grant must submit a one-page Letter of Interest describing their project concept no later than April 30, 2012.  Formal applications will be received in a 90 day window, beginning May 1 and ending July 31, 2012.  The target date for grant funding is August 1, 2012 and the project start date will be September 1, 2012.



Provide Input to NSTA about HS Sequencing of Courses (2/27/12)

NSTA Reports Survey: What's the Sequence?

Students' introduction to high school science can take many forms. In some school districts, biology or Earth science may be a required before students can take physics or chemistry, while others make physics the foundation of the science education. Still other districts may require only that students earn a minimum number of science credits to graduate, but allow students (with their parents, teachers, and guidance counselors) to select which courses to take. We’d like to know how high school science instruction is structured at your school—and how you’d change if given the chance.

Take the survey:



PBS Resources (2/22/12)

Many of you know the Teachers Domain resources that are available through WGBH in Boston.  Here is a link to other Public Broadcasting teacher resources:.



NASA Webinars (2/13/12)

NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinars (February 14, 16, and 22, 2012)

NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program promotes student-led research investigations in the classroom using NASA data and resources.  It also provides opportunities to connect with NASA or University scientists.  Throughout the year, the program is offering a number of free online teacher trainings, as well as classroom connection opportunities designed to engage you and your students with scientists.  Below is a list of events being offered in February:

February 14, 1:15 – 2:30pm ET – Classroom Connection Webinar, Grades 4-12:  Join this distance learning event (Volcanoes on Earth and in the Solar System) for an interactive presentation connecting your students with a scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Volcanic activity has shaped the surface of not only the Earth, but other planetary bodies in our solar system.  Information about volcanoes including astronaut imagery of volcanoes on Earth and other remote sensing imagery showing volcanoes found in other planetary worlds will be shared.  This webinar is being offered on both February 14th and February 16th.  For more information and to register, go to:

February 16, 11:15 – 12:30pm ET – Classroom Connection Webinar, Grades 4-12:  Join this distance learning event (Volcanoes on Earth and in the Solar System) for an interactive presentation connecting your students with a scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Volcanic activity has shaped the surface of not only the Earth, but other planetary bodies in our solar system.  Information about volcanoes including astronaut imagery of volcanoes on Earth and other remote sensing imagery showing volcanoes found in other planetary worlds will be shared.  This webinar is being offered on both February 14th and February 16th.  For more information and to register, go to:

February 22, 6:30 – 7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 5-12:  This teacher training session will introduce participants to the Blue Marble Matches classroom activity, suitable for grades 5-12. This activity is designed to spark and interest and provide background on geologic process on Earth and on other planetary bodies in our Solar System. This will bring comparative planetology to your classroom!  For more information and to register, go to:



Inquiry Based Instruction: Aroostook County Science Teachers, Agriscience Teachers, and Curriculum Coordinators (2/13/12)

I am forwarding the following information on behalf of Doug Robertson at the Maine Department of Education. – Anita

An Inquiry-Based Instruction Workshop will be held on March 23rd  at Washburn High School in collaboration with CACE and The Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc.

The presenter is Donna Parker from Ohio.  A short bio is included in the flyer. Being a National Board Certified Science teacher is just one of her many credentials.  You will wonder where the day went.  Time will fly by as you experience the techniques she will present.  Attached is the agenda as well.  Take a look at the activities you will do and be able to take home as well.  Each teacher will have a basic kit for each activity at the end of the day.

Why should we take another look at IBI?  Anna J. Warner and Brian E. Myers described it well when they said in their article "What is Inquiry-Based Instruction?"--When students engage in inquiry, they utilize skills from across multiple disciplines (e.g., science, math, social science, language arts, and creative thinking) by collaborating with others, collecting and interpreting data, organizing and developing representations of their data, and sharing their findings with others. Inquiry-based teaching methods provide flexibility to the teachers and students by facilitating student contribution of their strengths, so students of different developmental levels and learning styles learn together. Inquiry-based methods align with the hands-on, experiential education format agricultural (and science) education provides. Inquiry-based learning requires students to actively use their hands and minds, and as a result, students are able to assemble ideas to create their own knowledge and understanding.

Due to generous sponsorship, there is no registration fee, but space is limited, so please register today!  Please also feel free to forward this message to interested colleagues.

(Please email all registrations and questions to Linda Jones

Thanks for your interest in this excellent teacher opportunity!



UMaine Seeks Placement and Professional Development Coordinator for PSP Grant (2/13/12)

I am forwarding the following information on behalf of the University of Maine. Questions about this position should be directed to – Anita

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE) at the University of Maine invites applications for the position of Placement and Professional Development Coordinator for the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership, an innovative, multi-million dollar, research and development effort funded by the National Science Foundation for five years. The Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (PSP) brings together University of Maine faculty, staff and students, approximately 50 Maine schools, and Maine non-profits involved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to target the improvement of teaching and learning of physical sciences in grades 6-9 and the recruitment, preparation and retention of science and mathematics teachers. More information about the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership can be found at

Responsibilities of the Placement and Professional Development Coordinator will include designing and coordinating the recruitment, selection, professional development, placement, and evaluation of undergraduate learning assistants, teaching partners, and undergraduate research assistants in the PSP. The Placement and Professional Development Coordinator will also assist with preparing sections of reports and other communications related to these programs. Supervision of student workers and management of timelines and schedules are also part of the Placement and Professional Development Coordinator’s responsibilities.

The successful candidate must have a BS or BA in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) discipline or in STEM education, or equivalent, have demonstrated effectiveness as a science teacher in the middle or high school grades, and have experience in planning and leading professional development for teachers, undergraduates, and/or graduate students. Evidence of in-depth understanding of physical sciences concepts taught in standards-based middle and high school grades is also required. Exceptionally strong organizational abilities and written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills are essential. Preference will be given to those who show familiarity with discipline-based education research and guided inquiry instruction in science.

This job is performed primarily in an office setting, although some visits to partnering schools will be required. The position is contingent upon funding and successful job performance. Expectations are for a normal 40-hour work week, although the Placement and Professional Development Coordinator will be expected to attend occasional evening or weekend meetings and events. The full job description can be found at

Salary Range: $40,000 – $45,000

To apply, please submit electronically a letter of application and resume of educational background and professional experience, including the names and contact information of three references, to Questions about this position should be directed to Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable pool of applicants is found. Appropriate background checks will be required.



Contract Position Announcement: Projects Coordinator (2/7/12)

I am sending the following announcement on behalf of the Maine Environmental Education Association – Anita

The Maine Environmental Education Association & the New England Environmental Education Alliance

The Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA) and the New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) seek a Projects Coordinator to support the work of both the MEEA and NEEEA Boards of Directors.  The purpose of this new position is to efficiently manage specific capacity-building projects for these growing state and regional nonprofit associations, coordinate efforts to implement the Environmental Literacy Plans of the six New England states, and build membership, participation and collaboration through marketing and communication.  This position will receive direction from the MEEA/NEEEA Administration Committee.  This five-person committee will consist of the president of each organization, the vice-president or president elect of each organization respectively, as well as the MEEA/NEEEA treasurer.  The position reports directly to the MEEA or NEEEA president (depending on task).

The Organizations

The Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA) facilitates and promotes environmental education in Maine through the sharing of ideas, resources, information, and cooperative programs among educators, organizations, and concerned individuals.

The New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) promotes quality environmental education across New England in partnership with all six New England state environmental education organizations including MEEA. 

Both organizations provide networking and collaboration opportunities across New England through several formats:

  • Hosting state & regional professional development opportunities with an annual conference (spring/MEEA and autumn/NEEEA), as well as training retreats & workshops.
  • Recognizing exemplary environmental educators and programs through annual awards.
  • Providing current EE information and resources through online newsletters, websites ( &, list-serves and affiliation with the North American Association for Environmental Education.
  • Assisting member organizations with board capacity, development and growth.

Both MEEA and NEEEA have growing finances and resources with annual operating budgets of over $50,000 and combined retained earnings of over $54,000.  Both organizations currently have no paid staff and have 14 volunteer Board Directors each, with NEEEA’s board comprised of 2 representatives from each of the 6 New England states and their state EE organization— COEAA, RIEEA, MEES, SWEEP, NHEE, MEEA plus a board president and past president. 

Desired Attributes & Competencies

  • Commitment to environmental education and a vision for helping achieve the missions of MEEA and NEEEA through increased capacity and implementation of state ELPs.
  • Professional experience (5 years+), preferably in a nonprofit EE organization with a similar or related mission including project management and fundraising.
  • Computer skills including spreadsheets, database, desktop publishing and the web (must provide own computer).
  • Enthusiasm for collaboration, creativity, innovation and sustainable growth.

Position Description

The MEEA/NEEEA Projects Coordinator duties will include:

  • Assist state organizations with the creation and implementation of state Environmental Literacy Plans including regional sharing and collaboration.
  • Manage grant writing and fundraising projects including foundation and corporate support.
  • Assist both boards on their 5-year strategic plans including audience segmentation, needs assessment, appropriate activities and alternative business plans.
  • Work with MEEA/NEEEA Treasurer on project finances, accounting and budget reports.
  • Maintain and improve MEEA and NEEEA databases, files, archives.
  • Manage MEEA and NEEEA websites.
  • Manage and implement $150,000 EPA Region 1 Grant (if awarded). 
  • Oversee marketing, membership and public relations projects for both organizations.
  • Serve as NEEEA liaison to the 6 state organizations and as NAAEE Affiliate liaison.
  • Various and sundry duties as they arise. 

Anticipated Workload

 2,400 hours from April 2, 2012 to December 31, 2013— 

Average 30 hours per week - MEEA: 20 hours, and NEEEA: 10 hours per week

The Projects Coordinator is expected to attend MEEA monthly board meetings and NEEEA quarterly meetings, and the MEEA and NEEEA annual conferences.  An additional 10 hours/week is possible dependant on additional funding.

This contract work will be paid on a monthly billable basis.


Contractual position to be paid at $30/hour for a 2012-2013 maximum of 2,400 hours plus an expenses stipend of up to $1,500.  Initial contract is for April 2, 2012 to December 31, 2013.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and a current resume to the Projects Coordinator Staffing Committee, c/o Drew Dumsch, Treasurer, MEEA and NEEEA, at (in PDF format, please).  EOE - we do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.  Applications will receive priority consideration if received by February 20, 2012; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  April 2, 2012 is the anticipated start date for this position.  Those with questions about the position or search process may contact:



MIT Alumni Club of Maine Offers Teacher Scholarships to MIT Summer Program (2/1/12)

I am pleased to share an offer from the MIT Alumni Club of Maine to provide scholarships, worth $900 each, to two Maine teachers to attend the MIT Science and Engineering Program this June. – Anita

From the MIT Alumni Club of Maine:

The MIT Alumni Club of Maine invites Maine middle school and high school science, engineering, and math teachers to apply for Club scholarships to the MIT Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT) this coming June.

SEPT is a one-week, residential program at MIT whose purpose is to extend the ability of middle school and high school teachers to engage their students in science and related technical curricula. MIT’s objective in running SEPT is to create an ever-growing cadre of teachers who have been through the program and have returned to their districts and shared what they have learned with other teachers. It has been operating for more than twenty years, and has an excellent reputation among the teachers who have participated in the program in the past. It consists of a broad update on modern science and engineering, with lectures on a range of science and engineering topics emphasizing cutting-edge research results, plus hands-on laboratory sessions organized around science teaching tools that can be brought back to the classroom. The program this year runs from June 24th through June 30th, and the class size is limited to 30 teachers. A more-complete description can be found on MIT’s SEPT website at Completion of the program results in four continuing-education credits.

The MIT Alumni Club of Maine is a professional and fraternal association of MIT alumni who reside in the State. Part of the Club’s mission is to promote science and engineering literacy among Maine high school students, and to encourage them to consider science and engineering professions. The MIT Club is offering up to two scholarships covering MIT’s fees ($900) for the program to teachers who are interested in participating in SEPT this summer.

To apply for a Club scholarship, please download the SEPT application from the “apply” page of the above-referenced website, and submit the completed application to the Club by emailing it to The deadline for submitting applications to the Club is Feb 20th. The scholarship awards will be made by the 22nd. Applications are due to MIT by March 1st.

John Gibbons – (207.542.9098,, for the MIT Alumni Club of Maine.



2012 STEM Summit - Registration Opens on February 3 (1/25/12)

I am THRILLED to announce the date for the third Maine STEM Summit.  The 2012 STEM Summit will take place on March 20, 2012 at Colby College.  If you are interested in shaping the conversations that will advance STEM in Maine, you will not want to miss this event.  Registration opens on February 3, 2012 and closes on March 8 (or as soon as the 350 seats are filled.)

For more information go to

I hope to see you there! – Anita



Framework Raises Questions and Support from Curriculum Leaders in York County (1/24/12)

On Monday morning, January 23, 2012, I met with York County curriculum leaders to get their feedback about the Framework for K-12 Science Education and their perspective on the types of support needed to implement the vision for science education described in the Framework.  Read more at

Enter your email address (on the right side of the page and follow the Maine SciTech Framework Blog. – Anita



Maine Coastal Studies for Girls Expands to Offer Summer Programs for Women, Girls and Educators (1/19/12)

I am sharing the information below from the Maine Coastal Studies for Girls.   -- Anita

Maine Coastal Studies for Girls

The stunning coast of Freeport, Maine provides a meaningful context for a semester or summer experience to explore, learn and grow. Learners with a passion for discovery, an adventurous spirit, and a desire for challenge actively explore coastal marine ecosystems while realizing their leadership potential in a supportive living and learning environment.

Semester School: 10th grade girls

At Coastal Studies for Girls, a diverse group of 10th graders is invited to spend a fall or spring semester engaging in rigorous courses with hands-on learning.  Anchored by their science and leadership classes, students also earn credit in the core academic subjects of English, math, world history and foreign language in our unique, coastal community.  Both reflection and action guide this experience.

Summer Programs: Rising 6th-9th grade girls, women, educators

We are happy to announce Coastal Studies for Girls is now offering summer programs for girls, women, and educators!  Dive in to one of our 5 or 7 day adventures to explore marine science and leadership on the coast of Maine.

For more information contact:
Noel Thibodeau
Coastal Studies for Girls
308 Wolfe’s Neck Road
PO Box 266
Freeport, Maine 04032
207-865-9700 (office)



SchoolsMovingUp 2/8 Webinar: Making Sense of SCIENCE (1/19/12)

I am forwarding the following information about a webinar by WestEd aimed at helping teachers of Science understand how to meet the needs of diverse learners. I do not know if there are limited spaces available so I encourage you to sign up early if you are interested. – Anita

Find out strategies for improving science instruction for diverse learners!

Making Sense of SCIENCE: Going Deep to Go Far by Linking Science and Literacy Instruction -

Wednesday, February 8

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time (1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time)

Come hear a WestEd curriculum developer and a district science coordinator share facilitation strategies that all teachers and teacher educators can use to support science learning with all students, including those who are English learners or initially low achievers.

We encourage you to attend the live webinar to interact with the presenters and other participants about this important topic. Please send any advance questions to

To sign up for this webinar, please visit



Energy and the Island Institute: The Framework Has It Right! (1/17/12)

Energy is so important to Maine and so is energy education.  This week Ruth Kermish-Allen tells us about the Island Institute’s grant to support energy education in Maine and how this effort aligns with the ideas in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Here are Ruth’s thoughts… When I first began exploring the A Framework for K-12 Science Education:  Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas, I was thrilled to see how the developers of the document identify and frame energy… (for more go to

Don't forget to sign up and become a follower today!



NRC Webinar on the Framework (1/13/12)

For those who would like more on the NRC report A Framework for K-12 Science Education, here is an opportunity to participate in an NRC webinar. – Anita

National Research Council of the National Academies

Save the Date!

Feb. 15 Webinar: A Deep Dive Into A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Register Now!

Please join the National Research Council on Feb. 15 for a webinar on A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The session will explore the framework’s vision and three dimensions in detail, explaining the evidence upon which the framework is built.  The session will include multiple opportunities for you to ask questions of the presenters.


  • Philip Bell, learning scientist and member of the committee that developed the framework, and Geda and Phil Condit Professor of Science and Mathematics Education, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Heidi Schweingruber, co-director of the project to develop the framework, and deputy director, Board on Science Education, National Research Council

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT



Buick Achievers Scholarship Program for the 2012-13 school year - SHARE WITH SENIORS (1/12/12)

This is a generous scholarship opportunity.  Please share with your students. – Anita

Buick and the GM Foundation announced the launch of the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program for the 2012-13 school year.  Among the largest scholarships awarded over multiple years, we expanded the program even further this year to include current undergraduate students, as well as high school seniors and graduates.

The move is intended to address high drop-out rates for students unable to complete their academic goals due to financial concerns.  It also helps to identify college students who have had more time to develop interests in majors covered by the program including science, technology, engineering and design, along with other areas of expertise essential to strengthening our nation’s manufacturing workforce talent.

This scholarship, funded by the GM Foundation, is designed to help students who are leaders in both the classroom and their communities, but who may not have the financial means to attend college.  The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program will award:

Up to $25,000 per year for 100 students – AND –$2,000 one time awards for 1,000 students.

We encourage students to apply who…

  • Will be enrolling full-time at a 4-year college or university;
  • Plan to major in one of the following:  Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Business Administration, Finance, Marketing or Design;
  • Have an interest in pursuing a career in the automotive or related industries.

We need your help spreading the word to deserving students.  Please pass this information on to members of your organization and have them announce the program to potential applicants.  More details about the scholarship program, eligibility rules and selection criteria can be found at A pdf is available for download and printing at

We appreciate your help in raising awareness about this exciting program!

Applications for the 2012 Buick Achievers Scholarship Program will be accepted online at until February 29, 2012.



National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Announces Public Review Period for Science Standards (1/10/12)

I encourage you to provide review for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. – Anita

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) announces its public review period for Science Standards, Third Edition for teachers of students ages 11-18+. Practicing teachers fill a majority of seats on standards committees with other members representing districts, states, and higher education. NBPTS Standards reflect the Five Core Propositions that are the foundation of National Board Certification; identify specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that support accomplished practice, while emphasizing the holistic nature of teaching; illustrate how a teacher's professional judgment is reflected in action; and describe how the standards come to life in different settings.

Science Standards will be available for public review January 9th - February 5th. The standards can be accessed online at:

Please visit the NBPTS website for information on standards development. For assistance or additional information about the public review process, please contact NBPTS at



Middle-Level Teachers – Check Out This Opportunity to Learn More about Supporting Students with Internet Research! (1/10/12)

I am sharing this information to let you know about a new professional learning opportunity from the Maine International Center for Digital Learning, beginning in January and running through June 2012: Developing Internet Research Skills.

The goal of this program is to engage middle level content teachers in a professional learning opportunity focused on best practices for supporting students with internet research. The methods for both professional collaboration and student-centered instruction that will be used in this project are based on the work of Don Leu and the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut, and were used in MICDL's Integrating Digital Learning Skills in The 1-to-1 Laptop Classroom project in 2009. The Internet Research project is very flexible, and has many options for engaging with the work.  MICDL is also offering compensation for teachers who participate in the project.

For more information visit or contact Courtney Belolan, Internet Research Project Facilitator, Maine International Center for Digital Learning/Literacy Teacher Leader, Mt. Ararat Middle School.



Opportunity for Talented Juniors to Participate in Research Science Institute at MIT (1/10/12)

This sounds like an extraordinary opportunity for High School Juniors. Please share with students in your school and support them to apply! – Anita

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-sponsors of the Research Science Institute (RSI) are looking for talented 11th Grade STEM Students! Do you know any students who want to work on really exciting cutting-edge summer research?

Have them apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the MIT campus June 24 to August 4, 2012. They will meet some of the world’s most talented students and have an opportunity to conduct research in amazing labs!  If you know any current high school juniors, have them take a look at the CEE web site: for RSI application materials, and more information about the program.

If you have any interested students, please contact Maite Ballestero, Vice President, Programs,  There is still time for consideration.



The Framework and Career and Technical Education: A Perfect Pairing (1/9/12)

This week I am pleased to welcome guest blogger Scott Phair to the SciTech Framework Blog.  Scott’s experience as director of Capitol Area Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) and former high school principal give him a unique perspective on the implementation of A Framework for K-12 Science Education.

To read, more please go to



Calls for Nominations for two Science Competitions (1/9/12)

I am forwarding the following call for nominations.  Please take time to nominate scientist, teacher or student you know. – Anita

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency, is now accepting Nominations for four Agriscience Awards and four Life Sciences Awards.

I hope you will share the information about these awards with the staff at your school, friends and associates.  Encourage anyone you know in fields of life sciences, agriscience or homeland security to enter the applicable competition.  The Agriscience Awards and Life Sciences Awards competitions each have components for a scientist; a high school educator; and two high school students.

Nominations are accepted online only.  Deadlines and websites are as follows:

Thank you for your assistance in supporting the 2012 Agriscience Awards and Life Sciences Awards.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Judi Shellenberger, Executive Director of the Foundation, at: (315) 258-0090 or  



Student Experiments Opportunity on International Space Station – Spring 2012 (1/8/12)

An opportunity to place student Experiments on the International Space Station in 2012. Read on… – Anita

Last November, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE, sent out a national announcement of opportunity for a STEM education program that engages typically hundreds of students (grades 5-12) across a community in real science aboard the International Space Station (ISS). It is called the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) and it is truly changing the way students and teachers view science, science education, and the process of learning. This is an authentic, immersive experience that embraces ownership in learning for the learner, and garners very significant media attention. We have flown student payloads on the final two Space Shuttle flights and now on ISS.

For the current opportunity – SSEP Mission 2 to ISS – each participating community is provided all launch services to fly a real microgravity research mini-laboratory on Space Station from September 28 to November 12, 2012 via Soyuz 32, and a kit for assembly of their mini-lab. An 8-week experiment design competition, which includes your student teams writing and submitting real experiment proposals is held Spring 2012 (March-April). These teams are all designing real microgravity experiments and are vying for your community’s reserved mini-lab slot on Space Station. The process precisely mirrors how professional researchers design a research program and submit proposals to acquire the limited and necessary resources. This is student immersion in real science, with the opportunity to fly a real experiment on the International Space Station – America’s Newest National Laboratory - as the carrot.

The flight opportunity I am writing you about is called "Mission 2 to the International Space Station."
Yesterday, January 5, 2012, we announced the selection of 15 flight experiments representing the 12 communities participating in Mission 1 to ISS. From across the 12 communities, 779 student team proposals were received.

You might want to read the Press Release:

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, a 501c3 non-profit, oversees the SSEP. Participation in the program has a real cost, which is a hurdle in today’s economic climate. Our Center is therefore committed to assist in finding funding for interested communities, and we have found funding or 28 of the 39 communities that have participated thus far. But fundraising requires time, and for a community to have a Mission 2 to ISS program start on March 5, 2012, we need to fundraise right now. This is therefore a final call for Mission 2 to ISS.

URGENT: If your community is interested in SSEP Mission 2, then quickly have someone with authority over a team of teachers capable of carrying out this program in your community give me a call directly on my cell phone: 301-395-0770.

Note: SSEP is not designed for participation by a group as small as an individual class or double class of 30-60 students.  The expectation is a plan for at least 200-300 grade 5-12 students fully engaged in experiment design in a participating community.

The SSEP program home page:

PS: (if you've not seen it) For the new year, as a shot in the arm for your teachers in tough times, a 3-min Symphony of Science music video produced for teachers.

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director and SSEP Program Creator
Cell: 301-395-0770
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
PO Box 3806
Capitol Heights, Maryland 20791


  • National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
  • NanoRacks, LLC
  • Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
  • Carnegie Institution of Washington / Carnegie Academy for Science Education

This on-orbit, real research opportunity for students is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.



Save the Date! Technology and Engineering Educators Association of Maine Spring Conference (1/8/12)

I thought you might be interested in the following information about TEEAM's Spring Conference.  The time is ripe for collaboration between science and technology educators! – Anita

The Technology & Engineering Educators Association of Maine invites you to the TEEAM Spring Conference

  • Theme: “A Framework for STEM Education”
  • Friday, March 23, 2012
  • 7:45 am - 3:00 pm
  • Auburn Middle School; Auburn, Maine

FMI and to register please visit the TEEAM website:



Maine Content Literacy Project Network (12/28/11)

Interested in professional development to support your use of literacy strategies to enhance science learning?  The Maine Content Literacy Project is offering a series of webinars to enhance understanding of literacy strategies for grades 4-12 teachers of science that can enhance student learning of science.

Science Sessions: 3:30 - 5:00 PM

  • January 5, 2012
  • February 2, 2012
  • March 1, 2012
  • April 5, 2012

Please contact Michelle Fisher at or direct snail-mail inquiries to Michelle at the Education Center, 186 High St., Farmington, ME 04838.



Seniors Interested in STEM Careers: National Youth Science Camp Applications are Ready - DEADLINE FEB 29, 2012 (12/21/11)

Once again, current graduating seniors have the chance to apply to participate in the National Youth Science Camp.  Alumni of this fully paid three-week program describe it as a once in a lifetime experience.  Be sure to share the application information below with Seniors in the Class of 2012 that you know.  Application deadline is February 29, 2012.

The National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education program for young scientists the summer after they graduate from high school. Students from around the country are challenged academically in exciting lectures and hands-on studies, and have voluntary opportunities to participate in an outdoor adventure program, gain a new and deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and establish friendships that last a lifetime.

The National Youth Science Camp is made possible through the planning and fund-raising of the National Youth Science Foundation®, a nonprofit organization with a mission to honor, sustain, and encourage youth interest and excellence in science by conducting comprehensive informal science education programs that provide opportunity for constructive interaction with others and emphasize the social value of thoughtful scientific careers.

The application deadline for Maine students is February 29, 2012.  Students can learn more about the application process ( and download an application at (

Completed applications should be emailed or mailed to Anita Bernhardt by the close of day on February 29, 2012:

Anita Bernhardt
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333



Google Science Fair Returns (12/19/11)

In January 2012, Google will launch the second annual Google Science Fair. The Google Science Fair is an international competition which encourages students between the ages of 13 to 18 to be curious, ask questions, and perform science experiments to answer those questions. In partnership with CERN, National Geographic, LEGO andScientific American, Google invites these students to post their science projects online so that they may compete for prizes, scholarships and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Interested students and teachers should visit to register to be notified when the competition opens.



School Grant/Funding Opportunity (12/19/11)

Intel Foundation: Schools of Distinction

The Intel Foundation Schools of Distinction Program honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education. In order to be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks, including national mathematics and science content standards.

Maximum award: $25,000. Eligibility: middle and high schools in the U.S.



Eleven More Framework Dine-and-Discuss Sessions in January (12/12/11)

On December 7 and 8, educators gathered at Gardiner High School, Falmouth High School, and Massabesic High School for regional Science Framework Dine and Discuss events hosted by the Maine Science Teachers Association and the Maine Department of Education.  Attendance was great and conversation was lively. During those sessions and in e-mail correspondence educators have asked about the relationship between the Common Core State Standards and the Science Framework and Next Generation Science Standards. One email came from an educator in SAD 20.  He has graciously agreed to let me share that conversation.  To read more please go to MDOE SciTech Framework Blog:

Also ELEVEN more Science Framework Dine and Discuss Events scheduled in January 2012.

Please register online today at


Scheduled events dates and locations:

January 11, 2012

Washington Academy, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 66 High Street, East Machias, ME 04630

Oxford Hill Comprehensive High School, 5:00 - 7:30PM, 256 Main Street, ME 04281

January 12, 2012

Camden Hills Regional High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 25 Keelson Drive, Rockport, ME 04856

January 17, 2012

Wiscasset High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 272 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset, ME 05478

Kennebunk Elementary School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 177 Alewife Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043

Mount Blue High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 129 Seamon Road, Farmington, ME 04938

January 18, 2012

Albert S Hall Elementary School, 4:30 - 7:00 PM, 27 Pleasant Street, Waterville, ME 04901

Bangor High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 885 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401

January 26, 2012

King Middle School, 4:00 -6:30 PM, 92 Deering Avenue, Portland, ME 04102

Auburn Land Lab, 5:00-7:30 PM, 15 Andrew Drive, Auburn, ME 04210

January 27, 2012

Presque Isle Middle School, 4:00-6:30 PM, 569 Skyway Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769


Foxcroft Academy



Ed Commissioner Asks Public for Ideas on School Accountability and Recognition (12/5/11)

There are opportunities for everyone to provide input on the ESEA reauthorization. Please take advantage. - Anita

Public forums, online feedback will be used in request for federal flexibility

AUGUSTA -- The federal government is offering Maine, like all other states, a chance to develop its own system of accountability and recognition of schools – allowing the state to jettison what many now consider unrealistic and unfair requirements and negative labels in the current No Child Left Behind Act.

The Maine Department of Education will submit a formal request for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to the U.S. Department of Education. Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen is asking educators, parents, students and anyone who has a stake in the education of Maine’s students to weigh in at a series of forums and meetings and online. Forums are scheduled Dec. 8 in Bangor; online on Dec. 13; and Dec. 14 in Portland. The Department is also seeking feedback through an online survey and in an ongoing online discussion in which the Commissioner and other staff will participate.

Read the complete article at the DOE Newsroom.



Regional Session on the Next Generation Science Standards and Science Framework start Next Week – Register Today! (11/30/11)

Dine and Discuss…Next Generation Science Standards and Science Framework!

Attend regional Dine and Discuss events in December and January and learn about the National Academies report, A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the development of the Next Generation Science Education Standards.

The Maine Science Teachers Association in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education is hosting regional sessions to provide Maine educators with information about the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.

First regional sessions are next week!

Teachers who attend these two and a half hours sessions will:

  • Learn about the three dimensions of the K-12 Science Framework
  • Understand how the Framework will be used to guide the development of new science standards
  • Hear about Maine’s role as a Lead State
  • Provide feedback to the Department of Education
  • Receive a year’s free membership to MSTA for the 2011-2012 school year
  • Receive a certificate for contact hours

Scheduled events dates and locations. . .

December 7, 2011

Falmouth High School Cafeteria, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 74 Woodville Road, Falmouth ME 04105

Gardiner Area High School, 4:30 - 7:00 PM, 40 West Hill Road, Gardiner, ME 04345

December 8, 2011

Massabesic High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 88 West Road, Waterboro, ME 04087

January 12, 2012

Camden Hills Regional High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 25 Keelson Drive, Rockport, ME 04856

January 17, 2012

Wiscasset High School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 272 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset, ME 05478

Kennebunk Elementary School, 4:00 - 6:30 PM, 177 Alewive Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043

January 18, 2012

Albert S Hall Elementary School, 4:30 - 7:00 PM, 27 Pleasant Street, Waterville, ME 04901

January 26, 2012 

King Middle School, 4:00 -6:30 PM, 92 Deering Avenue, Portland, ME 04102

Auburn Land Lab, 5:00-7:30 PM, 15 Andrew Drive, Auburn, ME 04210

Additional January sessions TBA soon for the following locations:

Aroostook County…Bangor…Farmington…Mid-Coast…Washington County…Oxford County

Register online today at

$5 Registration Fee (pay at the door) to cover food and materials costs.

Questions?  Contact Anita Bernhardt, Science and Technology Specialist, Maine Department of Education,



Are you Staying Informed?  (11/28/11)

Since September, I have been writing about the National Academies report, A Framework for K-12 Science Education.  I have shared how these ideas are being welcomed and received by a variety of groups including the Maine Science Teachers Association and business groups. This week I am featuring my first guest blogger, Sarah Kirn, program manager of the Vital Signs program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Sarah will share with us how the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, one not-for-profit Maine education organization, is internalizing and acting on the ideas and vision of the Framework. Gulf of Maine Research Institute educators find the Framework for K-12 Science Education to be closely aligned with GMRI’s approach to engaging students and teachers with science. To read Sarah's guest blog go to the SciTech Framework Blog

Be sure to stay up to date on events related to the Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards by becoming a follower. It's easy: just go to the  SciTech Framework blog and enter your email address on the right side of the page. – Anita Bernhardt



Webinar to Talk With NASA Scientists about Orbiters, Rovers and Landers (11/15/11)

Classroom Connection: Mars Rovers and Landers: Past, Present, and Future

Date: November 15, 2011

Time: 1:30-2:45pm Eastern; 12:30-1:45pm Central; 11:30-12:45am Mountain; 10:30-11:45pm Pacific (Note: Event will be 1 hour; Additional 15 minutes provided for extra Q&A for those who wish to remain on the line.)

Lead Speaker: Doug Ming, NASA Johnson Space Center

Description: NASA orbiters, rovers, and landers have uncovered numerous secrets of our neighboring Red Planet. Join this distance learning event for an interactive presentation connecting your students with a NASA scientist who will show images and share exciting stories about exploring Mars.  The presentation will focus on Mars rovers and landers of the past, present, and future.  Session will include information on the upcoming launch of NASA's MSL rover!

Presentation Method: WebEx (once you register you will receive the WebEx instructions and toll-free call-in number one week prior to the actual event)

Technical Requirements: Speaker phone and internet connected computer

Register at this Link:



Registration Now Open for the 4th Annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge (11/11/11)

Composites and Wind Industries are growing in Maine and represent new economic growth opportunities. The Maine Wind Blade Challenge is a program developed by the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) and Maine Wind Industry Initiative (MWII) to inspire today’s high school student - the next generation workforce – to explore alternative energy and advanced materials, while participating in hands on application math, science and engineering activity.  In 2011 the competition included 40 teams & 227 students. Teams traveled to the event in Orono from all over Maine: including Sanford, Eastport and Presque Isle.

What is Involved

  • Inspired learning through hands-on application of Math, Science and Engineering in the process of designing and constructing wind blades.
  • Motivation of high school students and teachers to explore the advanced use and application of composite materials in a safe and guided atmosphere.
  • Fostering of the relationships between high schools and Maine composite manufacturing businesses.
  • Exposure of students to the manufacturing businesses and professionals through partnership, project development and creation of the wind blades.
  • Interaction with schools and students to learn from each other and collaboration of working in teams.

The 2012 competition will take place at the University of Maine, Orono on April 27, 2012.  Between December and April teams of students will work on the design and construction of their wind blades.  Schools will be partnered with a Maine composites manufacturing business to complete the composite production of the blades.  For more information and a registration form, please contact Stacey Palmer with the Maine Composites Alliance:



Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship in Science and ESL Education at the University of Maine (11/8/11)

This is a great opportunity to work on a Ph.D. – Anita

Project Reach at the University of Maine has an opening for a Ph.D. graduate research assistantship. The project seeks to understand how we can better prepare teachers to help students with English as a Second Language (ESL) to succeed in STEM areas. The Ph.D. student's research will study the impact of the project's teacher training efforts and contribute to a growing body of scholarship on STEM and ESL education.


The student will enroll in a Ph.D. program from the following list, depending on his/her interests: Communication, Forest Resources, Ecology and Environmental Science, or Interdisciplinary Studies. The assistantship provides a stipend to support living expenses, tuition, and fees. The position will be renewed annually. The student will join a team of dynamic researchers at the University of Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI):  SSI offers unprecedented opportunities for graduate students to experience a truly interdisciplinary learning experience. The SSI's mission is to create an integrative research program and strong stakeholder partnerships to generate improved solutions to intersecting ecological, social, and economic challenges in and beyond Maine.


The ideal candidate will have a M.S. or M.A. in communication, natural resources management, environmental science, environmental education, science education, ESL education, or a related field; GPA of 3.0 or better; strong GRE scores; solid writing skills; and an interest in collaborative, multi-disciplinary approaches to research. Strong preference will be given to students with a background in quantitative techniques, familiarity with statistical software (e.g., SPSS), and a willingness to deal with large, complex data sets.

The University of Maine

The University of Maine, the flagship research institution in the state, is located in Orono. In a small college town bounded by the Stillwater and Penobscot Rivers, the campus is just eight miles north of Bangor, and four hours from Boston. The Bangor region is centrally located in the state, providing nearby access to numerous outdoor recreation areas including Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, and the Appalachian Trail. Detailed information about the University of Maine can be found at:

Application Procedures

Please submit the following information to with subject line" Project Reach Graduate Research Assistantship":

  • A letter detailing your interest in this position specifically and the goals of Project Reach in general;
  • A CV;
  • Photocopies of GRE scores and transcripts; and
  • Contact information for three references familiar with your academic and research history.


Review of applications will begin January 15th, 2012 and continue until the position is filled. On campus interviews are required, with travel stipends available.

For More Information Contact:

Laura Lindenfeld

Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
University of Maine
York Village, Building 4
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: 207-581-3850

Jessica E. Leahy, Ph.D.

School of Forest Resources
University of Maine
219 Nutting Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207-581-2834



Interesting Science Videos (11/6/11)

Craig Kesselheim of the Great Schools Partnership shared the link that follows. It is a 16 second video clip of a nut falling through a pipe (as in nuts and bolts). The videos are available for free, and you can subscribe.



CyberPatriot National High School Cyber Defense Competition (10/30/11)

I have recently learned about a Cyber Defense competition open to all Maine students.  The CyberPatriot National High School Competition is designed to inspire students toward careers in cyber security and other careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. - Anita

For more information about this competition please go online to



Christopher Columbus Awards STEM Competition for Middle School Students (10/30/11)

The Christopher Columbus Awards is a national, community-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program for middle school students. The program challenges the students to work in teams of three to four, with an adult coach, to identify a problem in their community and apply the scientific method to create an innovative solution to that problem.

Eight finalist teams and their coaches will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World® to attend National Championship Week and compete for valuable U.S. Savings Bonds and the $25,000 Columbus Foundation Community Grant, plus a $200 development grant to further refine their idea.

For more information please go to:



University of Southern Maine STEM Honors Program for Maine Students (10/19/11)

The University of Southern Maine (USM)offers the Pioneers Program which is a STEM Honors program for Maine students. This program is part of a major STEM initiative at USM to support  STEM education at the highest level possible. The University is in the first year of the program and are now actively recruiting the second cohort of incoming freshman.

The Pioneers Program includes:

  • A full four year scholarship covering tuition and fees
  • Laptop computer
  • Undergraduate research
  • Internships
  • And more

Please forward this email along with the information links to students in your districts.

Check out this video on YouTube:

For additional information please feel to contact Mike Wing at the University of Southern Maine.



Elementary teachers in NY and TN looking for Collaborating Classrooms (10/18/11)

The following requests for classroom collaboration were forwarded to me from the Center for Interactive Learning website by my colleague, Argy Nestor.  It may be an opportunity for a Maine Classroom to work with students and teachers from another state.  The first link takes you to more information about their request for collaboration. – Anita

Trout in the Classroom

My grade 6 students participate in the Trout in the classroom program ( We are looking for other TIC schools who would like to collaborate with us - including video conferencing. We also have a 24/7 trout tank webcam.

  • Status: Seeking Partners
  • Audience: Education: Grade(s): 6

Biomes of the World Presentation

My class has constructed model biomes for Science. I would like for them to be able to tell your students about what they have learned. They have included in their biomes animals, plants and the appropriate soil.

  • Status: Seeking Partners
  • Audience: Education: Grade(s): 5


The University of Southern Maine's Honors Program for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (10/13/11)

Last year the University of Southern Maine initiated USM's Pioneers Program which is a STEM Honors program for Maine students. This major initiative at USM is intended to support STEM education at the highest level possible. The University is now actively recruiting its second cohort of incoming freshman.

This program includes:

  • A full four year scholarship covering tuition and fees
  • Laptop computer
  • Undergraduate research
  • Internships
  • And more

Please forward this email along with the information links  to students and colleagues throughout your district and the State.

YouTube video:

For More information, please feel to contact Mike Wing directly at the University of Southern Maine:



“Dig Into Science” Competition - Deadline Nov. 10, 2011 (10/13/11)

I am forwarding the following information from S.W. Cole Engineering, Inc. Please contact Jennifer Booth directly with questions. – Anita 

S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc., a 30+ year old firm specializing in geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental services, ecological consulting and construction materials testing with four offices in Maine and two in New Hampshire, launched a contest for students today called “Dig Into Science.” Six winners will be chosen (one for each of S. W. Cole’s offices) to receive a $1,000 stipend that can be used to help cover the costs of a science, engineering or math related educational program (such as a field trip). I’m contacting you in the hopes that you can help spread the word through your organization.

Information about the contest is available on our website,, and our Facebook page, I have also attached an informational packet to this email.

Please feel free to information about this contest in any organizational communications you may have – newsletter, emails, website posting, etc. The deadline to enter is November 10, 2011. Winners will be chosen by November 23.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer L. Booth, Marketing and Business Development Associate at S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc. Phone: (603) 692-0088; Email:



Webinar on a Framework for K-12 Science Education (10/12/11)

Please join me on October 20 at 3:30 for a webinar presentation on "A Framework for K-12 Science Education".  Tom Keller, from the National Academy of Sciences will join me for this presentation.  Tom played a significant role in development of the Framework.  He knows the ideas in the document deeply and will provide information and answer questions. 

If you or other educators you know missed the presentation on A Framework for K-12 Science Education at the Maine Science Teachers Association Conference on October 7, 2011, this is the perfect opportunity to get informed about this important document that will inform the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. 

Participation in the webinar is limited to the first 100 participant to log in the day of the webinar.  You can join the webinar on October 20 by logging in at the link below. 

I hope that you will join me. 



PAEMST Nominations Open (10/6/11)

The online nomination period for Elementary Mathematics and Science Teachers (K-6) opened Saturday, October 1st.  The application period will tentatively open on November 1st.

I encourage you to look around at the great teaching you see and nominate someone you know.  Nominating a colleague is a wonderful way to say "I noticed the quality of teaching and learning in your classroom". 

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Teach mathematics or science at the K-6th grade level (2012 deadline) or 7-12th grade level (2013 deadline) in a public or private school.
  • Hold at least a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Be a full-time employee of the school or school district as determined by state and district policies, and teach K-12 students at least 50% of the time.
  • Have at least 5 years of full-time, K-12 mathematics or science teaching experience prior to the 2011-2012 academic school year (2012 deadline) or prior to the 2012-2013 academic school year (2013 deadline).
  • Teach in one of the 50 states or the four U.S. jurisdictions. The jurisdictions are Washington, DC; Puerto Rico; Department of Defense Education Activity schools; and the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Not have received the PAEMST award at the national level in any prior competition or category.

To nominate a teacher to



Stay informed about the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (10/4/11)

In July the National Academy of Sciences released the Framework for K-12 Science Education and Maine is a Lead State in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. In an effort to develop an easy to access stream of information about the Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards and the development of the Next Generation Science Standards I have created a blog devoted to this topic. 

Please visit the blog online at You can subscribe by entering your email address in the "follow the blog via email" section on the right-hand column.



The Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards Released (9/28/11)

This summer the National Research Council released the Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards.  This document serves as the blueprint for the development of the Next Generation Science Standards.  The Framework will serve as a key focus for our science conversations in Maine during the 2011-2012 school year.  It is important to remember that the Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards is not the new science standards. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are being developed by Achieve in partnership with a group of Lead States.  Achieve anticipates that NGSS standards will be released at the end of 2012.

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and the Maine Science Teachers Association will prepare resources this fall to help educators learn about the Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards.  Throughout the 2011-2012 school year the MDOE will also share information about the development of the Next Generation Science Standards and will publicize opportunities for public input into the standards. The MDOE will share information through a variety of communication avenues, such as, the Commissioner’s Update, the Science Listserv, the Maine Environmental Education Association Listserv, and the Technology and Engineering Education Association and the Maine Science Teachers Association.

Four things can you do:

1. Share this information.  Send the email to 5 other teachers in your school right now.

2. Get the document. Download the Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards today:

3. Start understanding the Framework. Read one section of the Framework this week. (You might begin with the Executive Summary.)

4. Get connected.Sign up to receive:


NASA K-12 Endeavor STEM Fellowships-Applications Due October 31, 2011 (9/26/11)

 NASA’s Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project awards 50 NASA Fellowships to in-service, pre-service and alternate route educators each year. The project helps to ensure that an earned Certificate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, contributes toward teacher licensure or “National Board Certification”, assisting Fellows in becoming "highly qualified" science or mathematics teachers. The Project is all online, administered by NASA and designed and delivered by U.S. Satellite Laboratory, Inc. Endeavor Fellows take 5 total graduate courses in an innovative, LIVE and online format from the comfort of their home or school. They learn to apply research-based pedagogical strategies and cutting-edge content to their classroom contexts while becoming a part of a special network of like-minded educators. Endeavor Fellows may also earn a special “Leadership Distinction” designation on their STEM Certificate. Some will participate in 1-2 week summer internships at NASA Centers. The ultimate goal is for educators to become not only highly qualified, but to enact change in their classroom, school and school district.

For more information email:



Real World Design Challenge 2011-12 (9/26/11)

Teams can now sign up to participate in this year’s Real World Design Challenge.  It is an annual aviation design competition for teams of 3-7 high school students.  The Challenge is FREE for students and teachers.  And each teacher that signs up a team will receive $1 million in professional engineering software as well as access to mentors from industry, government, and academia.

Every team that wants to participate needs to register EVEN IF THEY PARTICIPATED IN THE PAST.

Teams can register by clicking the following link Registration for the 2011-2012 Real World Design Challenge is Now Open! Sign Up Today! or by going to and following the registration link there.  The team’s teacher/coach should do the registration.

The competition will begin in October 11, 2011 and I hope you will participate.

Please get the word out to anyone else who might be interested in participating.  The sooner they sign up and get started the better.



Science & Technology Careers: Free Online Videos (9/12/11)

I am forwarding the following information about Biotechnology and careers. If you don't know the resource you should look at it and share it with students. – Anita

St. Louis, MO (August 29, 2011) --- Advanced Technological Education Television (ATETV), an award-winning Web video series sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation, returns with 40 new videos just in time for the 2011/2012 school year. ATETV.ORG is a free Web video series featuring up to the minute information connecting high-school students with high-tech education and employment opportunities.   The series debuted in 2009 and has been critically acclaimed for its efforts at showcasing real jobs in actual high-tech fields, and the educational paths to them. 

New in 2011, the series will look at career opportunities in Biotechnology, Environmental Technology (Water, Wind, Solar), Laser Manufacturing, and Mechatronics just to name a few.  ATETV cameras will take viewers inside the classroom and onto the job site to hear from high-tech workers themselves.   “This year, we’ll focus a bit more on ‘bridge’ programs—higher education programs that students can take advantage of while still in high school,” said Anthony Manupelli, Creator and Executive Producer, ATETV.  “It’s imperative we reach these kids early, because the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers of the future will drive this country’s innovation by generating new ideas and new industries.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are also less likely to experience joblessness than their non-STEM counterparts.  And perhaps more importantly, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent by 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations, creating a huge demand for these workers.         

The ATETV video series earned 3 Telly Awards in 2010. The Telly Awards honor outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest film and video productions, and groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films. 

The latest round of videos kicks off Monday September 12, with a new episode posted every Monday.  This is a completely free resource with no obligation to register.  Just go to ATETV.ORG



Three Maine Teachers Finalists for Science, Math Awards (9/7/11)

Please join me in extending congratulations to Ken Vencile and Bonnie Burne who have been selected as the 2011 State finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. – Anita Bernhardt

AUGUSTA – Two science teachers and one math teacher from Maine have been announced as finalists for the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The National Science Foundation, which is known for its rigorous selection process, will select up to one mathematics and one science winner per state to be recognized next spring in Washington, D.C.

The three Maine teachers are: Diana Jacobe, a math teacher at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish; Bonnie Burne, a 7th grade teacher at Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor; and Ken Vencile, a biology teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to exemplary K-12 science and math teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process carried out at the state level. Each year, the award alternates between elementary and secondary education, going either to science and math teachers in grades K through 6 (as it did for the 2011 finalists) or to those teaching in grades 7 through 12.

Winners of the Presidential Teaching Award receive $10,000 awards from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for a White House awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.

Click here to read more.



Maine Schools are invited to Join the Growing Ranks of Schools with VEX Robotics Teams  (9/4/11)

I am pleased to be able to share the following information about Vex Robotics Teams. – Anita

Fairchild Semiconductor in South Portland is funding a three-year grant to grow the number of Maine high schools participating in the international VEX Robotics competition. As part of the grant, Fairchild is sponsoring two VEX Robotics competitions, Portland in December and Bangor in February. Last year, the first year of the grant, twelve Maine schools fielded over twenty teams in the two competitions. "We want and need to grow this number," said David Hart, UMaine Electrical Engineering student and Event Partner for the Bangor competition. The greatest barrier, he said, is simply letting schools know the opportunity exists.

Maine schools can start a team with two or three interested students and a small dedicated space for them to work. "One of our first years at Cape Elizabeth we had no space at school, so students worked from home,” said Evan Thayer, Cape Elizabeth High School teacher and Event Partner for the Portland competition. “We had three large toolboxes of equipment for the students to take home.” Schools also need to find a teacher, or parent, to be the team's advocate. But this adult does not need to be a technical expert. VEX, through its partnership with Carnegie Mellon, provides tutorial videos on line to walk students through a lot of the process. Students can take the ball and run with it.

"A lot of schools may not be able to come up with the $1500 start-up cost," said Thayer, "particularly when budgets for the year have been approved months ago." Over the next two years, Hart and Thayer hope to establish a means of defraying these start-up costs. They hope to get business and industry to donate to a general rookie team fund for Maine schools, as opposed to individual teams having to seek financial help from individual businesses near their schools. "We plan to start that umbrella fund-raising effort this year." added Thayer. "And we want to hear from schools that would like to start a VEX team and would meet us half-way on costs this year."

There is a low-cost entry option as well. There is VEX Starter bundle for $350 that allows students to start putting a robot together, with all the instructions on line. Then, if a school decides it likes the VEX product, it would need to purchase the upgraded control system, the software, event registration, etc.

If you would like more information on VEX Robotics Competition in Maine, or if you would like to be placed on an email distribution list for monthly reports on the status of VEX programs in Maine and efforts to grow the program, email or



Put Them on Your Calendar: Earth Day and Bug Maine-ia at the Maine State Museum  (8/31/11)

Bug Maine-ia at the Maine State Museum

Wednesday September 14, 9 am to 3 pm

Entomologists, environmental educators, foresters, and others will be on hand to guide students through the expansive, yet itsy-bitsy world of insects. Come explore the many fascinating ways that bugs affect our lives. Twenty plus exhibitors will be stationed throughout the museum!

A LIVE insect zoo will give adventurous students an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s largest insects.  Entomologists will be available to help students collect and identify insects found on the museum grounds (weather permitting). Free Admission All Day!

Come Celebrate Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum

Wednesday, October 19, 9 am to 3 pm

The Maine State Museum will host Maine Earth Science Day, a statewide celebration highlighting the geology of Maine. A group consisting of geologist, environmental educators, artists and others will gather to explain the many ways that earth products contribute to our economy, education, and enjoyment. Students and visitors of all ages will find something to investigate in the museum-wide celebration of the various Earth sciences. Making soil soup and exploring how to quarry granite are just two of the many activities offered; other topics for exploration include minerals and gems, hydrology, archaeology, and more.

Earth Science Day reminds people that earth science is all around us, and encourages responsible stewardship of the Earth. Earth scientists, industry professionals, artists and educators from around the state will share their knowledge and expertise in celebration of our home, the planet Earth. Free Admission All Day!

Reservations Recommend for all Events and Group Visits.

For reservations and more information: 207-287-2301 or



Released MEA and MHSA Science Items  (8/23/11)

The released science items for the 2011 state assessment recently have been posted on the Department of Education website.  Each year 50% of the items on the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) and Maine High School Assessment (MHSA) state science assessments at grades 5, 8, and 11 are released to the field. The data from these items, which are administered to approximately 14,000 students at each grade level can provide insight into student understanding of science concepts and can compliment data collected locally through formative assessment.

The released items can be found at the following links. Please contact me, Anita Bernhardt, at if you have any questions.


New School IPM Curriculum Website Up! (8/22/11)

I thought you would like to know about this new resource. – Anita

The Northeastern School IPM Working Group is pleased to announce that their new Integrated Pest Management Curriculum website for K-12 teachers is now up and running! The website features terrific classroom learning modules, activities and resources collected from around the US, as well as newly developed lessons designed for use in a school greenhouse setting. Many of the lessons are aligned with national and state science, math and language arts standards. Integrated Pest Management education is a great way to engage students in learning and problem solving using current environmental and agricultural issues such as invasive species, food and fiber production, and environmental stewardship. How do ticks and mosquitoes spread diseases? Why are bees so important to our food supply? How can we keep our school greenhouse and gardens pest-free without pesticides?

Check it out at:

Please share with your K-12 education contacts!

Kathy Murray, Ph.D. – IPM Entomologist
Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources



NSTA: Distinguished Fellow Award  (8/3/11)

The National Science Teachers Association Distinguished Fellow Award recognizes NSTA members who have made extraordinary contributions to science education through personal commitment to education, specifically science teaching or science; educational endeavors and original work that position recipients as exemplary leaders in their field; or significant contributions to the profession that reflect dedication to the NSTA as well the entire educational community. Maximum award: recognition at the NSTA Awards Banquet in conjunction with the NSTA National Conference. Eligibility: longstanding (at least 10 years) NSTA members.

Deadline: November 30, 2010.



NSTA: Awards for Excellence in Inquiry-based Science Teaching  (8/3/11)

The Delta Education/Frey-Neo/CPO Science Awards for Excellence in Inquiry-based Science Teaching recognize and honor full-time PreK-12 teachers of science who successfully use inquiry-based science to enhance teaching and learning in their classroom. Maximum award: $1,500 towards expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference, and $1,500 for the awardee. Eligibility: PreK-12 teachers of science.

Deadline: November 30, 2011.



Vernier/NSTA Innovative Use of Technology Awards  (8/3/11)

$21,000 in Cash and Classroom Science Equipment

The Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards, from Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association, promote the innovative use of data-collection technology using a computer, graphing calculator, or other handheld device in the science classroom. Seven awards will be made, and each award will consist of $1,000 in cash for the teacher, $1,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,000 toward expenses to attend the annual NSTA National Convention. K-12 and higher-education science teachers are eligible to apply.

Deadline: November 3



Shell Science Teaching Award  (8/3/11)

$10,000 for an Outstanding Science Teacher

Through the Shell Science Teaching Award, Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have teamed up to honor one outstanding classroom teacher (grades K–12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and the community through exemplary science teaching.

The Shell Science Teaching Award recipient will receive $10,000. The recipient and two other finalists each will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the NSTA National Conference, and 10 semifinalists will receive certificates of distinction. Nominees must be classroom teachers with a minimum of eight years of experience in teaching science, and they must teach in a private or public school in the United States, U.S. territories, Department of Defense schools, or in Canada.

Deadline: October 17



IMPORTANT Information for High School Teachers – 2011 Siemens Competition – OCT 1 DEADLINE (8/3/11)

Siemens/College Board: 2011 Siemens Competition

The Siemens Competition seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects. It fosters intensive research that improves students' understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines. Maximum award: $100,000. Eligibility: high school students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Deadline: October 3, 2011.



News from Forests for Maine’s Future  (8/1/11)

This is a great news posting about the Penobscot Experimental Forest, one of Maine's unique science laboratories and source of a great resource of science data. - Anita

Penobscot Experimental Forest is the most studied forest in Maine and probably New England, and one of the most studied in the country. Read about the PEF's impressive contribution to science in our latest Fresh from the Woods article by clicking here.

Meanwhile, in recent forest news...

In Maine: there are a lot of eyes out for the emerald ash borer, an exotic invader that has been making its way across the country.

The company that owns the two Katahdin region paper mills is giving the state more time to close a deal with a potential buyer.

In New England, genetic testing showed that a mountain lion killed earlier this year in Connecticut had traveled a long way. A new exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, Mass. focuses on the New England Forest.

Elsewhere, research shows fires could have long-term consequences for Yellowstone's ecosystem. Scientists outfit toucans with GPS backpacks and learn a lot about how the nutmeg tree is spread.

Plus a U.S. Forest Service plan put in place almost 20 years ago to conserve the Pacific Northwest's old growth forest has had an unintended benefit: locking up carbon.

And, it turns out your cork wine stopper is a green choice: helping conserve a valuable Mediterranean ecosystem.
Next door, in Canada, this might go down as the Year of the Forest Fire, according to an article in the Globe and Mail.




GLOBE Carbon Cycle Training  (7/14/11)

August 15-17, 2011

Opportunities for middle and high school teachers to learn about and incorporate carbon cycle research into the classroom.

Registration: $50

Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & 1 Dinner, Lodging if traveling greater than 1 hour

Take Home: Carbon Cycle Classroom Materials, Field Measurement Tools

The GLOBE Carbon Cycle project is focused on bringing cutting edge research and research techniques in the field of terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycling into the classroom. Students collect data about their school field site to determine carbon storage and participate in classroom activities to understand carbon cycling. These activities include plant-a-plant experiments, How do scientists measure trees?, an introduction to modeling, and analysis of collected data. In addition, students have the opportunity to integrate their data with emerging and expanding technologies, including global and local carbon cycle computer models and online map resources.  This program design allows students to explore research questions from local to global scales under both present and future environmental conditions.

Materials have been developed by teams of scientists and science educators at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Activities have been locally tested by middle and high school teachers and students.

Each day the workshop will run from 8:30-4:30.

  • Day 1: An introduction to systems thinking and the global carbon cycle.
  • Day 2: Learn the in class and field activities that will allow students to make carbon storage assessments of the schoolyard.
  • Day 3: Use computer modeling to understand how carbon storage changes over space and time.

Register at:

For more information



Recording of the June 9 Webinar on the Conceptual Framework for Science Standards (7/5/11)

On June 9, Phil Brookhouse and I collaborated to offer an MLTI webinar on the Conceptual Framework for Science Standards.  If you missed the webinar you can access the recording of the conversation on the MLTI webinar archives OR at the link below.  I will let you know as soon as the Conceptual Framework is released. - Anita



Bangor High Student Finalist in Stockholm Junior Water Prize (7/5/11)

Leila Musavi of Bangor High School was a finalist in the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the most prestigious international competition for water-related research. In addition to being a finalist, Musavi was also the first recipient of the Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship for her project, “Development and Optimization of Gold-Nanoparticle Modified Carbon Electrode Biosensor for Detection of Listeria Monocytogenes”. The award recognizes projects that demonstrate a unique passion for education and awareness of sustainable water management. New this year, the $1,000 scholarship honors the valuable work and contributions of former WEF Board member and retired ITT Corporation communications director, Bjorn von Euler.

The Maine Department of Education extends its congratulations to Leila Musavi and to the science faculty at Bangor High School who support her and other students in their pursuit of STEM learning.



Report Calls on Policymakers to Raise Science Education to Same Level of Importance as Math and Reading (7/5/11)

State, national, and local policymakers should elevate science education in grades K-12 to the same level of importance as reading and mathematics, says a new report from the National Research Council. "Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" recommends ways that leaders at all levels can improve K-12 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The report responds to a request from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) for the National Science Foundation -- which sponsored the Research Council report -- to identify highly successful K-12 schools and programs in STEM fields. "A growing number of jobs -- not just those in professional science -- require knowledge of STEM fields," said Adam Gamoran, chair of the committee that wrote the report and professor of sociology and educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "The goal isn't only to have a capable and competitive work force. We need to help all students become scientifically literate because citizens are increasingly facing decisions related to science and technology -- whether it's understanding a medical diagnosis or weighing competing claims about the environment."

The report identifies key elements of high-quality STEM education to which policymakers could target improvements:

  • A coherent set of standards and curriculum. States and districts should have rigorous K-12 STEM standards and curricula that are focused on the most important topics in each discipline and presented as a sequence of content and practices that build knowledge over time.
  • Teachers with high capacity to teach in their discipline. Good teachers need to know both STEM content and how to teach it; many teachers are currently underprepared to teach STEM-related courses.
  • A supportive system of assessment and accountability. Current assessments limit educators' ability to teach in ways that promote learning the content and understanding the practices of science and mathematics.
  • Adequate instructional time. The average amount of time spent on science instruction in elementary classrooms has decreased in recent years even as the time on mathematics instruction has increased.
  • Equal access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities. States and districts should strive to eliminate the disparities in access to high-quality STEM education between advantaged students and minority and low-income students, which contribute to the existing achievement gaps.
  • School conditions and cultures that support learning. Although teacher qualifications certainly matter, so do school conditions and culture -- such as school and district leadership and parent and community involvement.


NSTA: DCAT Association "Making a Difference" Award (6/11/11)

The Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association "Making a Difference" Award recognizes excellence in a science program developed and implemented by middle-level science teachers, grades 6-8. Entries must show innovative and effective teaching strategies combined with a science program that has influenced students to explore and investigate science and its application to global problems. Maximum award: $2,500 to be used to enhance or expand the winning science program; the winning school's lead science teacher and principal will be awarded coach airfare and two nights' hotel accommodation to attend NSTA's National Conference March 29 - April 1, 2012 in Indianapolis. Eligibility: innovative middle-level science programs. Deadline: November 30, 2011.



University of Maine and Maine Composites Alliance Announce Winners of the 2011 Maine Wind Blade Challenge and Windstorm Challenge. (6/7/11)

The University of Maine's AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center and the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) with the Maine Wind Industry Initiative (MWII) welcomed more than 300 students from over 30 schools all across Maine to the third annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge and to the first DeepCwind Consortium's Windstorm Challenge on Friday, May 13.

Wind Blade Challenge results: A team of seven students from Jay High School placed 1st; a team of two from Region 10 Technical School in Brunswick placed 2nd; and a class from Westbrook High School placed 3rd.

Windstorm Challenge results: Team "Ace of Spades" from the Maine School of Science and Mathematics placed 1st; Team "Floating Ducks" from Mt. Blue High School placed 2nd; and "Team Syracuse" from Lake Region High School placed 3rd.



Great News about National Academy Press Resources (6/2/11)

Tom Keller at the National Academy has informed us that as of June 2, 2011, all PDF versions of books published by the National Academies Press will be downloadable to anyone free of charge.

That’s more than 4,000 books plus future reports produced by the National Academies Press – publisher for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

This is wonderful news! – Anita



New Science Teacher Academy Application Deadline: July 1, 2011 (5/23/11)

If you’re a second- or third-year secondary science teacher, don’t miss the deadline, July 1, to apply to NSTA’s New Science Teacher Academy. The Academy supports its Fellows through mentoring and other professional development resources during their initial, challenging second and third years of teaching. Striving for quality science teaching, enhanced teacher confidence, classroom excellence, and solid content knowledge, the Academy provides the following benefits:

  • Full membership in the National Science Teachers Association
  • Access to the web-based content development and pedagogy activities and resources including web seminars led by national experts
  • Use of vetted science websites, state and national standards sites, other professional organizations, safety tips, and more
  • E-mentoring with an experienced teacher in the same science discipline and grade band
  • Access to a nationwide, online network of science educators and scientists for exchange of information, ideas, and resources
  • Participation in a Research Dissemination Conference or a Professional Development Institute
  • Paid accommodations, airfare, meals, and registration fees to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education

Who is Eligible?

  • Applicants must reside in the United States
  • Applicants must be entering their second or third year of teaching
  • Applicants must be working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in middle or high school science

Download and complete an application ( to become a Fellow in the New Science Teacher Academy. July 1, 2011 is the deadline for receipt of all applications.



A New Era for NASA’s Space Place (5/19/11)

Two award-winning websites for kids have joined forces to further inspire a new generation of explorers.

NASA's and have combined to provide several new Web features with interactive graphic design and easy, versatile navigation. The new site includes the extensive and rich science and technology content of the 'old' Space Place with over 50 NASA science missions enriched with content from These sites offer the best of NASA material for elementary school students.

The site includes over 300 separate modules available in English and Spanish. Modules are sorted into menus for Space, Earth, Sun, Solar System, People and Technology, and Parents and Teachers. Information mirrors the missions of the NASA's Science Mission Directorate, as well as the agency's commitment to education and public engagement.

Visitors can filter the menus on subject or type of activity (game, hands-on project, or exploration) and use the search field to produce customized menus. All pages are printer friendly.

The site is available at or



Mt. Washington Observatory Distance Learning (5/19/11)

I wanted to share with you that the Mt. Washington Observatory offers distance learning programs to school. Below is a brief video about the Observatory and the programs they offer.

Here is the link for the video on the Mt. Washington Observatory Distance Learning Program:

You can also read more about the Mount Washington programs here:




Invent America Student Invention Contest (5/19/11)

You might be interested in this grant. – Anita

Deadline: June 15, 2011 – Invent America

Invent America is offering up to $1,000 to K-8 students at member schools who develop creative, useful inventions.



Service-Learning STEM Grants Available from Maine Commission for Community Service (5/17/11)

The Maine Commission for Community service (MCCS) will award $1000.00 grants to each of five applicants to implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) based service-learning projects that increase student engagement, participation, and persistence in STEM disciplines while helping to address local community needs and concerns. These funded service-learning projects will bring together schools and multiple community partners to collectively address local/regional related issues. Recipients of this grant will gain expertise in designing, implementing, and assessing service-learning projects that use complex and compelling social issues to deliver STEM instruction, building a cohort of experienced service-learning practitioners in the state. Recipients must attend the KIDS Consortium 4-day Service-Learning Institute for Educators in North Berwick, Maine, July 19-22 (registration will be paid for by MCCS and other costs associated with the training can be used as part of the required matching funds).

Required Outcome: The award recipients will be required to submit two reports during the project period, and one final report at the end of the project. Award recipients will also be required to create a culminating activity that will describe the project and its impact on the community need. For this culminating activity, award recipients will be required to invite members of the MCCS's Service-learning Task Force. Priority will be given to those applicants that have established and met the project description criteria above. Priority will also be given to school districts in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Waldo and Washington Counties.

For more information, go online to



Integrated Pest Management Materials for Maine Teachers from ME Dept. of Agriculture (5/12/11)

Calling all Maine K-12 Teachers!

The Maine Department of Agriculture is proud to announce that a new website has been launched with environmental and agricultural education lessons for K-12 students! Follow the link below and browse through dozen and dozens of lessons related to environmental stewardship, school gardens, greenhouses, invasive species and ecology, and IPM!

What is IPM? Want to teach your students about, environmental stewardship, food security, and human health? How about a subject that ties them all together into an engaging, relevant curriculum? Integrated Pest Management (IPM) does just that! IPM links modern food production, to the environment and public health, and demonstrates how human actions have ricocheting consequences that are not always apparent. IPM also teaches children critical thinking skills for developing new solutions to everyday problems that have a lower impact on our world. It is a great subject for making students environmentally literate citizens.
Not sure where to start? Contact Kathy Murray at or 207-287-7616 to request an in-class demonstration of an IPM lesson to see how fun and engaging these lessons can be! Participating teachers can receive a free binder full of lessons and resources to use again and again!



Informal Education Mini-Grants Engaging Middle School Students Now Available (5/10/11)

The National Space Grant Foundation is working with the NASA Summer of Innovation office to administer the awarding of approximately 200 mini-grants to community and school based organizations that inspire and engage middle school students in STEM disciplines during the summer or in after school programs. NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden has identified improvement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning as a national need.  To that end the Summer of Innovation Project was established.

We are very pleased to invite you to participate in this opportunity. Eligible organizations include but are not limited to Boy Scout troupes, Girl Scout troupes, YMCA programs, science centers, museums, libraries, school clubs and any other community or school based organizations. The target audience is middle school students and/or teachers of middle school students especially those involved with underrepresented and underserved populations.

This project is designed to support student interest in STEM by strengthening the capacity of organizations or schools that inspire and engage middle school students particularly female, minority, or high poverty students and enable these previously overlooked organizations to present Summer of Innovation content and themes in an efficient and cost effective manner.

The mini-grants will be awarded at about $2,000 - $2,500 per grant. The awarded organizations will be expected to present 6 hours of NASA STEM content to middle school students or deliver an educator workshop (for certified teachers, pre-service teachers, or informal education community) featuring NASA Summer of Innovation content or themes. This can be done through modification of an existing event or through planning a new event.  Awards will be made in as geographically diverse manner as possible.  The time line for these activities is to be during the summer or early fall of 2011.

Complete details and the application for these grants are located at There will be two rounds of awards made within the next two months. The first deadline for applications will be May 22, 2011; the second deadline is June 17, 2011.



Mercury Contamination and Participatory Science  (4/30/11)

For the last four years the Schoodic Education Research Center (SERC) at Acadia National Park has been supporting partnerships between researchers, teachers and Maine students centered on Mercury contamination. This work is connected to significant ideas in science and gives high school students authentic opportunities to participate in active mercury research being conducted by researchers at the University of Maine. Teachers participating in this work with their students come from all over the State. The results that some of these teachers and student have collected in collaboration with researcher, Sarah Nelson (U Maine) are pending publication.

Below are two GREAT links.  The first is a four minute podcast on Mercury in Maine in general an Acadia in particular.  The second is a more detailed Mercury fact sheet.

National Park Service 4 minute Podcast on Mercury contamination in Acadia

National Park Service

If you are interested in finding out more about this project please contact Bill Zoellick at



Physics Modeling Course This Summer  (4/29/11)

I am sharing this information for Jamie Vesenka at UNE who is offering a course for High school physics teachers to learn about modeling. The two week course will focus on linear mechanics modeling curriculum the first week and Particle Electricity and Magnetism or CASTLE briefly in the second week.

Modeling has been in existence for nearly twenty years now, first pioneered at Arizona State University by Malcolm Wells and David Hestenes. Modeling is an approach to physics that uses the scientific method to look for and identify patterns.  Models (aka equations) are the result of this approach.  Modeling emphasizes the acquisition of the clean, plentiful data needed to develop good working models.  It also stresses the Socratic Method as a way to get students to become truly independent in their approach to studying.  It is a useful preparation for college and an award winning curriculum. – Anita

The class will run with the help of Jamie Vesenka, a professor at the University of New England.  MAINE (2011)

  • Kennebunk (1.5 hours from Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Two introductory workshops for high school teachers nationwide.
  • Teachers can attend either week or both weeks.
  • Second semester physics Modeling Instruction content materials by individual arrangement.
  • July 25-29, 2011: Modeling I - kinematics and dynamics
  • Aug. 1-5, 2011: Modeling II - energy, momentum, circular motion
  • Leaders: Mike Waters and Chad Hodgkins, Director: James Vesenka
  • M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm
  • Location: First Parish UU Church, Kennebunk, Maine.
  • Cost: $650 for each week long session (includes lunches).
  • Graduate credit pending
  • Local hotels or free housing with church members
  • Contact James Vesenka 207-749-7913
  • URL: click on Physics Modeling Workshop
  • Download flyer and application
  • *See Introduction
  • Each workshop is also described at


Winners of the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Announced!!!  (4/28/11)

The White House has announced this year’s winners of the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Please join me in congratulating Laurette Darling on her receipt of this prestigious award for Science teaching. Laurette teaches grade four in Waterville.

Recognition events are planned for May 17-20, 2011 in Washington DC.

The White House press release and more information can be found at




National Grid Grant to Museum of Science, Boston Supports STEM  (4/28/11)

I know that some of you have partnered quite closely with the Museum of Science.  Even if you have not done so you may find this article about engineering education interesting. – Anita

National Grid Grant to Museum of Science, Boston Supports STEM

National Grid has formed a new partnership with the Museum of Science, Boston to improve education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) through support for the development of middle school engineering curricula by the National Center for Technological Literacy. The grant will also support bringing the Museum's innovative Traveling Programs to more people. Specifically, National Grid's two-year grant will help underwrite development of "Engineering Now" curricular units and bring Traveling Programs to selected underserved communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. Traveling Programs exemplify the Museum's effort to connect with the broadest, most diverse audiences, bridging geographic and socioeconomic barriers to bring science presentations to over 90,000 people in schools, community centers, and public libraries throughout New England.

One of the exciting ways the Museum is introducing engineering into schools nationwide involves collaborating with WGBH to develop "Engineering Now," a series of classroom units that link learning about engineering to science and math, in conjunction with the popular television series "Design Squad Nation." The program aims to increase students' understanding of the technological world in which we live, deepen their understanding of the engineering design process, improve their ability to design innovative solutions to real problems, and increase their interest in pursuing STEM studies at the high school level. Triangle Coalition member, the National Center for Technological Literacy, has been helping to educate children and adults in a variety of educational settings since 2004. NCTL's goal is to integrate engineering as a new discipline in schools nationwide and to inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators. NCTL fosters learning about how technologies are created and used. It offers educational products and programs for pre-K-12 students and teachers, creates curricula, supports an online resource center, and engages in partnership and outreach with other institutions. NCTL works with state departments of education and teacher organizations to facilitate the re-engineering of curricula and learning standards.



NSTA: New Science Teacher Academy – Great Opportunity for Teachers in their First Three Years of Teaching  (4/25/11)

I strongly recommend that middle and high school teachers in their first three years of teaching consider applying to this NSTA Academy. – Anita

NSTA: New Science Teacher Academy

The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy Foundation is a professional development initiative created to promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence, and improve teacher content knowledge. Maximum award: program expenses. Eligibility: middle or high school science teachers entering their second or third year of teaching, working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in science. Deadline: June 13, 2011.



U.S. Students and Science: AAAS Testing Gives New Insight on What They Know and Their Misconceptions  (4/25/11)

I think you will find this resource very useful. – Anita

U.S. Students and Science: AAAS Testing Gives New Insight on What They Know and Their Misconceptions

AAAS has launched an innovative Web site with more than 600 multiple-choice test questions to help educators assess more precisely what students know about key ideas in science and - just as importantly - the incorrect ideas they have.

The new Web site, which also offers an unusually detailed picture of how middle and high school students across the United States are currently doing in science, features information on what they know and on hundreds of misconceptions they have about everything from the size of atoms to whether all organisms have DNA.

Knowing these misconceptions and how pervasive they are - which is not typically part of the analysis of test results from state testing or from leading national and international testing organizations - can help teachers improve instruction and better design their own test questions to assess whether students truly understand the science concepts they are being taught.

To learn more about the AAAS site, read the full story.

AAAS Assessment Website:



STEM Call for Proposals  (4/25/11)

Federal Laboratory Consortium

Northeast Regional STEM Project

Request for Proposals

The FLC NE Region is requesting proposals to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) projects for Fiscal Year 2011.  The projects are to be based on existing curriculum, areas of STEM not yet addressed by current curriculum, or extra-curricular STEM activities such as clubs, science fairs, curriculum enrichment activities or teacher training.  Candidates may be middle and high school teachers.  Projects are to be performed in partnership with a federal laboratory in the Northeast Region and completed by August 31, 2011.  Note:  The Federal Laboratory Consortium will not fund the purchase of capital equipment.

Amount of funding: Maximum $2,500 per project (plus $500 M & S).

Submission Requirements

1. Submissions must include:

a. Cover Sheet which includes:

i. Name of the project

ii. Name of the Laboratory associated with the project

iii. Teacher and School contact information

iv. Name of the Federal Laboratory mentor and their contact information

2. Write a one-to-two page description of the project you are proposing:

a. Describe the project. 

b. What is the Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math component of the project?

c. Include how the project will support a component of one of the national STEM innovation programs; for example, Educate to Innovate, AAAS’s Project 2061, or Innovation America.

d. Describe the qualifications of the candidate. 

3. Who will be the Federal Laboratory Mentor or collaborator on the project?

4. Indicate who will be the Laboratory Point of Contact (if different from the mentor).

5. Submit a budget that includes support for the candidate and an amount for materials and supplies (M & S).  Maximum M & S amount is $500.

6. At the completion of the project, a short report (1-2 pages) on the work of the candidate and the relevance to STEM is required no later than September 9, 2011.  If the project yields Lesson Plans, they are to be submitted with the report.  The Federal Laboratory Consortium requests permission to make all lesson plans available to other schools.

Scoring Criteria

Proposals not directly related to STEM will be disqualified.  All proposals will be equally weighted on the following criteria:

1. Student educational impact

2. Clarity of outcome, responsiveness to the RFP requirements and reasonable expectation of completion

3. Technical or pedagogical sophistication

4. Collaboration with a federal laboratory

5. Level of effort consistent with the budget submitted

Proposals are due by May 15, 2011. Awards will be announced June 1, 2011.

Submit proposals electronically to:

Federal Laboratory Consortium

Northeast Regional Support Office

C/o Thomas H. Brown, Program Manager at with a copy to Mr. Fred Snyder, NE STEM Chairman at by COB May 15, 2011.

Questions: Contact Mr. Fred Snyder, FLC-NE STEM Chairman at or Mr. Lewis Meixler, FLC–NE Regional Coordinator at

Dates to remember:

May 15              Proposals Due

June 1                Awards announced

August 31          Projects completed

September 9      Final reports due



Congratulations to Robin Kennedy Winner in the NSTA's Shell Science Lab Challenge!!  (4/23/11)

17 Regional Winners Competing For Up To $93,000 in Prizes, Including a $20,000 School Science Lab Makeover

WATERVILLE, Maine — April 21, 2011 — Robin Kennedy, a science teacher at Waterville Junior High School in Waterville, Maine, has been named a regional winner in NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Challenge, a new competition for middle and high school science teachers. The Challenge encouraged teachers (grades 6-12), who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000. Kennedy is one of 17 regional winners named, from which five national winners will be chosen, and from the national winners a grand prize winner will be selected.

Limited software, outdated and broken equipment, and no specific lab facilities have not deterred Kennedy from providing her students with opportunities for in-depth scientific investigation. She creatively employs recycled materials to engage and motivate her students into believing that scientific and mathematical investigations are really “awesome.” In her classroom, simple materials are transformed into race cars that teach students about the laws of motion. As a testament to her effective teaching, many of her students who have limited resources at home as well, regale her with tales of new games or experiments they tried because of the lessons learned in her classroom. Her ability to make connections with various state organizations and to serve as resource for her colleagues and students has greatly benefited her school, according to her principal.

"It’s truly inspiring to see teachers with such little resources coming up with innovative ways to provide high-quality lab experiences for their students," said Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA. "We are tremendously proud of all of the regional winners. Their unique ideas and creative approaches to teaching science produce new awareness and ways for us all to bring about positive change in education."

"Inquiry-based learning and hands-on experimentation are key elements for encouraging student interest in science," said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Shell Oil Company Manager, Social Investment. "Through the Shell Lab Challenge our aim is to support the inquiry-based instructional practices of our science teachers and excite students about the wonders and possibilities of science by doing. Exemplary science teaching is more effective when it occurs in a quality lab environment where science concepts can be explored by students."

To enter NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Challenge, science teachers of grades 6-12 in the United States and Canada were asked to describe their school’s current laboratory resources, explain why the school’s laboratory facilities might be classified as “limited” resources, and describe their approach to science education instruction utilizing their school’s current lab facilities. A panel of science educators then reviewed and selected the top entries.

As a regional winner, Kennedy and her school will receive donated science lab equipment or gift certificates, a grant to purchase additional science lab tools and resources, and a $300 gift certificate to the NSTA Bookstore. The school will also receive memberships to the NSTA and the NSTA Learning Center and paid registration for two teachers at the school to attend a NSTA conference.

NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Challenge is part of a larger grant to the John Glenn Center for Science Education and the establishment of the Shell Leadership Institute. The Institute will work to further initiatives that promote diversity and research-based practices and will focus on national solutions to improve science education at the state, federal, and local levels. The Shell Leadership Institute will offer workshops, seminars (both face-to-face and online), and other highly visible initiatives.

For more information on NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Challenge, go to

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA),, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

About Shell

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. In the U.S., we operate in 50 states and employ more than 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. We are a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology and one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers and petrochemical manufacturers.



200 Teachers Selected to Attend the National Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy (4/4/11)

I am pleased to announce that Maine has TWO teachers who have been selected to participate in the National Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.  Congratulations to Mary Dunn who teaches at the Albert S. Hall Elementary School in Waterville, Maine and Andrea Cole, who teaches at Fort Fairfield Elementary School in Fort Fairfield, Maine.  More information about the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy follows. Congratulation to Mary Dunn and Andrea Cole! – Anita

The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy has announced the selection of 200 elementary school teachers from across the country to enhance their math and science teaching skills through an innovative development program at the national Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. This year's national academy will be held at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. An additional 400 teachers will be selected later this spring to attend programs in Houston, TX and New Orleans, LA. The selection of the teachers marks the third year that teachers from all 50 states have been chosen to participate in the professional development program that began six years ago.

"Through our support of math and science educational programs, ExxonMobil is investing in the development of a highly skilled workforce to help our nation remain globally competitive," said Suzanne McCarron, General Manager of Public And Government Affairs at Exxon Mobil Corporation. "Programs like the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy enable us to give today's teachers the tools they need to engage students in math and science and open their eyes to the possibility of a career in these fields."

The Academy is an intensive one-week, all-expense-paid professional development program designed to help teachers develop innovative math and science teaching skills. The participants were selected by a panel of educators from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Science Teachers Association, and were based on their qualifications, dedication to inspiring students at an early age, and overall commitment to enhancing the teaching profession.

In 2005, ExxonMobil partnered with Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions to launch the program, which has trained more than 2,600 teachers to date. The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy is part of a long-term commitment to education by ExxonMobil. The company supports initiatives that encourage students to take an active interest in careers in the math and science fields, support the professional development of highly qualified teachers and promote involvement of women and minorities students.

For a complete list of teachers selected to attend the 2011 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, visit

More details about the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation are at



Japan Tsunami Satellite Images (3/31/11)

You might be interested in the following link that shows before and after aerial/satellite images of the devastation in Japan caused by the Tsunami. – Anita



Marine biology for High School Students (3/31/11)

The Shoals Marine Laboratory (Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire) has a few open places in our HIGH SCHOOL programs for summer 2011.

SML is located on Appledore Island, Maine. 

For details, see:


  • BIOSM 1620: Marine Environmental Science - Focuses on coastal marine habitats, with an emphasis on issues as they relate to global habitats and concerns. Information is online at
  • BIOSM 1600: Oceanography of the Gulf of Maine - A unique opportunity for students to experience life on board a sailing vessel and on an island off the coast of Maine, studying oceanic and coastal marine environments. Learn more at This course now has a WAITING LIST! Please choose a second, alternate course when registering.
  • BIOSM 1650: Whales, Seals and Sharks - Introduction to biology and conservation of marine vertebrates of the Gulf of Maine. Additional information can be found at

Each course awards 3 Cornell University credits and is taught by Shoals Marine Lab faculty. Scholarships are available. Admissions and scholarship awards are rolling.

Final deadline to register is: MAY 20, but most courses will be filled by that date.



KIDS Consortium Summer Institute (3/29/11)

KIDS (Kids Involved Doing Service-Learning) Consortium is offering a 4-day Institute July 19-22. Registration is open! For complete details visit:

SERVICE-LEARNING Summer Institute for Educators

July 19-22, 2011

Co-sponsored and hosted by Noble Middle School/Professional Development Center, South Berwick, Maine

Register by July 1 or sooner

A tiered registration offered when additional people attend from one school/district.

  • $750 for 1st person
  • $700 for 2nd from the same school/district
  • $650 for 3rd and on from the same school/district
  • $150 for *Scholarship recipients (this may vary depending on host sites and amount awarded)

Registration includes 4 days of instruction with KIDS Consortium's Education Consultants, breakfast and lunch all days, our forthcoming 3rd edition of the KIDS as Planners Guidebook, Bibliography and Resources, and contact hours certificate.

Participants are responsible for additional meals, lodging, parking fees (if any), and graduate credits.

Scholarships are available to help defray the registration fee.

Participants will have the option to earn three graduate credits from Salem State College/Northeast Consortium at affordable rates while you create a unit plan to use with your students.

During the Institute, you will:

  • Explore service-learning an innovative teaching strategy that:
  • Engages students in real-life problem-solving across all grade levels and content areas/interdisciplinary units
  • Supports different learning styles Builds 21st Century skills teamwork, communication, critical thinking, decision-making
  • Learn how to implement a quality service-learning project using the KIDS model of service-learning.
  • Explore a step-by-step process using our KIDS as Planners Guidebook take home adaptable project planning tools and templates
  • Learn and practice classroom activities that encourage student voice
  • Create standards-based units with assessments
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the role of reflection
  • Discover information and financial resources that support student projects
  • Leave with strategies to develop authentic school/community partnerships
  • Explore ways to use service-learning as a strategy to implement your school and district goals (e.g. drop-out prevention, literacy, STEM, civic engagement)

For complete details visit:



Nominate an Innovative High School Science Teacher for $1000 prize (3/28/11)

Please take advantage of this opportunity to nominate qualified individuals for the 2011 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers.  Nominating someone for this award is a great way to say I have noticed the great work that you do. - Anita

Calling all U.S. high school science educators, principals, and administrators: you are invited to nominate teachers for the 2011 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers. The $1,000 prize honors a high school science teacher who has advanced science education by developing and implementing an effective strategy, activity, or program.

For more information, contact or go to



Congratulations to Lisa Damian-Marvin (3/28/11)

Please join me in congratulating Lisa Damian-Marvin, who has been presented with the Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize.  Her research focused on high school physics instruction. Congratulations, Lisa! – Anita

The Yale School of Management Education Club is pleased to present the second annual Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize to Lisa Damian-Marvin of Camden Hills Regional High School of Rockport, Maine.

Action research is a method of teacher professional development that empowers teachers to solve problems and improve their practice. The prize seeks to disseminate research on promising classroom methods to education leaders; to promote the professionalism of teacher-researchers as education policy decision makers; and to promote the power of action research to make teachers into proactive leaders, and as continual professional development. It was founded in memory of Lynn Hall, a lifelong teacher action researcher, by her children, Cassandra Valdivia, Bryce Hall, and Morgan Hall.

This year, the Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize received dozens of research submissions. They were evaluated based on their potential impact and research quality by students and educators, then finalists were judged by an esteemed panel of education experts.  Ms. Damian-Marvin’s submission, entitled “Increasing Conceptual Understanding in High School Physics Classrooms”, integrated collaborative learning, active teaching techniques, and the efficient use of cutting edge technology into STEM education.

A link to Lisa’s research will soon be available at the Yale School of Management Education Leadership Conference website:



ACS Grant Opportunity for High School Chemistry Teachers (3/24/11)

The ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Grant is awarded to high school chemistry teachers for any purpose that enhances the teaching and learning of chemistry within their classrooms. This includes covering basic needs as well as supporting new, innovative activities. Teachers can request up to $1,500 for:

  • Laboratory Equipment & Supplies
  • Instructional Materials
  • Professional Development Courses
  • Field/Research Studies
  • Science Outreach Events

We are currently accepting applications through April 1, 2011 for the 2011-2012 academic year. We hope that you will pass this opportunity along to the chemistry teachers that you know. Details about the grant and the application process can be found at

If you have questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact

Kenetia K. Thompson

Program Manager, ACS-Hach Programs| Education Division

1155 16th St. NW, Washington, DC  20036

1-800-227-5558 ext. 8178



Calais Students Win First Prize in STEM Video Contest for 5 Minute Documentary (3/24/11)

Please take 5 minutes and view this great video documentary entitled S.T.E.M. in Action. The video challenge was to highlight the "T and E" in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. The Calais student team was awarded first place in the contest sponsored by the Technology and Engineering Educators Association of Maine.

A big round of applause for Randy McCormick, Calais High School Technology Education Department Head and his students.



Cracking the Code Wins Intel Science Talent Search for Math Whiz (3/24/11)

I thought you might be interested in the following descriptions of the INTEL winners. – Anita

Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) has announced the winners of the Intel Science Talent Search. Evan O'Dorney, 17, of Danville, CA, won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for his mathematical project in which he compared two ways to estimate the square root of an integer.

Evan discovered precisely when the faster way would work. As a byproduct of Evan's research he solved other equations useful for encrypting data. This furthered an interest he developed as early as age 2, when he was checking math textbooks out of the library.

Second place honors and $75,000 went to Michelle Hackman, 17, of Great Neck, NY, who studied the effect of separating teenagers from their cell phones. In her personal life, Michelle, who is not sighted, launched a rural secondary school in Cambodia that benefits girls confronted with significant gender violence.

Third place and $50,000 went to Matthew Miller, 18, of Elon, NC, who studied how the placement of small bumps on the surface of wind turbine blades can dramatically affect their aerodynamics and increase their efficiency at generating electricity. Matthew is also senior class president, president of the National Honor Society and was invited by President Obama to be part of the first White House Science Fair last October.

In total, the Intel Foundation awarded $1.25 million for the Intel Science Talent Search 2011. When the Intel Foundation assumed the title sponsorship 13 years ago, it increased the annual awards by more than $1 million in the belief that fostering a passion for math and science in today's youth is imperative for America's future success.

The Intel Science Talent Search encourages America's future leaders to satisfy their endless curiosity by exploring how the world works and developing solutions for global challenges. This year's finalists hail from 15 states and represent 39 schools. Of the 1,744 high school seniors who entered the Intel Science Talent Search 2011, 300 were announced as semifinalists in January. Of those, 40 were chosen as finalists and invited to Washington, DC, to compete for the top 10 awards.

Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, has owned and administered the Science Talent Search since its inception in 1942. Over the past 69 years, Science Talent Search alumni have gone on to win seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, three National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and even an Academy Award for Best Actress. More details are at



Project Operations Director for the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (3/23/11)

The University of Maine is looking for a Project Manager for their National Science Foundation Physical Science Partnership Grant. Please consider applying and/or share with others who might be interested. – Anita

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education

The University of Maine

Orono, Maine

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE) at the University of Maine invites applications for the position of Project Operations Director for the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership, an innovative, multi-million dollar, research and development effort funded by the National Science Foundation for five years. The Maine Physical Sciences Partnership brings together University of Maine faculty, staff and students, approximately 50 Maine schools, and Maine non-profits involved in STEM education to target the improvement of teaching and learning of physical sciences in grades 6-9 and the recruitment, preparation and retention of science and mathematics teachers. More information about the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership can be found at

The successful candidate must have an M.S. in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) discipline or in STEM education, or equivalent, and have experience working in or with K-12 schools and at the university level. Exceptionally strong organizational abilities and written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills are essential, including previous successful experience managing a complex, multifaceted project. Skills in using common software and technology are also required. Preference will be given to those who show familiarity with discipline-based education research and guided inquiry instruction in science and mathematics, demonstrated effectiveness as a science or mathematics teacher, and evidence of in-depth understanding of physical sciences concepts taught in standards-based middle and high school grades.

Responsibilities of the Project Operations Director will include the direction of all aspects of the day-to-day operations of this initiative, such as planning, implementing and documenting project activities; creating and circulating on-line and published communications and reports; managing the project website; maintaining records of training and applications required for research conducted involving human subjects; managingtimelines and schedules to ensure project goals and requirements are met on time; providing structure and assistance in strategic planning, implementing and documenting data collection and research; overseeing searches for project positions; and supervising project staff, undergraduate and graduate students.

This is a full-time, year-round position contingent upon funding and successful job performance. The full job description can be found at Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable pool of applicants is found. Appropriate background checks will be required. To apply, please submit electronically a letter of application and resume of educational background and professional experience, including the names and contact information of three references, to Questions about this position should be directed to All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.



CDC Science Ambassador Program Workshop (3/22/11)

Call for Science Educators

Deadline: Thursday, March 31, 2011

SEPDPO’s Science Ambassador Program Workshop for middle and high school science educators will be held at CDC’s Atlanta-Roybal campus from July18-22, 2011. The Science Ambassador Program Workshop links public health science to classroom instruction.

How You Can Help

CDC staff are encouraged to share this information about the Science Ambassador Program Workshop with middle and high school science educators who may be interested.


Middle and high school science educators work with CDC scientists during an intensive five-day workshop to create engaging lesson plans for classroom instruction. Lesson plans developed during the workshop meet National Science Education standards, and also challenge students to think about science in new ways. CDC’s public health topics offer students the chance to apply science to real world health concerns.

Three Professional Learning Units for continuing education credits will be awarded to educators who complete and meet the expectations of the workshop. Educators selected for this program are expected to arrive on time each day, actively participate, complete workshop assignments, and remain in the classroom for the duration of the workshop. Space is limited and a maximum of 16 educators will be selected.

Requirements for Educators

Interested educators are invited to provide the following information in support of their selection:

  • A copy of their curriculum vitae or resume
  • Two support letters (one from their principal and one from the head of their science department)
  • A one-to-two page statement describing grade level and coursework taught the types of experiences they expect to get from the program, what they hope to gain from this experience, why they want to participate in the program, and how they plan on using this experience in their teaching
  • A sample of a lesson plan they have developed
  • A copy of their teaching certificate

Deadline for submission is Thursday, March 31, 2011. Selected participants will be notified by April 27, 2011.

For more information on the Science Ambassador Program Workshop, please visit:; contact Esther Shisoka at; or call 404-498-6359.



Free Teacher Workshop on Migratory Birds to be Offered at Viles Arboretum (3/11/11)

Thanks to a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund in support of educating teachers and students about migratory birds and their conservation, Viles Arboretum is offering a free instructional workshop for teachers.

This workshop, scheduled for April 8th (Friday), is designed to help teachers achieve their own level of proficiency in the subject of migratory birds, their ecology and conservation.

This workshop will be taught by professional instructors including Lisa Kane from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Mark DesMeules, ecologist and Executive Director of the Arboretum.

We need a minimum of 15 participants to run the workshop and need registrations no later than the end of March. We begin at 9:00 and go till 2:00 or 3:00.

Each teacher will receive their own copy of Flying Wild curriculum guide and they will learn how use the Flying Wild curriculum to teach their students all about migratory birds, their ecology and conservation. The afternoon session will be a field exercise focused on field observation techniques, using field guides, how to observe various bird species in the wild and other techniques designed to make the learning experience more interesting.

We encourage teachers to take a professional day for this. Space will be limited.  Lunch will be provided.  As part of this workshop, we will announce the activities to be held on International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th, and encourage all teachers and their students to join in the activities and programs being held that day at various locations around the state, including Viles Arboretum.

You can register by calling Mark DesMeules at Viles Arboretum. Phone 626-7989 or e-mail him at with Flying Wilds Workshop in the subject line.



Teachers Needed to Pilot Survey Questions for the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (3/6/11)

A national group is getting ready to collect data for the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education.  I strongly encourage you to consider taking part in 60 minute audio recored phone interview.  Participants will receive an honorarium. - Anita 

Horizon Research, Inc is conducting the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education, the fifth in a series dating back to a 1977 study commissioned by the National Science Foundation. As part of the questionnaire development process, we are seeking teachers to provide feedback on questionnaire items. We would appreciate it if you would forward this information to any teachers in your projects or partner districts who might be interested in providing feedback. Participating teachers would spend 10-15 minutes answering a set of questionnaire items and writing down some brief notes about their thoughts/impressions of the items. They would then take part in a 60-minute, audio-recorded phone interview about the items. All responses will be used only to help us understand how teachers interpret the items and will be kept strictly confidential. Teachers selected to participate will receive a $30 honorarium. 

Teachers interested in participating should visit the following website: 

Any questions about the study should be directed to



Falmouth High School FAA TEAM Chosen as Real WorldDesign Challenge State Finalist (3/1/11)

Congratulations to theThe Falmouth High School FAA Team and their teacher mentors John Kraljic and Andrew Njaa!!  The FAA has been selected as Maine's 2011 winning Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) entry and will be attending the national Real World Design Challenge competition for their second consecutive year. The RWDC is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. Each year, student teams are asked to address a challenge that confronts our nation's leading industries.The 2011 challenged required teams to design the exterior geometry and internal structure of an airliner wing to increase flying efficiency. A unique aspect of the RWDC is that all of the design and testing are done virtually.

This year's national  Real World Design Challenge will take place in Washington, D.C. the weekend of April 15, 2011.  



NBC Learn and National Science Foundation Launch the "Chemistry Now" Series (2/25/11)

In celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, NBC Learn has teamed up with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch "Chemistry Now," a weekly online video series that uncovers and explains the science of common physical objects in our world and the changes they undergo every day. The series also looks at the lives and work of scientists on the frontiers of 21st century chemistry. "Chemistry Now" consists of 32 learning packages that aim to break down the chemistry behind things such as cheeseburgers and chocolate or soap and plastics.

A new topic will be explored each week through May. The series will then resume in the fall of 2011 to keep pace with the academic school year. Made especially for students and teachers to explore chemistry in and beyond the classroom, the online videos are matched with lesson plans from Triangle Coalition member, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and are available for free online at

Weekly content includes original video stories that illustrate real-world applications of chemistry; current events and archival news stories related to chemistry; original source documents and images from the Chemical Heritage Foundation; articles from the archives and current publications of Scientific American; and content-coordinated lesson plans for middle and high school students, produced by national curriculum specialists at NSTA.

In addition, the "Chemistry Now" series will profile NSF-sponsored scientists who are hard at work on the next generation of chemistry breakthroughs. "The International Year of Chemistry is an excellent opportunity to reach out to the public and convey to them the ways in which chemistry is involved in their lives each and every day," said Matthew Platz, director of NSF's Division of Chemistry. Additional the International Year of Chemistry is at



College Board Announces Changes to the AP Biology Course and Exam (2/25/11)

The College Board's Advanced Placement Program, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, expert faculty from the nation's top colleges and universities, and master AP teachers, has completed revising the AP Biology program and has announced changes that will take effect in the 2012-13 academic year. The revised AP Biology course and exam align with the knowledge and skills that many rigorous college-level introductory biology courses now seek to nurture, emphasizing the development of scientific inquiry and reasoning skills. Lab work is a critical component of the course, requiring students to master such skills as posing questions; collecting, analyzing, and evaluating data; connecting fundamental concepts; and then defending their conclusions based on experiments.

"The revised course objectives will enable teachers and students to explore key topics in depth and will help students learn to reason with the rigor and objectivity of scientists," said Trevor Packer, vice president of the Advanced Placement Program at the College Board.

To ensure that teachers and students focus on the practice of science and not just the memorization of scientific facts, department chairs from colleges and universities nationwide reviewed the full range of content in most college biology textbooks, identifying the essential knowledge and skills that an introductory college biology course should cultivate. These department chairs wholeheartedly endorsed the need to reduce breadth and increase depth of coverage, focusing on science practices. As a result of this work, a significant amount of nonessential content was removed from the scope of AP Biology, freeing up time for students to engage in science practices throughout the academic year.

The revised AP Biology Exam will focus on measuring a student's ability to apply knowledge -- to develop and test scientific hypotheses, for example. The number of multiple-choice questions has been reduced by nearly half, and these will focus on the application of scientific knowledge. The number of open-ended questions that require students to construct a response is more than doubling, and new questions will require the integration of science and mathematics skills.

In 2010, the AP Biology program served more than 172,000 students in nearly 9,500 secondary schools. More details about AP testing are available online at



Calais High School Students Win Engineering is Essential Week Video Contest (2/25/11)

It is always fun to offer congratulations for great work!  Please join me in saying Congratulations to these students and their teacher. - Anita 

Two high school students and their teacher from Calais High School in Washington County received the top $1,000 prize for their efforts in the creating a video aimed at other students and adults in Maine about the Why Engineering is Essential to Maine.  The inaugural video contest was sponsored by Time Warner Cable, the Maine Engineering Promotion Council, and the Maine Department of Education as part of the Maine Engineers Week activities.  The purpose of the video contest was to introduce students to the positive impact of engineering on the quality of life in Maine while at the same time applying technical skills they’ve learned at school to create and produce video communications.  The students were recognized before a crowd of nearly 150 engineers, students, and guests at the Maine Engineers Week Banquet on Friday evening, February 18, 2011. 

Brook Young and Jesse Clark, juniors at Calais High School, and their teacher mentor Randy McCormick, the head of Calais High School’s Technology Department, were awarded a total of $1,000 at Friday’s banquet.   The students’ video was judged on several criteria including originality, creativity, composition and production technique, and the video’s ability to teach other students and the public about engineering in Maine.  The video is showcased on iTunesU and "Lets Connect " the Time Warner Cable's monthly newsmagazine which airs every Thursday at 7 P.M. on TWC TV (Channel 9).  

Utunes link:

The video contest, banquet, and Expo is organized by the Maine Engineering Promotion  Council with the sponsor support of Time Warner Cable, General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works, the University of Maine, the University of Southern Maine, the Maine Turnpike Authority, the Maine Professional Engineers Licensing Board, and the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. 



Update on Conceptual Framework, Next Generation Science Standards and Science Events (2/25/11)

As you know, we anticipate that the Conceptual Framework will be published by the Board on Science Education (BOSE) sometime at the end of the first quarter of 2011.  There are a lot of moving parts in this work so I thought it might be valuable share what I understand to be the timeline.  

  • March/April 2011: Conceptual Framework due to be released from the Board on Science Education
  • March/April 2011: Achieve, Inc. receives the Conceptual Framework from the Board on Science Education and uses the document to guide the development of the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Fall 2011/Winter 2011/Spring 2012: Public/ State Feedback on Next Generation Science Standards
  • Spring 2012-Fall 2012: Next Generation Science Standards expected to be released.

As a caution there are a few parts of this work that can be confusing.  The most significant of these is that the Conceptual Framework is NOT the Next Generation of Science Standards.  The Conceptual Framework is a document that will inform the development of the Next Generation of Science Standards.  The second is that the Next Generation of Science standards are NOT automatically Common Core State Standards for Science.  There are many things that will influence whether the Next Generation of Science Standards (that are developed from the Conceptual Framework) will become science standards which are commonly adopted by the states and/or used to develop common state science assessments.  I will be sure to share information about this as it becomes available. 

Finally, there is a lot happening in the State and I thought you might find it helpful to see how the national work fits with some projected events in the State of Maine. This list does not reflect some exciting grant work in development or the 12 million dollar National Science Foundation grant that the RiSE (Research in STEM Education) Center at the University of Maine recently received.  The RiSE Center's grant will focus on the improvement of physical science education in grades 6.

Overview of Upcoming National and State Science Events 2011 - 2012

  • Spring 2011: Common Core State Standards in ELA and Mathematics go to Legislature for adoption
  • 2011: Technology Education Association of Maine  holds statewide symposium to address issues related to technology education and engineering
  • March 2011: Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance holds statewide conference to address what the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts tell us about science literacy
  • March/April 2011: Conceptual Framework due to be released from the Board on Science Education
  • March/April 2011: Achieve, Inc. receives the Conceptual Framework from the Board on Science Education and uses the document to guide the development of the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Fall 2011: Maine Science Teachers Association Conference (Possible focus on the Conceptual Framework and Next Generation Science Standards)
  • Fall 2011/Winter 2011/Spring 2011: Public Feedback on Next Generation Science Standards
  • Spring 2012: STEM Summit
  • Spring 2012: Fall 2012 Next Generation Science Standards due to be released
  • Fall 2012: Regional Workshops to inform Maine teachers about the Next Generation Science Standards



White House Launches 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge (2/17/11)

On February 1, the White House opened applications to the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. Students from public high schools across the country are invited to demonstrate how their school prepares them for college and a career by going to and submitting an application. The winning school will host President Obama as their 2011 commencement speaker.

Last year, President Obama launched the first ever Race to the Top Commencement Challenge and encouraged public high schools across the country to show how they promote college attainment and career readiness. Over 1000 schools applied and more than 170,000 people weighed in on short videos and essays from the six finalists. President Obama selected the national winner from the three high schools with the highest average ratings. This year, the President has renewed the challenge, calling on high schools to share effective strategies on how they are preparing their students to win the future and achieve the goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

"I'm looking for the school that's doing the best job of preparing students for college and careers," said President Obama. "The winning school will understand that their number one priority is making sure that our kids are learning what they need to succeed in this 21st century economy."

This year, the White House has once again partnered with Viacom and the Get Schooled Foundation to launch the Commencement Challenge. The application includes essay questions and statistical information that illustrate how schools are promoting college and career readiness for all students while establishing a culture of student success and academic excellence. Applications must be submitted by Friday, February 25th at 11:59 pm EST.

More information, including the launch video, can be found online at



Are College Students Learning Enough Science? (2/10/11)

The following article is from the Triangle Coalition Electronic Bulletin. - Anita

Nearly all American undergraduates take at least one science-related course in college. For many, this coursework marks their last engagement with formal science education. Yet the pace of scientific and technological change means that all adults must be prepared to learn and evaluate new science information after they leave schooling. College graduates, no matter their career, should be proficient in this regard.

"In the decades ahead, the number and nature of new scientific issues reaching the public-policy agenda will not be limited to subjects that might have been studied in school but will reflect the dynamic of modern science and technology," writes Jon D. Miller, a contributor to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences's latest publication, "Science and the Educated American: A Core Component of Liberal Education." The publication explores whether American colleges and universities are providing students with the foundation necessary for lifelong scientific learning and targets university administrators and faculty members who are interested in assessing and improving their institutions' curricula. In particular, detailed descriptions of five university science courses highlight innovative methods for conveying complex science information to non-science majors. Several common themes emerge in the volume:

  • Without a basic level of scientific literacy, the public cannot rely on even the best science journalism and communications to equip them with the ability to make informed decisions about science issues.
  • Science courses belong in the liberal arts curriculum for the benefit of both science and non-science majors.
  • Teaching science should convey the wonders and rewards of science but also the limits of science and the dangers of misapplying it.
  • Science and the humanities have much more in common than is generally appreciated.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy, global security, social policy, the humanities and culture, and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, MA, the Academy's work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.



updated 9/13/12 -pb



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