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     Maine Science Teachers AssociationTeachers and science professionals making 
science education happen in Maine's schools and communities!

Thank you all so much for coming to this year's annual conference!

Click on the resources page to access the link for the presentations hand outs.

Let Us Suggest!

Readings for STEM educators:
Achieve Releases Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks for the Next Generation Science Standards! Sample Tasks Demonstrate Ways Middle and High School Teachers Can Combine Content from NGSS and the Common Core State Standard

Upcoming Events!

08 May 2017 • Statewide
Science News!

Invitation to Partner With NC State University

Research Study: Factors That Influence STEM Interests and Careers 

NC State University, the NC Museum of Natural Science, the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and Marbles Kids Museum seek teachers and schools to partner in a research study that can shed new light on factors that influence students’ interests in STEM.  Please consider joining us in this NSF funded nationwide survey of elementary and middle school students.

Why is the study important?  Large gaps exist today for women and minorities who engage in STEM careers, STEM majors, and recreational STEM activities.  A new model is needed to examine how discrepancies develop for children and early adolescents so that new strategies can be developed to address the existing discrepancies. The issues are significant and influence achievement in science and mathematics as well as keep many families in poverty. A healthy economy is dependent on a well educated and diverse workforce.  Join us in this critical study of STEM interests and experiences for youth in grades 3-7.

What will schools do who partner in the study?  Participation will be easy for students and teachers and will not take significant time.  Participating students will complete a brief 12-15 minute survey. Teachers should make sure school system policies about research are met before giving the survey. 

How will schools benefit from participating in the study?  The research team will send each participating school a summary of the results that will allow teachers and administrators to see what types of experiences and factors students have that may influence their interests and decisions to continue studies in STEM. This data may be a powerful tool for your school to use and can help you make curricular decisions that may ultimately impact achievement. For example, students will be asked in the survey if they feel confident in learning science and mathematics, if they have tools such as rulers and calculators at home, and if they are encouraged to study science in and out of school by adults and peers. Teachers who participate will be entered into a drawing for $100 gift card (to Amazon or similar vendor).

How will this study inform education broadly? This research will take a careful look at science capital and habitus for youth at multiple sites across the United States.  We will measure the access that youth have to adults who engage in STEM careers and STEM leisure activities.  In addition, we will document access to resources, prior experiences in out of school settings, identity, self-efficacy, interests, and career aspirations in STEM. We hope you and your students will participate in the study. 

How can my school or class participate?  Please reply by email ( or phone (919 513 8525) if you are interested in learning more about phase I of the study. We will send you additional information. 

Would you like to improve how your students use data and graphs as evidence while learning science content?

Join middle and high school teaching colleagues in a Data Literacy Collaborative this spring at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland.

Building on the work of the Data Literacy Teachers Collaborative in Mid-Coast this past fall, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Vital Signs program and University of Maine Hutchinson Center invite you to join us for a series of three after-school data literacy work sessions from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on: 

• Thursday, March 9 
• Thursday, April 13
• Thursday May 11

Sessions will focus on science but are open to any educator interested in improving students’ data literacy skills. Come prepared to:

• Share strategies for building data literacy in a science context
• Review a framework for scaffolding data and graphing literacy 
• Identify sources of classroom-ready datasets and curriculum resources 
• Explore technology solutions to graphing and interpreting data
• Plan with colleagues how to integrate data into classroom

The sessions are free, pizza, drinks, and contact hours will be provided. Space is limited, and registration is required, so sign up early. 

To register, please click on this link: 

Looking to bring an engineer into your classroom? 

For over three years, the Engineering Ambassadors program has paired local engineers and other STEM professionals with teachers and their students to bring engaging design challenges to middle and secondary classrooms in the greater Portland area. This year the program has expanded to include both middle and high school educators as well as afterschool providers. This year, two themed workshops are being offered, each being graciously hosted by a Maine STEM companies: The Baker Company in Sanford and Central Maine Power in Augusta.


Teachers attending the workshops will go on an interactive tour of the facility where they meet with STEM professionals, learning about their background and roles along the way.  During the second part of the workshop, engineers from the host company and from a variety of other companies will join us for lunch and partner with teachers to work through an engineering design problem that will later be done together, back in the classroom. Workshops run from 10 am – 2:30 pm.


There is no cost to participate and substitute reimbursement is available for classroom teachers. Teachers will leave the workshop with a classroom set of the hands-on supplies need to carry out the engineering activity, engineering teaching resources, including two video stories of Maine engineers, and a scheduled time for an engineer/STEM professional to visit their classroom.  Lunch is generously provided by the host company.


            March 13, Central Maine Power, Augusta (snow date, March 16)

            Electrical systems

            March 15, The Baker Company, Sanford (snow date, March 16)

Developers of biochemical containment and filtration equipment


Click here to learn more about the Engineering Ambassador project. Use this link to access a shareable flyer.


Click here to register.

Penobscot Marine Museum is seeking student help in designing a Maine fish t-shirt. Students should choose their favorite Maine fish to colorfully design. A panel of area artists and art enthusiasts will choose which design to use for a t-shirt that will be sold in our Museum Store. The student whose design is chosen will receive a life-time membership, as well as free museum admission for their class.


At PMM exhibit topics include the diverse economic history of the Penobscot Bay region, such as shipbuilding, lumbering, and stone trades, and different kinds of boats and gear. The museum has an extensive maritime history research library and over 200,000 historic photographs.


For the 2017 season we turn our focus to Maine fisheries in our exhibit, The Net Result: Our Evolving Fisheries. On campus we’ll have interactive fisheries exhibits, such as an aquaponics system in action, as well as a replica fishing weir that visitors can walk through to experience life as a fish inside this maze-like trap. We’ll connect the work and insight of fishermen, historians, scientists, and policy makers in exploring the past, present and future of this important resource and present a full calendar of public related programing and events.


Please submit to PMM no later than April 1, 2017. For more information, please call 207-548-2529, or email Entries may be submitted via email at, or by mail at P.O. Box 498, Searsport, ME 04974. Thank you for participating with your students, and we can’t wait to see the results!

The Maine TREE Foundation and Maine Project Learning Tree Announce

2017 Forests of Maine Teachers’ Tours

Join us on a 4-Day Tour of Maine’s Forests and Mills

 Reserve your place on one of these tours!


The Birches Resort on Moosehead Lake 

July 11 - 14

Camp Wapati: Gateway to Baxter State Park and The County  July 25 - 28


 Tours combine math, science, language arts and social studies with current information about  forest practices, up-to-date technology and promising research into new products

Each tour begins with a Project Learning Tree workshop that includes training in curriculum materials with links to NGSS including the Common Core standards and STEM applications

See modern harvesting and manufacturing technology in the woods and in the mills. Enjoy on-site discussions with foresters, loggers and operators to learn about job opportunities for Maine students

The Maine TREE Foundation provides comfortable accommodations and transportation, delicious food and everything you ever wanted to know about Maine’s forests


Become certified as a Project Learning Tree Teacher. 

Participants will receive 30 contact hours.  3.0 CEU’s available for an additional $20.00 fee. 

Reserve your space now! Registration Fee is only:

$105.00 per person if you register before 

April 28, 2017*

$115.00 per person if you register after April 28, 2017*

Space is limited, so call or e-mail soon to receive an information/registration brochure.

Contact us at 207-621-9872 or

*Includes a $10.00 non-refundable administrative fee.

Middle school teachers with two to 10 years of experience can participate in this week-long professional development opportunity at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. From July 23–28, participants will experience firsthand how necessity, perseverance, and skills can lead to innovations and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)—just as it did during World War II. Fifth- through eighth-grade teachers at public, charter, private, and parochial schools may attend. Participants receive free room and board, a travel stipend, and all seminar materials needed to complete the program. Apply by February 24 at

Announcing Genes in Space 2017 – Design and Launch your DNA Experiment to Space!

We invite students in grades 7 through 12 to design DNA experiments for space. Students will pioneer DNA research on the International Space Station to address real-life challenges of deep space exploration. Five finalist teams will receive mentoring from Harvard and MIT PhD scientists, present at the 2017 International Space Station R&D Conference, and receive miniPCR DNA Discovery System™ for their education institutions. Winners will also attend Space Biology Camp and send their DNA experiment to space!  Submission deadline is April 21st 2017.

Genes in Space is a partnership between miniPCR, Boeing, Math for America, CASIS, and New England Biolabs. The contest is free, and does not require equipment.  Proposals will be judged solely on their creative and scientific merit. miniPCR DNA Discovery System™ will also be awarded to the top 5 teams from grades 7 and 8 (Junior Scientist Awards) and to the school with the highest number of submissions from each of the 5 US regions (Constellation Awards).

Teachers – Here’s how you can turn contest submissions into a class assignment that's aligned with national standards.

 Find us on the web at 

The University of Maine will be holding 2017 the Expanding Your Horizons Conference on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the University of Maine, which is less than two months away.   


As you may know, Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference for middle school girls in 7th and 8th grades.  It provides a forum for students to connect with women in underrepresented career fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and learn about career opportunities in the sciences.  In addition to the conference for the students, we have scheduled a workshop for teachers.  Participating teachers will be eligible for CEU credits (application fees are included as part of your registration).  For your convenience, I have attached a registration packet with more information about the program. 

The deadline for registration is Friday, February 17, 2017.  Time and space constraints limit the number of participants and the program is available on a first-come, first-available basis. Also, due to the number of requests received we are no longer limiting the number of students or teachers a school can bring, but we do request that those registering stick to having one chaperone for every ten students.  


If you have any questions, please contact myself or Brian Bray at or 207-581-4091.

Dear Educators: 

The 26th Annual MSMR Student Competition is now open.


Students in grades 7 – 12 are invited to submit an essay, poster or website in response to the Competition Challenge. The Student Competition is open to students from all New England states and from public, charter, parochial, independent/private and home schools. Students in grades 7 and 8 will be in the Level 1 group and students in grades 9 – 12 will be in the Level 2 group. The Challenge is the same for both Levels.


Winning students receive awards up to $500 plus certificates and books; their teacher or mentor will receive a classroom grant of up to $100. Winning students, their parents and teachers are invited to the MSMR Annual Meeting luncheon in Boston in late June, where the awards will be presented and their work will be posted.


Please tell your students – and colleagues – about this opportunity. Here is a link to detailed information, the Student Packet and Entry Form. The deadline for submissions is May 8th, 2017.


Thank you very much.




Alan Dittrich


Applications are open for the 2017 CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship!


The CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship is for teachers and educational leaders interested in bringing public health into middle and high school classrooms. It includes a 5-day summer course (July 10-14, 2017) at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA and a 1-year distance-based professional development opportunity. Applications are due February 15, 2017.


For more information, please watch our video and visit our website.


A new collaboration between the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Colorado State University – Global Campus provides Maine science teachers with the opportunity to advance STEM teaching skills; learn effective new strategies for teaching physics; and earn graduate credit with new online courses. 

CTL is a nonprofit run by teachers to advance student achievement in math and science, and provide a simple, scalable solution to our country’s immense STEM teacher shortage. 

CTL is the leading U.S. provider of free, editable course materials for K-12 math and science instruction; and has become the #1 producer of physics teachers in the country. 

All courses can be pursued on your own schedule, provide graduate credit and are applicable to a Master’s Degree at CSU–Global.

Find out more here:

Applications are now open for the 2017 CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship!


The competitive fellowship is for teachers and educational leaders interested in bringing public health into current middle- and high- school classrooms. It includes a 5-day summer course (July 10-14, 2017) at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA and a 1-year distance-based professional development opportunity. Applications are due February 15, 2017.


For more information, please see the attachments or visit our website. We look forward to your application. Please share these materials with other teachers and educational leaders in your network who may be interested.


Career Paths to Public Health

Epidemiology Workforce Branch

Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development (DSEPD)

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (CSELS)

Office of Public Health Scientific Services (OPHSS)


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

1600 Clifton Road MS E92 | Atlanta, GA 30333

Friday, March 20th, 2015 Snowdate: Saturday, March 21st

Getting Better Together in Maine:
Partnerships, Collaboration, and Collective Impact

Join the Maine Environmental Education Association on March 20 at Chewonki in Wiscasset, Maine. It will be an intensive day of case studies, resources, skill building, and collaborative action planning. Tracks will focus on the following topics, following up on the work we started at the Better Together Summit:

-New Nature Movement
-Climate Change Education
-Youth Natural Leaders
-Healthy Communities
-Natural Resource Conservation
-New Visions for K-12 Education

Register Now!

frMaine Science Teachers Association an affiliate of the NSTA

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