Since 2007, the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) has led Math Science Partnership Projects (ESEA Title II, Part B), funded by grants through the Maine DOE. These particular projects were developed to involve collaborations by teams of Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers and math teachers from middle and high schools in various regions of Maine.
During this time, more than 26 teachers have designed and implemented exciting projects with their students that showcase the relevance of mathematics in fields including forest sustainability, construction, metal work, food services and industrial design. MMSA worked with these teachers to compile and document nine of the projects, now easily available as a free single Program Guide download to educators who wish to engage their students in hands-on projects that are both mathematically and technically rich.
The project guides in this publication are intended to give inspiration and guidance to teachers who are looking to develop collaborative units that include mathematics and CTE. They have the intended outcome of improving student engagement, participation and achievement and contain a wealth of resources that can be used as is or adapted to fit particular partnerships.
These projects have the potential for being transformational by focusing on a common topic between two populations that need to interact, namely, CTE and sending school teachers. Acknowledging the Maine DOE’s commitment to anytime, anywhere learning, these projects make a major statement that verifies the role CTEs can and should play in recognizing achievements of students. They also have great potential as “exemplars” of proficiency-based learning. In other words, they provide templates for instruction that are based on students’ mastery of knowledge and skills.
To that end, MMSA is proposing to articulate these levels of proficiency within the context of a representative selection of the projects in the guide. The rubrics will go a long way toward helping teachers at CTE schools, as well as sending schools, identify the pathways of important mathematical competencies that are necessary for graduation. MMSA plans to invite all 26 teachers who have designed and implemented these exciting projects over the past seven years to meet with them, examine the projects and the core competencies in Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards for mathematics, and begin developing levels of proficiency.
Of course, more is needed to ensure that teachers and leaders in both types of schools understand how such “exemplars” and guides are linked with instructional planning and setting goals for students. Therefore, MMSA plans to hold a summit meeting in June with leaders of both types of schools where they will discuss the importance of proficiency-based learning, using the exemplars they have developed as a context and sounding board.
To learn more about the history of these exciting Math and Science Partnership Projects in Maine and to download the Program Guide, visit http://mmsa.org/publications/free-downloads/project-guides/.
For more information on the federal Math and Science Partnerships (Title IIB) competitive grant program in Maine, contact Maine DOE’s ESEA Title II Coordinator Margaret (Meghan) Southworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.