MEEA Mini-Grants Available for Outdoor Learning – 9/27 Deadline

Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA) recently opened a new grant application for the 2021-2022 school year for their Mini-Grants for Outdoor Learning Program.

Applications from all public schools Pre-K – 12 are accepted for up to $1,500 to support their outdoor learning projects. Last year the Maine Environmental Education Association funded over 150 schools with an impact of over 10,000 students across the state.

Funding can be used for any type of project that advances outdoor learning in your classroom or school in the 2021-2022 school year.  Most commonly this funding is used to buy gear and/or supplies needed to support outdoor learning activities, but this funding can also be used for professional learning to advance your outdoor learning teaching skills, to support a collaboration with a community partner organization on a nature-based project or experience, and/or adaptive gear that supports ALL kids having access to outdoor learning in your school.

Application closes on September 27th at 11:59 PM.

For more information and to apply visit the Maine Environmental Education Association Website.

For further questions contact MEEA at (207) 619-1609 or info@meeassociation.org

 

Maine Agriculture Education PK-12 Grants Available – Deadline Approaching!

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) has earmarked $60K for education agriculture grants in 5 categories in 2021! This support of Maine agriculture education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 is a direct result of the Maine Agricultural Specialty License Plate.

Grants are available in a number of categories such as Agriculture Awareness, School Garden & Greenhouse, Statewide Agricultural Education Organization, and Agriculture Leadership. Grants are up to $2,000 and the deadline to apply is 4:00pm on August 23rd.

To see the grants, get more information, and apply visit: https://me.agclassroom.org/programs/grants/ 

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture, and housed at the Maine Department of Agriculture. Our goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society so that they will become citizens who support wise agricultural policies and local agriculture endeavors.

If you have questions please email maitc@maine.gov

New Maine Initiative to Build Ag Literacy Through Immersive CTE Culinary Arts Programs

A new University of Maine initiative to build agricultural literacy through an immersive culinary experience for career and technical education (CTE) culinary arts instructors is one of 21 projects funded nationwide by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

NIFA has invested $6.2 million in the Professional Development and Secondary School Teacher grants to increase the number of K–14 teachers and educational professionals trained in the food and agricultural sciences. The grants to prepare more educators in food and ag science, and support best teaching practices that enhance student learning outcomes, are part of NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

UMaine’s Building Agriculture Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience project, which received a $300,000, four-year grant, is led by Kathy Savoie, University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor; Willie Grenier, executive director of Maine Agriculture in the Classroom; and Rob Dumas, UMaine food science pilot plant manager. CTE culinary arts instructors will receive professional development experiences to increase their agricultural literacy, and enhance the connectedness between agriculture and food service in their culinary arts curricula.

A goal of the project is to help create a skilled, educated workforce that will increase the use of Maine grown, processed and produced foods in their programs and careers by changing the way students — tomorrow’s food professionals — think about the importance and value of local food, according to the researchers.

“Providing professional development experiences for CTE instructors will help to shift culinary arts programs toward local food system education with the end goal to create a workforce that is proficient in Maine agriculture, and that will be poised to meet today’s consumer needs and ultimately boost our state agriculture” says Savoie, the principal investigator on the initiative.

The project provides a holistic approach to uniting community partners to identify the best practices for agriculture literacy education at CTE culinary arts programs in Maine. UMaine Cooperative Extension and Maine Agriculture in the Classroom will collaborate to provide experiential learning opportunities for CTE culinary arts instructors through a week-long Immersive Culinary Arts Summer Institute. Project activities will include hands-on experience in local food procurement practices, demonstrations of food system lessons, educational field trips, financial support for experiential activities through their existing school restaurants, participation in a UMaine Local Foods Competition and coaching during the school year.

The CTE instructors also will experience the educational power of job shadowing, flipped classrooms and working relationships with employers that could help students make career connections. Participating instructors will be eligible to receive mini-grants to support nontraditional learning experiences — on-site learning opportunities with farmers, food processors and butchers, for example, and at food hubs, food incubator labs, aquaculture facilities, food pantries and restaurants — to increase students’ understanding of local food systems. In addition, the UMaine Food Pilot Plant will host local food competitions for CTE culinary arts students, challenging them to use Maine foods in creative and innovative ways to meet the demands of today’s consumers.

Reminder: Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) Summer Workshops

Instead of a week-long event this summer, Maine Agriculture In The Classroom (MAITC) will be holding three single day, in-person events focusing on Dairy, Aquaculture, and Wild Blueberries.

Each professional development event for PK – Grade 12 educators will offer 7 contact hours or .7 CEU’s (Total possible = 21 contact hours or 2.1 CEU’s)

Each event will start at 8:30 AM and finish at 4:00 PM. A lite breakfast, snack, and lunch will be provided at each training.

Dairy – Thursday, August 12
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

A full day of resources, lessons, and programs surrounding dairy will be provided by MAITC and the Maine Dairy Nutrition Council. In the afternoon participants will visit dairy farms, including the Flood Farm in Clinton, and experience a day in the life of a dairy farmer! Learn about silage, see a milking parlor, and learn much more about our local dairy farms!

A Day of Aquaculture – Thursday, August 19
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Join MAITC for a day of exploring aquaculture at the picturesque Downeast Institute on Beals Island. We will spend the day exploring aquaculture with hands-on activities, hosted by Dr. Anne Langston Noll. In the morning, topics include aquaculture through history, online resources for production, ocean temperatures, salinity, etc. and an introduction to aquaculture globally, in the U.S. and Maine. Later we will tour the Institute’s working shellfish hatchery, and research facilities, including spawning shellfish and (if successful!) observing fertilization and cell division, and data collection for a real-life research project piloting the farming of sea scallops in ME lobster pounds. Last but not least we will explore resources available for teachers through MAITC and our colleagues at 4H and have the opportunity to try out activities included in the 4H teacher “toolkits”. Please bring your own computer or iPad if you are able. WIFI will be available. Venue: Downeast Institute – 39 Wildflower Lane, Beals, ME 04611

Wild Blueberry Emersion – Friday, August 20
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Our day will begin at the Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant, 78 Main Street in Machias. After a lite breakfast we will join teacher Eric Brooks for exploration of MAITC Wild Blueberry resources and curricula. Representatives from the Wild Blueberry Commission will host an afternoon tour of local farms and barrens to view harvest, culture, and production of Maine’s official berry! Do you know that Maine produces more wild blueberries than anywhere else in the world? Do not miss this opportunity!

Registration Fees & Information

  • 1 Training – $35
  • 2-Trainings – $60
  • All 3 Trainings – $75

Download registration form to mail a check

Online registration

Limited space – register early! Pre-Registration only – Deadline August 6, 2021. For more detailed information, including options for accommodations please visit: https://me.agclassroom.org/programs/summer/

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture, and housed at the Maine Department of Agriculture. Our goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society so that they will become citizens who support wise agricultural policies and local agriculture endeavors.

For more information visit https://me.agclassroom.org/ or contact MAITC at (207) 287-5522 or maitca@maine.gov

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) Summer Workshops

Instead of a week-long event this summer, Maine Agriculture In The Classroom (MAITC) will be holding three single day, in-person events focusing on Dairy, Aquaculture, and Wild Blueberries.

Each professional development event for PK – Grade 12 educators will offer 7 contact hours or .7 CEU’s (Total possible = 21 contact hours or 2.1 CEU’s)

Each event will start at 8:30 AM and finish at 4:00 PM. A lite breakfast, snack, and lunch will be provided at each training.

Dairy – Thursday, August 12
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

A full day of resources, lessons, and programs surrounding dairy will be provided by MAITC and the Maine Dairy Nutrition Council. In the afternoon participants will visit dairy farms, including the Flood Farm in Clinton, and experience a day in the life of a dairy farmer! Learn about silage, see a milking parlor, and learn much more about our local dairy farms!

A Day of Aquaculture – Thursday, August 19
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Join MAITC for a day of exploring aquaculture at the picturesque Downeast Institute on Beals Island. We will spend the day exploring aquaculture with hands-on activities, hosted by Dr. Anne Langston Noll. In the morning, topics include aquaculture through history, online resources for production, ocean temperatures, salinity, etc. and an introduction to aquaculture globally, in the U.S. and Maine. Later we will tour the Institute’s working shellfish hatchery, and research facilities, including spawning shellfish and (if successful!) observing fertilization and cell division, and data collection for a real-life research project piloting the farming of sea scallops in ME lobster pounds. Last but not least we will explore resources available for teachers through MAITC and our colleagues at 4H and have the opportunity to try out activities included in the 4H teacher “toolkits”. Please bring your own computer or iPad if you are able. WIFI will be available. Venue: Downeast Institute – 39 Wildflower Lane, Beals, ME 04611

Wild Blueberry Emersion – Friday, August 20
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Our day will begin at the Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant, 78 Main Street in Machias. After a lite breakfast we will join teacher Eric Brooks for exploration of MAITC Wild Blueberry resources and curricula. Representatives from the Wild Blueberry Commission will host an afternoon tour of local farms and barrens to view harvest, culture, and production of Maine’s official berry! Do you know that Maine produces more wild blueberries than anywhere else in the world? Do not miss this opportunity!

Registration Fees & Information

  • 1 Training – $35
  • 2-Trainings – $60
  • All 3 Trainings – $75

Download registration form to mail a check

Online registration

Limited space – register early! Pre-Registration only – Deadline August 6, 2021. For more detailed information, including options for accommodations please visit: https://me.agclassroom.org/programs/summer/

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture, and housed at the Maine Department of Agriculture. Our goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society so that they will become citizens who support wise agricultural policies and local agriculture endeavors.

For more information visit https://me.agclassroom.org/ or contact MAITC at (207) 287-5522 or maitca@maine.gov