Maine Department of Education Hosts 1st Computer Science Summer Institute

Nearly 100 educators from across the state attended a multi-day institute in July, focused around computer science education. Educators spent two and a half days engaging in sessions and collaborating to integrate computer science into their classrooms and upcoming school year activities. Topics included Robotics & Programming, Coding & Hardware, Augmented & Virtual Reality, and much more!

These educators also spent some time exploring connections between the mobile computer science labs and SLAM clubs at their schools to help leverage the mobile lab technology to promote student leadership and engage students as experts with the mobile labs.

Check out this video to learn more about the CS Summer Institute.

These educators will be sharing some of the awesome computer science learning experiences they’ve been creating at the CS Ed Showcase on August 17th. For more information about the CS Ed Showcase, check out this article.

#MaineTeachesCS #CSISummerInstitute #MLTI #MLTISLAM

If you have questions or would like to know more about computer science education in Maine, contact the (Acting) Learning Through Technology Coordinator and Computer Science Specialist, Emma-Marie Banks at

This event was funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funding (GEER).

You’re Invited! Maine DOE and UMaine to Host 2nd Annual Computer Science Education Showcase Event!

Join us for an afternoon of computer science(CS) fun and learn more about computer science education in the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) 2nd annual CS Ed Showcase! This event is supported by funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER).

The showcase highlights educators, students, community organizations, and other partners who are teaching, learning, and expanding access to and participation in computer science education. New to computer science? Not sure what computer science is? Looking to learn more about ways that computer science is taught and learned across the state? This is the event for you! Come and learn about how Maine is paving the way for students and teachers to be successful in the world of computer science.

When: August 17th, 4:00 pm-6:30 pm

Where: Collins Center at the University of Maine at Orono.

Register here to attend this free event!

Want to know more? Check out this article featuring last year’s showcase.

Interested in exhibiting something you’re doing with CS Ed? Fill out this brief form.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the Computer Science Showcase, please reach out to the Maine DOE Computer Science Specialist, Emma-Marie Banks at:

Riot Refurb: A Device Repair Lab

(Pictured: Intro to Computer Science students repair broken equipment with the purpose of donating them to people in need.  Photo credit: Julie York) 

What is the best way to learn about computer hardware? Look inside!  That is exactly what Julie York’s students did in their Intro to Computer Science course while also contributing to their community.  During their Device Repair Lab, these students gained valuable computer science and career knowledge and skills while rebuilding devices, like iPads, Chromebooks, and MacBooks. While some devices are sold at a discounted price, others are donated to organizations and people in need.  Any funds from the sales go back into the program to purchase chargers and materials.  To date, students have repaired over 200 devices. 

As anyone with device problems could attest to, students needed patience and persistence, as well as concentration as they performed the challenging and delicate work of device repair.  Students learned valuable computer science skills, such as disassembling devices, reassembling them, and diagnosing problems.  They also had to use computational thinking to identify the problem and how to fix it, develop efficient procedures for cleaning devices, and deduce patterns in computer issues to streamline their work.  As one student said, “I found the whole process very interesting.”  Another one said, “This is something I could do in the future.”   

Julie York Classroom Computer Science
Photo Credit: Julie York

Beyond the computer science skills they developed, students also learned valuable career skills like leadership and collaboration.  As one student put it, “I think that teamwork was the most important skill for the success of this lab because I think that everything is better when it’s done as a team.”  This student went on to say that without leadership “the group I was helping would’ve been in a mess.”  Students also incorporated art and communication skills as they designed flyers, made video ads, and wrote repair reports.    

Many students in Julie’s class are multilingual learners.  She scaffolded their language development by providing instructions in their primary language and opportunities to read, speak, and listen in English.  While they were developing their English skills, students were also able to learn the computer science material, and develop important career and leadership skills.  

The Riot Refurb program has gotten positive feedback from community members.  One person who received refurbished equipment shared, “Thank you so much for doing this. I have 4 kiddos, so this is a big help for my family!”  Another student, who got a laptop, talked about how he would use his new device to edit videos.  Through this project-based program, students can themselves as changemakers in both their school community and beyond.  

While the class is now learning about coding, they are still looking to connect with people and organizations in need of devices.  Click here for more information about this program. 

The Maine DOE encourages all schools and districts across the State of Maine to learn more about interdisciplinary instruction on our website or by contacting our Interdisciplinary Instruction Team Coordinator at 

Save the Date for the 20TH Annual MLTI Student Conference!

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) is excited to announce the dates and locations for the 20th annual MLTI Student Conference!

In our continued effort to engage all MLTI students in our annual conference, we’re offering three different options for participation this year. We’re partnering with the University of Maine System, to host two in-person MLTI Student Conferences!

University of Southern Maine’s Portland Campus
Friday, May 12th

University of Maine in Orono
Thursday, May 25th

Virtual MLTI Student Conference
Thursday, May 18th

The virtual conference will provide opportunities for students who may not be able to attend the in-person events. Last year’s classroom-based virtual conference was the largest attended in MLTI history with 55 schools, 5,672 students, and 696 educators participating!

We hope all MLTI schools can join us in their choice of engagement for the 20th annual MLTI Virtual Student Conference!

Please save the date for the 20th MLTI Student Conference and check our website for more announcements coming soon, including a call for proposals, t-shirt design contest, guest announcements, presenters, and session information.

We look forward to seeing all of you at one of our conference locations and sharing an exciting and innovative day with you and MLTI students!

For more information, reach out to the Maine DOE MLTI team.

Expansion and Revisions to Computer Science Integration (CSI) Initiative

In an effort to be responsive to the feedback we’re receiving about the Computer Science Integration (CSI) Initiative, the Maine Department of Education has redesigned the CSI Initiative to better meet the needs of Maine’s education field. Please find the new design and expectations below. We hope that this will help to alleviate concerns that folks had in participation. 

In this new design, we’ve shortened the duration of our first cohort to January 2023-September 2023 and we’re offering two tiers of engagement:

  • CSI Educators can engage in Tier 1 only or;
  • CSI Educators can engage in Tier 1 and Tier 2 (CSI Educators who engage in Tier 2 must engage in Tier 1) 

Tier 1

In Tier 1, educators will engage in CSI PD and work to create “Artifacts” (model lessons, support resources, coaching models, etc.) for their school and to share statewide. Educators will be provided a stipend of $1,500 to engage in computer science integration PD and work with educators within their school to contribute to a repository of computer science integration artifacts that will be available to educators statewide. 

Tier 1 will engage educators in Maine DOE provided CSI PD; work will be virtual/remote and meetings will occur outside of school time; Tier 1 PD will consist of virtual meetings and asynchronous activities and discussions. 

By September, Tier 1 CSI educators will feel confident in their understanding of computer science integration and will have successfully worked with other educators in their school to integrate computer science into existing lessons and class time. CSI educators will contribute to a repository of computer science integration artifacts that will be available to educators statewide. 

Tier 2

In Tier 2, CSI educators will engage in the Maine DOE’s CSI Summer Institute and CS Showcase. Educators will be provided a stipend of $1,000 and travel expenses, to attend the CSI Summer Institute and present at the Computer Science Showcase. These are in-person events that will take place during the summer of 2023, dates and locations TBD. 

Tier 2 will consist of a multi-day summer institute and the CS Showcase. Educators will engage in a multi-day institute where they network, collaborate, and work together to grow computer science across the state and in their own schools. These educators will also take part in the CS Showcase, showing off some of the awesome work they’ve done throughout the past few months of CSI. 

Expansion of the CSI Initiative

Additionally, we’re excited to announce that we’re able to expand this opportunity beyond one educator per school! This will allow schools who have more than one educator interested in this initiative to take part! 

To nominate an educator to be a part of this exciting opportunity, please complete this brief form. 

If you have already completed a nomination, there is no need to resubmit. We will be contacting all nominees that have already been submitted to provide next steps before the end of the day on Friday, January 6th. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please reach out to Maine DOE’s Computer Science Specialist, Emma-Marie Banks, at