Virtual Tour of NASA’s Antarctic Meteorite Lab + Astromaterials 3D

The NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) team invites you to register for the upcoming webinar for educators, educator-led groups of students, or college level students. The targeted audience is students in grades 9 and above, but other grade levels are welcome to register.

Virtual Tour of NASA’s Antarctic Meteorite Lab + Astromaterials 3D

Join a FREE NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) webinar! During this webinar, they will give participants a tour of their Antarctic Meteorite Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center, where they curate meteorites collected during ANtarctic Search for METeorites (ANSMET) Expeditions. They will also introduce participants to their Astromaterials 3D Project, a STEAM effort that encourages investigators of all ages to virtually explore meteorites like never before! The presentation will last approximately 45 minutes followed by an optional ~15-30 minutes of questions and answers.

Register for the live event or to receive an archived recording of the presentation (pending a successful recording). To participate in the live event you will need an internet connected computer with speakers (no microphones or cameras are needed).

  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 12:00 -1:00pm Eastern Time
  • We plan to remain on the live event ~15–30 minutes past the top of the hour to answer additional questions participants may have.
  • Registration here!

Other Webinar Details: 

  • After you register for the event, you will see a Webinar Registration Complete! Confirmation on your screen AND you will receive an email with a confirmation that your registration has been received.    
  • For those of you who register for the Live event, you will receive an email with the Webinar Testing (which will likely occur on 11/15) and Live Event Connection Information (11/16).  We will facilitate this webinar using Zoom Webinar.
  • This event will also be livestreamed on YouTube (details will be shared as we get closer to the event).

If you have questions, please feel free to email Paige V. Graff (paige.v.graff@nasa.gov) or put your questions in your registration form so she can contact you directly.

Oxford Elementary Showcases STEM Skills with a Little Help from the Local Fire Department

The Oxford Fire Department made a special visit to Oxford Elementary School with a ladder truck recently to support the culminating activity of a new instructional sequence the school designed and implemented this year. As part of an effort to improve mathematics achievement, the school has started a new tradition of supporting the transition into academics with a “First Ten Days of Math” program for all students in Grades 1 through Grade 6.

The program supports students in thinking of themselves as mathematicians who enjoy and actively participate in problem solving through establishing consistent classroom roles, routines, and procedures that support teaching and learning, and increase rigor by having students explore, express, and better understand mathematics content through problem-solving.

The Grade 4 to 6 teams participated in the STEM Egg Drop challenge to support older students in applying the academic and social-emotional routines and procedures that will set them up for success as they transition into the curriculum.

Fire truck with latter up. students gathered outdoors watching

The challenge is a project-based lesson that helps students learn to:

  • embrace mistakes that make your brain grow and, in turn, help you to learn
  • communicate and compromise with partners and groups
  • assess strategies
  • get unstuck and ask questions
  • share their thinking and communicate in the math classroom
  • make sense of problems and create a plan to solve them
  • use feedback and revise work

“All of this work is a way to support students in better understanding productive academic behaviors, so they know how to use them throughout the school year,” said Caitlin Dailey, Oxford Elementary Math Coach and MSAD #17 K-6 Math Coordinator.

Originally an extension of a school-wide book study of Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler, the project has become “so much more,” added Dailey, with students now implementing these behaviors throughout their school day.

Fifth-grader Jackson Lessard reflected, “This was the first time we got to know each other. I think this is going to make our communication better. Communication is so important. Even if your group isn’t a group of friends you can find ways to work together to solve problems.” The practical lessons learned informed norms or agreements for many classrooms. A classmate, Juliette Szantyr added, “Making agreements about how we would work together in our classroom is really helpful.”

“We’re really excited about what we’ve built with our students–beyond egg containers–and that our whole school has embraced the importance of cultivating a community for math learning,” said Melissa Guerrette, 5th Grade Oxford Elementary School Teacher and 2021 Oxford County Teacher of the Year.

Teachers and other school staff have been reflecting on the success of the project and look forward to designing future opportunities to practice and reinforce these skills widely across the learning setting.

This article is part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Nominations and Applications are Now Open for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is currently accepting nominations and applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). PAEMST is the highest recognition that a Kindergarten through 12th grade science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science educator may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Since 1983, more than 5,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. Up to 108 awardees may be recognized each year.

This current cycle will recognize K-6 educators. Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate a teacher by completing the nomination form. To submit a nomination, you’ll need the teacher’s name, email address, and school contact information. Teachers may also initiate the application process themselves at www.paemst.org.

For ELEMENTARY K-6, the nomination deadline is January 7, 2022, and the application deadline is February 6, 2022. ELEMENTARY K-6 educators will be eligible to apply during the current cycle.

Please consider nominating outstanding STEM teachers today!

Questions? Contact:

Michele Mailhot, PAEMST Mathematics Coordinator, michele.r.mailhot@maine.gov

Shari Templeton, PAEMST Science Coordinator, shari.templeton@maine.gov

Registration is Open for the Computer Science Summer of Fun Professional Learning Week! 

Join computer science educators and leaders in a week of (virtual) computer science professional learning, Project>Login is coordinating a computer science professional development week Aug. 9-13th.  

These sessions will be fun and informative and cover various topics and grade-levels. Maine Department of Education (DOE) Computer Science and Digital Learning Specialists are facilitating sessions on computer science integration at 1pm, Tuesday through Thursday. Other session topics include cyber security, coding, robotics, and more!  

Sessions are facilitated by Maine teachers and computer science leaders!

To preview the 5 day line-up, read descriptions of sessions, and register for the event, visit: https://www.projectlogin.com/news/post/registration-now-open-for-cs-summer-of-fun-pd-week-happening-aug-9-13 

If you have any questions, please contact Emma-Marie Banks, emma-marie.banks@maine.gov or Jonathan Graham, jonathan.m.graham@maine.gov 

Maine Students Earn Honors at the National History Day

Students from across Maine impressed judges from across the globe in the National History Day (NHD) competition. NHD is an international program focusing on studying and learning history in middle and high schools. Students choose a specific topic that fits in with the year’s theme and lead an extensive research project. NHD culminates in the presenting of the students’ projects to experts from across the field of history. The theme of the 2021 NHD contest was “Communication in History: the Key to Understanding.”

Several Maine students were given the Outstanding Affiliate Award. Jillian Muller, Charlotte McGreevy, and Brittany Carrier from Buckfield Jr./Sr. High school received this award for the documentary they created titled “Communicating with Children: How Fred Rogers Approached Tough Topics with Kids.” Uyen Nguyễn from John Bapst Memorial High school was also awarded for her website “United States Involvement in the Vietnam War: The Impacts of Multimedia ON Mainstream Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy.”

The highlight of the tournament for the state of Maine was Maya Faulstich, who took second place overall in the Individual Performance category. Maya, an eighth-grader from Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, drew on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to create her project “A Climate Carol.”

Maya’s project illustrates how the Keep America Beautiful campaign in the 1950s-1970s had a lasting negative influence on how the public thinks about trash and litter and highlights how the campaign continues to influence public opinion today. Maya’s second-place finish is the highest place a Maine student has taken in the category of Individual Performance on NHD. Maya’s performance can be watched below. In addition, her research and process can be read here.

The Maine DOE congratulates all students and teachers involved in the competition on such an impressive showing.

More details on the NHD completion can be found on the official press release. Extensive information on Maya’s project can be found in her recent interview.

This article was written by Maine DOE Intern Clio Bersani in collaboration with National History Day in Maine and Yarmouth School Department as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.