Commissioner Makin, Senator King, Students Participate in a Robotics Competition to Launch 19th Annual MLTI Student Conference

Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin and Senator Angus King kicked off the 19th annual MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) Student Conference today by participating in a live robotics competition with students at Nokomis Regional Middle High School.

Makin participated in person while King entered the competition remotely from his office in Washington, D.C. Student teams from schools across the state also competed to see who could get their robot to complete the skills tests the fastest, including nationally-ranked basketball phenom and Nokomis freshman, Copper Flagg. The morning launch session also included a welcome video from Governor Mills and a high-altitude balloon launch into space.

This year’s MLTI student conference was the highest attended in MLTI’s 19-year history with 55 schools, 5,672 students, and 696 educators participating. The theme of this year’s conference was MLTI Launches Space2Connect and included interpretations of space and connection as they relate to Maine students and their use of technology. The new virtual, classroom-based session style allowed students to attend in a classroom setting where they could learn, practice, and create.

Following the morning launch event, workshop leaders taught the conference participants new skills, provided time for students to practice these new skills, and then supported them as they created something new with what they learned. This new design allowed students to work together as they explored new resources and applications, created with new digital mediums, and collaborated to complete tasks.

Every school also received shirts for all participants that were designed by an MLTI student, and a 3-D printed medallion that traveled to space and back.

Panelist Opportunities for Maine Science Educators

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is currently recruiting educators to participate in an upcoming standard setting for the state’s science assessment, Maine (MEA) Science.

Maine educators and the DOE play a crucial role in the development of this assessment for students. No prior experience with standard setting or standard setting methodology is required, however panelists should be a science expert that teaches the students who participate in the Maine Science assessment and have a thorough understanding of the assessed Maine Learning Results (MLRs) Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants must be able to differentiate between student performances at different levels of achievement. Standard setting panels consist of ten (10) educators per grade band (grade 5, 8, and 3rd year of high school).  Panelists will have the opportunity to discuss and determine application thresholds for Maine.

The Assessment Team is currently recruiting educators with a general science background, however preference will be given to high school teachers with the following areas of science expertise to ensure broad representation of all science domains:

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Life Science
  • Earth & Space

The standard setting is scheduled to take place from July 26th – 28th 2022 in Augusta. Travel, accommodations, and expenses will be covered with a daily stipend provided to selected panelists.

Please consider applying or sharing the upcoming opportunities with colleagues. The expertise and contributions of Maine educators are a critical element of the continued development cycle for these assessments.

 

Interested? Complete the panelist registration survey or use the QR code provided below.

Want more information? Please reach out to Janette Kirk, Director of Federal Programs, at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

Experiential Maine! – Summer Coastal Ecology Collaborative  

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will soon be releasing a Request for Applications (RFA) from community organizations that provide (or plan to provide) high quality, coastal ecology education and experiences for students in grades 6-12 as part of Experiential Maine! – a statewide initiative to increase access to hands on, outdoor education for all students in Maine.

This exciting initiative will help increase student access to experiential learning along the Maine coast during Summer 2022.  Fund awards must be used to expand student capacity in existing program opportunities or to design and implement an entirely new program during summer 2022. These will be two separate applications (one to expand existing programs, one to design and implement a program that did not previously exist). The Maine DOE will prioritize applications that prioritize access for students from low-income families and students with infrequent access to the coast based on geographic location.  

Here is a link to the Intent to Apply form which must be completed by April 21, 2022 at 5:00pm in order for your organization to be eligible for funding. 

For questions, please contact Page Nichols, Maine DOE Innovation Officer at page.nichols@maine.gov 

2022 Maine State Science Fair Brings Together Talented Young Researchers from Across Maine

Pictured (L to R): Ogechi Obi, a student from Bangor High School with James Crowley, a judge from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Students were thrilled to be back together in person to share their science and engineering projects at the 2022 Maine State Science Fair, held on Saturday, March 26, at Colby College.

This year’s Grand Award winners, who will represent Maine at the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair are:

  • First Place: Cuthbert Steadman of Bangor High School. Cuthbert’s engineering project used computer programming to create an inexpensive and non-invasive blood glucose monitoring and automatic insulin injection system.
  • Second Place: Emma Markowitz, a homeschooled student from Boothbay. Emma experimented with a non-invasive approach to treating White Line Disease in horses using poly-wrap and manuka honey.
  • Third Place: William Xu of Bangor High School. William developed a computer program that uses medical imaging to better diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

The full list of awards, including over $875,000 in college scholarships and $1,800 in prizes from local and national organizations, is available on the Maine State Science Fair website.

The event convened 144 students from 22 high schools and two home schools. Another dozen students participated virtually.

“After two years of virtual events, we’re glad we can give students a chance to meet each other and share their ideas and passion for STEM,” said Stefany Burrell of Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. Laura Muller, her counterpart at The Jackson Laboratory, commended the students for their resilience, creativity, and perseverance as the event drew to a close. The two organizations were the presenting sponsors of the Fair.

For more information about the Maine State Science Fair visit the website.

Maine’s 2022 Presidential Awards State Finalists for Grades K-6 Mathematics and Science Teachers (PAEMST)

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce five Maine educators who have been recommended to national selection committees for the 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program for grades K-6.

PAEMST is the nation’s highest honor for teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM, including computer science). Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments. Maine applicants were reviewed by mathematics and science selection committees comprised of previous Maine PAEMST awardees and content area experts. Our state-level finalists will be honored at state ceremonies as soon as COVID-19 protocols allow.

Up to three state-level finalists for each content area are forwarded to a panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists, and educators at the national level who will assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education. The teachers chosen to be Presidential Awardees will be notified by the White House, honored at various ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Join us in congratulating the 2022 PAEMST State Finalists and wishing them luck in the national selection process.

In the mathematics category, two applicants were selected as state finalists:

  • Katelyinne Green, Ella Lewis School, Steuben
  • Danielle Pelletier, CK Burns School, Saco

In the science category, three applicants were selected as state finalists:

  • Katie Coppens, Falmouth Middle School, Falmouth
  • Holly Trottier, CK Burns School, Saco
  • Jen Wright, Great Salt Bay Community School, Damariscotta

Nominations will open in the fall of 2022 for the 2023 PAEMST Awards. This round of awards will honor mathematics, science, and engineering (STEM, including computer science) teachers working in grades 7-12. Consider a great teacher you know for nomination this fall or nominate yourself! Learn more about the award and how to nominate a teacher here.