Educators Invited to Write Maine’s Computer Science Plan. Application Due Monday, July 29th!

The Maine Department of Education is hosting a Computer Science Summit, where educators will create a statewide plan for Pre-K to 12 Computer Science. This plan will help coordinate and guide the efforts of many stakeholders, and serve as a set of recommendations in a report to the Legislature in January 2020. The two-day event will be held on Monday, August 5th and Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 at the RiSE Center at the University of Maine in Orono.

In order to make sure we have a diverse set of perspectives and all the needed knowledge, the Department will be limiting the participation to 40 educators, who will be selected based on a short application process. The goal is to have representation from various geographic areas, content areas, and grade-levels to shape this plan over the course of the two-day Summit. Additionally, the Department hopes to have representation from district and school leadership.

The application to participate can be located using this link or by copying and pasting this link into your browser: https://forms.gle/3EGengsXFyMNtgLt7

The application is due by close of business Monday, July 29th and invites will be sent on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019. 

Reimbursement for mileage, overnight accommodations, and meal costs are available for eligible participants.

The Department will also be inviting a variety of stakeholders to participate in specific ways in this process before, during, and after the Summit, however, this two-day gathering is primarily designed for educators to create the statewide plan.

Who: Maine Pre-K to 12 Classroom Teachers and Administrators (limited by application process)

What: Creating a Statewide Computer Science Plan

Where: RiSE Center in Estabrooke Hall at the University of Maine in Orono

When: Monday 8/5 from 10am – 8pm AND Tuesday 8/6 from 9am – 5pm

Application (https://forms.gle/3EGengsXFyMNtgLt7) due Monday, July 29th, 2019.

If you are unable to participate in the two-day event, but would like to share input, please review the digital workspace educators will use during the planning process. There are links to share your questions, ideas, feedback, and notes at the top of most pages. Click here for the link to the Computer Science 2019 State Planning Digital Workspace or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://sites.google.com/view/mainedoecsplanning2019/home

For answers to questions or more information, please reach out to Beth Lambert, Coordinator of Secondary Education and Integrated Instruction at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov or 207-624-6642.

 

 

 

Mid-Maine Tech Center Students Improving Their Community, One Glass of Water at a Time

A team of chemistry students from Waterville Senior High School collected 85 water samples from different locations in Waterville, which were sent to the  Dartmouth Lab for analysis. Fifteen of the samples tested positive for arsenic—so the class researched inexpensive filters called Zero Water to keep water arsenic-free and make their community safer.

The project was covered by a team of Mass Media Communications students at Mid-Maine Technical Center (MMTC) as part of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. MMTC is the only school in Maine that hosts this program. It was presented on Maine Public Television and nationally on PBS Nature’s American Spring LIVE, and won third place in a national STEM Film Festival hosted by PBS.

Maine Spring Live – Clean Water from Mid-Maine Technical Center on Vimeo.

This story was written by Maine DOE Intern Emmeline Willey. If you have a story idea or would like to submit a written story for the Maine DOE Newsroom, email Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Freeport Girls Code Their Way to Finals 

As the computer-savvy become a more and more heavily sought-after breed of employee, young women across the nation are getting a head start in this growing field. GirlsGoCyberStart, a competitive, multi-leveled program, is teaching them the ins and outs of cybersecurity before they even graduate. Through various games, teens are honing skills in cryptography, web vulnerabilities, Python, Linux and forensics—and learning teamwork and determination along the way. 

“Cybersecurity is a growing and critical field. It is more important than ever before to train skilled experts in Maine and across the nation to defend our national and financial security,” said Governor Janet Mills at the launch of the program’s second year in February. Last year, almost 200 students from the State participated. “This program will help young women pursue the education and training they need for lifelong careers and leadership positions in cybersecurity.” 

Several Clubs from Maine entered the CyberStart competition. Each group of skilled teens would code their way through three levels of increasingly tough competition. 9,500 girls from across the nation entered the ring at the first stage back in February. Two participation challenges were also run, to encourage more girls to get involved. For every five girls registered to a Club who completed at least two challenges, their school would be entered once in the running for a $1,000 prize. At the end of the ‘Assess’ stage, in which girls are evaluated for their aptitude with code and security through a series of challenges, the three Clubs in each State with the most girls registered (having completed at least one challenge) will receive prize money by place in totals of $1,000, $750, and $500. Those winners from Maine this year were, in order: 

  • Hancock County Technical Center (1st) 
  • Deering High School (2nd) 
  • Sanford High School (3rd) 

The top schools in each state are decided by the second round, and those then proceed onto the Championship ‘Capture the Flag’ round. The CyberGEMS of Freeport High School were among the 120 schools to make it to the Championship, placing 87th in this final round. The team was comprised of four precocious teens who were nominated by their Club: Dena Arrison, Leah Rusecki, Taylor Harris, and Rachel Packard. 

Rusecki, a sophomore, commented in a press release prior to the Championship, “My class schedule is quite full, but having the chance to explore computer technology outside of regular classes is a great opportunity for us. Solving the cybersecurity puzzles and challenges has been really interesting! I hope to take a computer programming class next year.” 

Each member of the CyberGEMS took home $100, as well as an additional $100 for their school. More than that, every girl who participated in some level of the competition developed skills vital to the rapidly growing cybersecurity field—and with results from last year showing that number of students interested in cybersecurity doubled after playing, these students show promise at filling more of these high-paying, challenging jobs in the future. 

This story was written by Maine DOE Intern Emmeline Willey. If you have a story idea or would like to submit a written story for the Maine DOE Newsroom, email Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Interdisciplinary, Exciting and Cost Effective Professional Development for Educators: Learning for the 21st Century

Join the Maine Department of Education as we explore knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for 21st century careers as well as the intentional actions of educators that support students’ skill and will to fuel their learning. During these day-long workshops, participants will delve into the principles of formative assessment as they examine strategies for building units of instruction that integrate multiple content areas. Sessions will be led by teams of the Department’s content specialists. Units will integrate combinations of world language, social studies, visual and performing arts, science, English language arts, health education and physical education, and mathematics. Units will also incorporate strategies for technology integration and family engagement.

Structure of the Day:

School districts are strongly encouraged to attend as teams of three or more people. Teams will gather at the beginning of the day for a panel presentation and discussion. Then, team members will attend breakout sessions where they will experience integrated lessons and units incorporating the principles of formative assessment drawn from Hattie, Fisher and Frey’s (2018) Developing Assessment Capable Learners text. Finally, at the end of the day, teams will reconvene to share, process, and apply what they experienced in the breakout sessions, as well as have opportunity to connect with other teams to gather additional ideas.

Team Configuration:

Teams may include PK-12 educators, administrators, instructional coaches, and special education instructors.  Schools are encouraged to include representation from multiple grade levels and all content areas when forming teams, and to divide up team members across breakout sessions.  The time at the end of the day will be more productive if participants attend as part of a team, but if an educator attends without a team, accommodations will be made to group single participants for sharing and planning. When registering participants, be sure to gather information about which breakout session each will attend.  Session descriptions are included below.

Registration Dates/Locations/Links:

Elementary (Pk-5):

July 9th at the Ramada in Lewiston, 8:30-3:30

July 24th at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer, 8:30-3:30

Secondary (6-12):

July 10th at the Ramada in Lewiston, 8:30-3:30

July 25th at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer, 8:30-3:30

Registration Cost:

$75/team of 3 or $30/ person.  Individual registrations are accepted, but teams are strongly encouraged.  Register by June 28, 2019.  Credit or debit cards are necessary for registration.  Cancellations must be made at least a week prior to the event to be eligible for a refund.  A morning snack and lunch will be provided. Participants will earn 6 contact hours.

For more information please contact Lee Anne Larsen, leeann.larsen@maine.gov or Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov.

PK-5 Breakout Session Selections

Session 1: Laying a Foundation for Future Learning

Wendy L. Ostroff describes curiosity as being aware and open, checking things out, experimenting and interacting within one’s surroundings. Come explore with us ways to create the conditions for curiosity in the PK-5 classrooms. Together, specialists in Career and Education Development, Early Childhood Learning, Physical Education, and World Languages have designed learning experiences to pique curiosity about inventors, inventions and innovations and how they change daily life.  Presented by Maine DOE Specialists Jean Zimmerman (Physical Education), Lavinia Rogers (World Languages), Nicole Madore (Early Childhood), and Diana Doiron (Career and Education Development).

Session 2: Mimicking Animals

Humans have imitated and mimicked animal characteristics for as long as man has walked the earth. In this strand we will explore how humans use strategies inspired by nature to solve health and safety problems, then to communicate those out while embracing strategies that are proven to advance student learning and develop assessment capable learners.  Presented by Maine DOE Specialists Danielle Saucier (English Language Arts), Susan Berry (Health Education), and Shari Templeton (Science).

Session 3: Putting the You in Comm_nity

It takes a community to raise a child and this includes making sure that students understand that they are part of a bigger world. Take a look at what it means to be part of a community through the eyes of early childhood, visual and performing arts, and social studies as we explore an integrated approach to instruction that focuses on helping students take ownership in their own learning. Presented by Maine DOE Specialists Joe Schmidt (Social Studies), Nate Menifield (Visual and Performing Arts), and Sue Reed (Early Childhood).

6-12 Breakout Session Selections

Session 1:  To Tell the Truth: Using Decision-Making to Your Advantage

As the rate of change in the world increases faster than ever imagined, students need to be able to think on their feet, process new information, and make good decisions. Come explore with us ways to support students to think critically about the world around them by examining how Career and Education Development, Health Education, and Social Studies could use problem solving to develop decision-making skills that are necessary for success both in and out of the classroom.  Presented by Maine DOE Specialists Susan Berry (Health Education), Joe Schmidt (Social Studies), and Diana Doiron (Career and Education Development).

Session 2:  Graphical Literacy, S’il Vous Plait

World Languages, Mathematics and Science all build upon knowing how to read and interpret data found in a variety of graphical formats. We will utilize graphs to tell a story and to explore the intersections between content areas while practicing proven strategies that move the needle on student learning. Presented by Maine DOE Specialists Lavinia Rogers (World Languages), Michele Mailhot (Math), and Shari Templeton (Science).

 Session 3:  Strength And Stamina: Supporting Assessment Capable Students In Visual & Performing Arts, Health & Physical Education, and English Language Arts

 Building learning strength requires a growth mindset to set goals that are challenging and reachable. Building leaning stamina involves persistence, problem solving, planning, and practice. VPA, HPE, and ELA specialists will provide support for evaluating learning to set growth goals and model strategies for building stamina while focusing on the student’s overall experience throughout the school day, the school year, or the education pathway. Presented by Maine DOE Specialists Jean Zimmerman (Physical Education), Morgan Dunton (English Language Arts), and Nate Menifield (Visual and Performing Arts).

 

 

Reinvigorate Your Science Classroom

Teachers of science, do you find yourself asking these questions?

  • Now that the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been adopted as Maine’s revised Science and Engineering Standards, how do I align my lessons?
  • What are the shifts discussed in the Framework and NGSS?
  • What is three-dimensional (3D) learning and what are some of the tools available to help me teach 3D?
  • How can I maximize student learning in my classes?

These questions and more will be part of the PK-12 summer science lesson study. This professional learning opportunity comes in two phases:

  1. A book study on Visible Learning in Science via Zoom
  2. Two days of face-to-face training in Augusta with Peter McLaren, national expert and member of the NGSS writing team, and Shari Templeton, DOE Science Specialist, on August 6th & 7th. Participants will utilize A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning as they learn how to re-purpose and plan lessons that align to the new standards.

This training is limited to 25 participants, in order to maximize individual interaction. Priority will be given to ensure geographic diversity from the various regions of the state. The cost for the professional learning is $75, which includes resources and meals. Upon completion of both phases, teachers will receive a $300 stipend, reimbursement for mileage, and overnight lodging.

To apply, go to http://bit.ly/SciApp19

FMI: contact Shari Templeton, Science & Technology Specialist, at shari.templeton@maine.gov