MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Educators Win $400 Each in First Drawings of Bicentennial Curriculum Sharing Initiative

Narragansett Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Stephanie Nichols and Brooksville Elementary School PK-8 art teacher Nick Patterson are the first two to win prizes. 

Stephanie Nichols, a 2nd grade teacher at Narragansett Elementary School in Gorham School District is the first to win a $400 cash prize as the February drawing winner. There will be drawings held every month until December 2020 as part of Maine’s Bicentennial Curriculum Sharing Initiative.

The Maine Department of Education (DOE), in collaboration with the Maine Bicentennial Commission (maine200.org) and the Maine Historical Society launched the online resource in February as a way to help Maine teachers integrate Maine’s Bicentennial into their lessons.

Stephanie is one of several educators who have shared their lesson plans through the curriculum sharing initiative by uploading it into the curriculum tool since its launch. Stephanie’s lesson plan is called “How Communities Represent Themselves” and helps students learn to identify the historical and current flags of Maine, and understand the concept of “community” representation through the symbols on the flags. The lesson includes an activity where students work in small groups to create flags to represent their classroom/school communities.

Nick Patterson
Nick Patterson

Nick Patterson is the drawing winner for the month of March. A PK-8 art teacher for Brooksville Elementary School, he says his lesson plan first started as an interest in silhouettes and blob painting which prompted him to start having his middle school art students work with images from the internet including sea creatures, an interest of theirs.

“This lesson plan will give students an overview of the creatures in the Gulf of Maine,” said Patterson describing the lesson plan he uploaded for other educators to use. “Students will be able to describe the creatures they learn about, first learning simple art skills, and then combining these simple skills to make an Oceanscape picture that is complex.”
The Initiative enables educators to share their own lesson plans, download lesson plans created by other Maine teachers, and access new curriculum resources and primary documents related to Maine, its history, and culture.

“Now more than ever is it imperative that we embrace the online resources we have in place to share ideas and lesson plans, and that we continue to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our amazing state,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “I encourage all Maine educators to use this tool to share their curriculum resources related to Maine with other educators around the state so that we can encapsulate and celebrate our land, culture, history, and community for generations to come.”

To submit a lesson plan, educators can visit mainememory.net/lessons/submit to complete a simple submission template, and then upload additional resources. Once uploaded, lesson submissions will be reviewed for completeness and then placed on the, where other educators from across the state can access them.

Educators who participate by sharing resources will have their names entered into a random monthly drawing (February 2020 – December 2020) for $400 in cash for use for lesson planning and teaching. Participants for this program are intended to be public and private school educators for grades pre-k to 12, Career and Technical Educators, Adult Education Instructors, and Post-Secondary Instructors.

By participating in this unique collaboration, not only are you are setting the stage for present and future Mainers to learn more about our great state, you can also share and learn from the collective brain of educators around Maine.

For more information or to ask questions about the process, please contact Kathleen Neumann kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Maine Educators Jenn Heidrich and Erin Towns to Embark on Polar Research Experiences

Two Maine high school teachers have received the opportunity of a lifetime. Jenn Heidrich and Erin Towns, both high school social studies teachers at Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine, work across the hall from each other. Both entered separately into a competitive application process that resulted in them receiving the opportunity of a lifetime: Traveling to the Yukon’s Boreal Forest and the Greenland Ice Sheet to study with internationally-renowned climate scientists.

This opportunity will allow them to travel to the Arctic region in order to help create classroom experiences and resources which will combine social studies and environmental science in Maine classrooms.

Jenn Heidrich will be traveling to the Yukon for five weeks to study carbon sequestration in the alpine region of the Yukon, as well as biodiversity in various arctic ecosystems. She will be doing this with Dr. Jennie McLaren of University of Texas El Paso. Jennifer has a background in archaeology, geography, and science and as such, is thrilled to be working with a biologist who is examining trophic cascades in the sub-arctic. She hopes to bridge the gap between social studies and science in Maine classrooms, with a specific focus on how changes in remote ecosystems will impact cultures around the world.

Erin Towns is traveling to Ilulissat Greenland for two weeks to study how increases in surface runoff influences ice flow and subsequent loss of water mass from the Greenland ice sheet to the oceans . She will be working with Dr. Sarah Das, a glaciologist and climate scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Erin’s background includes extensive work in the areas of global education, geography, and teacher professional development and she will use the experience to build social studies and science inquiry based strategies and classroom activities related to the Gulf of Maine and climate change adaptation efforts.

Beginning in June for Jenn and August for Erin, each teacher will participate as a full research team member in an authentic scientific expedition in the Arctic, joining the ranks of educators who will be working in research locations from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica, as part of a program that allows educators to experience first-hand what it is like to conduct scientific research in some of the most remote locations on earth.
Erin and Jenn are two of eleven educators selected through a nationwide search to participate in PolarTREC, an educational research experience in which classroom teachers and informal educators participate in polar research, working closely with scientists as a pathway to improving science education. Through PolarTREC, selected educators will have the rare opportunity to spend several weeks working with a research team in the Arctic or Antarctic.

While on field expeditions, educators and researchers will share their experiences with scientists, educators, communities, and students of all ages through the use of Internet tools such as online teacher and researcher journals, message boards, photo albums, podcasts, PolarConnect real-time presentations from the field, and online learning resources. After the field experience, teachers and researchers will continue to share their experiences with the public and create instructional activities to transfer scientific data, methodologies, and technology to classrooms.

The first expedition departs in spring 2020 with an educator deploying to the Arctic community of Utqiaġvik (Barrow) Alaska. Additional expeditions will take place throughout the Arctic field season in the summer of 2020. The Antarctic field season will be in full swing by November and continue through the winter of 2020-21. This year’s expeditions will range from the Arctic Circle to the South Pole and study a large scope of topics from marine biology to landscape ecology.

PolarTREC is managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and funded by the National Science Foundation and additional partnerships. For more information and to participate, see the PolarTREC website at: http://www.polartrec.com or contact the ARCUS Project Managers, Janet Warburton and Judy Fahnestock at info@polartrec.com or call 907-474-1600.

Follow Erin Towns on Instagram @Esctowns and Jenn Heidrich @MrsJHikes to keep up with their travels, stories, and scientific work.

The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) is based in Fairbanks, Alaska and was formed in 1988 to provide leadership in advancing knowledge and understanding of the Arctic. ARCUS is a member consortium of educational and scientific institutions. Further information is available at: http://www.arcus.org.

This story was submitted by Shelly Mogul, Curriculum Director for Auburn 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.

Calling All Teachers of Social Studies Content PK-12!

With the emphasis on teaching about Maine Native Americans as part of the revised Maine Learning Results for Social Studies, Joe Schmidt, Social Studies Specialist at Maine Department of Education, continues to gather data from educators in the field in order to best support their efforts.

If you are a teacher of social studies content in grades pk-12, please complete this brief, anonymous survey no later than the end of the day on Thursday, February 20. Please share with others in your school as necessary.

Take Survey!

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Launches Innovative Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative; An Opportunity 200 Years in the Making

logo6The Maine Department of Education (DOE), in collaboration with the Maine Bicentennial Commission (maine200.org) and the Maine Historical Society has launched an online resource designed to help Maine teachers integrate Maine’s Bicentennial into their classrooms. The Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative enables educators to share their own lesson plans, download lesson plans created by other Maine teachers, and access new curriculum resources and primary documents related to Maine, its history, and culture.
This Initiative is supported by funding from Jane’s Trust and the Maine Bicentennial Commission.

memory networkAvailable through the Maine Memory Network, the statewide digital museum created by the Maine Historical Society features historical items, online exhibits, and stories contributed by 270 organizations across Maine, the Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative is a resource designed to encourage and support Maine’s pre-k through adult educators in sharing ideas and best practices for implementing engaging and effective lessons to commemorate Maine’s Bicentennial with Maine students. Educators are invited to visit the Bicentennial Education Initiative web page to search by grade level, topic, content area, standard, and other fields for incredible ideas on how to commemorate our State’s Bicentennial with students of all ages.

Today’s launch of the Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative opens the site for your contributions. Please consider uploading a lesson plan, browse the initial lesson plans that have been added to the site, and explore extensive Maine history content. Check back frequently: the site will grow throughout the year and become a permanent resource for teachers.

To submit a lesson plan, educators can visit mainememory.net/lessons/submit to complete a simple submission template, and then upload additional resources. Once uploaded, lesson submissions will be reviewed for completeness and then placed on the Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative web page, where other educators from across the state can access them.

Educators who participate by sharing resources will have their names entered into a random monthly drawing (February 2020 – December 2020) for $400 in cash for use in their classrooms. Participants for this program are intended to be public and private school educators for grades pre-k to 12, Career and Technical Educators, Adult Education Instructors, and Post-Secondary Instructors.

By participating in this unique collaboration, not only are you are setting the stage for present and future Mainers to learn more about our great state, you can also share and learn from the collective brain of educators around Maine.

For more information or to ask questions about the process, please contact Kathleen Neumann kneumann@mainehistory.org.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or state selection process: Mr. Joe Schmidt at joe.schmidt@maine.gov or (207) 624-6828.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program:  Program Director Ms. Rayne Guilford at rguilford@hearstfdn.org or (800) 425-3632.

Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 College Scholarship

January 9, 2020, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Elena Ray Clothier and Mr. Michael Paul Delorge will join Senator Susan M. Collins and Senator Angus S. King in representing Maine in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. Elena Clothier of Lewiston and Michael Delorge of Limestone were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Elena Clothier, a junior at Lewiston High School, serves on the Principal’s Advisory Group at her school. She is a member of the state champion Lewiston Mock Trial team while also being a member of the school lacrosse team and the Blue Notes vocal group. She has been selected to participate in programming from the Androscoggin Valley Education Collaborative. Outside of school, Elena volunteers with SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope) and visits with members of her community. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in political science and journalism.

Michael Delorge, a senior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, serves as a member of his school’s Student Senate. He also chairs the Senate’s Academic Committee, is the president of his school’s robotics club, and an active member of his astronomy club. He is an award-winning jazz saxophonist and avid cross country runner. A Biddeford native, Michael is an Eagle Scout and a participant in the state YMCA Youth in Government program. Michael holds a great interest in public health policy and upon graduation, he plans to major in biomedical engineering with a minor in political science.

Chosen as alternates to the 2020 program were Mr. Lance Dinino, a resident of Kennebunk, who attends Kennebunk High School and Ms. Kristen Caldwell, a resident of Scarborough, who attends Scarborough High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Maine delegates and alternates were designated by Pender Makin, Commissioner of Education.

While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,700 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana currently a candidate for president of the United States. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.

For more information please visit: http://www.ussenateyouth.org
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