Cybersecurity opportunity for young women in high school

There is still time to encourage young women in high school to participate in GirlsGoCyberStart’, national program created by CyberStart that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school students to the field of cybersecurity.

In a collaboration between the Maine DOE, the Maine Office of Information Technology and the Governor, the State of Maine helping promote this program in order to provide Maine students with an opportunity to learn more about the field of cybersecurity and to discover their ability for a careers in cybersecurity.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win computers and other prizes as well as a trip, with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference.

The website explaining the program is available at GirlsGoCyberStart.com. Registration will begin on January 29 and end on February 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by then, can play the game online from February 20 through February 25.

For more information about eligibility visit GirlsGoCyberStart.com and for more information about Maine’s participation in the program contact Dr. Kelly Rickert, Director of Workforce Development for the Maine Office of Information Services.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE seeks public comment for science standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current science standards.

The science standards are based on the National Research Council’s 1996 National Science Education Standards and include both processes (ways scientists investigate and communicate about the natural world) and bodies of knowledge (concepts, principles, facts, theories). Technology includes the design process and the study of technological tools and their effects on society. The standards are broken into grade spans (pK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-Diploma) and the five MLR standards for Science and Technology are organized as follows:

  • A – major themes that unify science and technology ideas, e.g. systems, models, constancy and change, scale
  • B – skills and traits of scientific inquiry and technological design
  • C – history and nature of science and the impacts on society
  • D – earth, space and physical science
  • E – life science

The standards review process opens with public comments and public hearings prior to the convening of writing teams that will review and revise the science standards.  Public hearings will occur on the dates and locations listed below and are intended to give anyone the opportunity to weigh-in on the direction of future science standards in Maine. Anyone may speak at the public hearings which will be live-streamed.  People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in and it will be helpful, but not mandatory, to provide a written copy of their comments.

  • February 27, 2018 – Cross Office Building, room 103, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, 4:00 – 6:00pm
  • February 28, 2018 – Houlton High School Library, 7 Bird Street, Houlton, 4:00 – 6:00pm
  • March 1, 2018 – Westbrook Middle School Cafeteria, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, 4:00 – 6:00pm

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to sis.doe@maine.gov with the subject “Science Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Please note that the Department will also be conducting a review of the social studies standards. Public hearing dates will coincide with the dates announced in his notice (with different times so that attendees can plan accordingly).

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.

Professional Learning Program for teaching Code.org computer science courses

Educate Maine and the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance have announced that applications are now open for Code.org’s computer science Professional Learning Program.

Code.org’s Professional Learning Program is an intensive, year-long professional learning program for middle and high school educators who are interested in teaching Code.org’s CS Discoveries (middle school) or CS Principles (high school) courses. These programs are designed to prepare educators to provide high quality computer science instruction based on the curriculum, tools and approach to students in their classrooms.

Applications opened on January 16 and close on March 30, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. For more information and to apply, visit the Professional Learning page for CS Discoveries or CS Principles.

For more information about this opportunity visit the MMSA website or Code.org. Send specific questions to Angela Oechslie at Educate Maine angela@educatemaine.org or Renee Charette at MMSA rcharette@mmsa.org.

Family Code Night Comes to Maine

Next week, children and their parents will come together to learn how to code. It’s Computer Science Education Week (December 4-8), and 75 sites across Maine will host Family Code Nights. Specially designed for elementary-aged students, these events use Hour of Code puzzles that introduce programming principles through fun games.

While many schools do Hour of Code, Scratch, and other web-based computer science activities, Family Code Night is unique. It was started in the San Francisco Bay area by a parent of an elementary student. He saw the importance of involving parents in the activities because they can advocate for their children to continue learning to code after the event is done. Maine has many opportunities for youth to explore coding, including summer camps, app challenges and family events. You can find them on the STEM Resource Bank at steminme.org.

Volunteers at Family Code Nights include teachers, librarians, parents and other community members. Many sites are enlisting the help of teens who have experience with coding. Family Code Night provides an event kit that includes everything needed to plan and host the event, so leaders do not need to be experts at coding to run a successful evening!

Family Code Night is a national movement supported in Maine by The Reach Center, a program of Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance. Visit mmsa.org/familycodenight to see a list of sites hosting events, which includes schools, libraries or community organizations representing each county.

For more information contact Maine Department of Education Science and Technology Content Specialist, Shari Templeton at Shari.Templeton@maine.gov or (207) 624-6880.

Maine’s 2017 Presidential Awards State Finalists for grades 7-12th Mathematics and Science Teachers

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce the Maine state selection committees for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program has selected as the state-level finalists for 7-12th grade teachers of mathematics Ellen Payne from Nokomis Regional High School and Priya Natarajan from Casco Bay High for Expeditionary Learning School.

The state-level finalists for 7-12th grade teachers of science are Sharon Gallant from Gardiner Area High School, Sara McQuarrie from Hodgdon Middle/High School, Bill McWeeny from Adams School, and Alyson Saunders from Dexter Regional High School.

All State-level finalists will be honored at state ceremonies this year.

Up to five state-level finalists for each content area are forwarded to a national selection committee composed of mathematics and/or science educators, researchers, district officials, and past awardees who will meet to select the PAEMST awardees at the national level. 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 2017 PAEMST State Finalist and wishing them luck in the national selection process.

Nominations are now open for the 2018 PAEMST Awards. This year’s awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades K-6. Nominations close on April 1, 2018 and applications are due by May 1, 2018. Nominate a teacher today!

If you have any questions about the PAEMST program feel free to contact:

Michele Mailhot – PAEMST Mathematics State Coordinator (michele.mailhot@maine.gov)  or Shari Templeton – PAEMST Science State Coordinator (shari.templeton@maine.gov)

Comment period open for the Science & Technology science standards

The Maine DOE is announcing an open comment period for the Science & Technology science standards.  This is the first phase of opening Maine Learning Results for Science & Technology only.

The initial public comment period will be followed by the convening of a science review committee to scrutinize comments and existing standards in an effort to revise and improve science standards.  The science review committee will eventually put forth recommendations for revised science standards to the Department.  The Department will then prepare final updates to regulations and hold a public hearing before provisional adoption of the revised science standards.  Finally, the legislature will act on the substantive rulemaking process prior to its preparation for final adoption.

The Department’s methodology will be consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) rulemaking requirements.  To review the current (2007) Maine Science & Technology Learning Results, click here then click on “Download Science and Technology Standards”.

Please send any comments to shari.templeton@maine.gov with SCIENCE STANDARDS in the subject line.  The public comment period will end September 10, 2017 at midnight EDT.

 

Maine DOE honors the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

 

Math Finalist: Jenny Jorgensen, Barbara Ellis, Michele Mailhot

 On Friday evening, May 19th, Maine DOE honored the four state finalists for the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST) with a dinner held at the Maple Hill Farm Inn located in Hallowell.  Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, and Michele Mailhot, Maine DOE Mathematics Specialist, planned the evening event honoring Barbara Ellis (Frank H. Harrison Middle School), elementary mathematics finalist, Kirsten Gould (Buxton Center Elementary School), elementary science finalist, Susan O’Brien (Weatherbee School), elementary science finalist, and Tonya Prentice (Woodstock Elementary School), elementary science finalist.

Science Finalist: Kimberly O’Donnell, Kirsten Gould, Shari Templeton

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Science Finalist: Matthew Lindemann, Susan O’Brien , Shari Templeton

 

The evening began with a social networking event where past awardees had an opportunity to meet the four state finalists. This was followed by dinner, official congratulations from Robert G. Hasson, Commissioner, Maine Department of Education, and Martha Harris, Chair, Maine State Board of Education.  The keynote address was delivered by Beth BeyersSmall, the NSF Teaching Fellowship Coordinator for the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, and several past Presidential Awardees, Marielle Edgecomb, Laurie Gott, and Laura Stevens, shared memorable moments from their experiences in D.C. during their recognition trip as awardees.

Science Finalist: Jolene Littlehale, Tonya Prentice, Shari Templeton

 

The main event of the evening was the introduction of the four state finalists.  Jenny Jorgensen, Mathematics Coach, Yarmouth Schools, spoke on behalf of Barbara Ellis,  Kimberly O’Donnell, principal, Buxton Elementary School, spoke on behalf of Kirsten Gould, Matthew Lindemann, Co-Teacher, George B. Weatherbee School, spoke on behalf of Susan O’Brien, and Jolene Littlehale, Principle, Woodstock Elementary School, spoke on behalf of Tonya Prentice.  All four state finalists were presented with certificates from the PAEMST program by Shari Templeton (Maine DOE) and Michele Mailhot (Maine DOE).

For further information regarding the PAEMST program  you may contact shari.templeton@maine.gov or michele.mailhot@maine.gov