CTE Summer Camps Offer Safe, Hands-on Learning to Middle Schoolers

Middle School Career and Technical Education (MS-CTE) summer camps are keeping it cool this summer! There are currently nine Career and Technical Education (CTE) schools across Maine that are hosting summer camps specifically for middle school aged students this year as part of an on-going effort to bring career and technical education opportunities to students at the middle school level.

Students participating in these excellent summer programs are exploring careers, participating in hands on experiences in culinary arts, media technology, automotive, engineering, welding and carpentry, just to name a few. The MS-CTE camp experiences are offered either for one or two weeks for two to five days per week. Maine’s CTE instructors are enjoying the opportunity to share many career options available in Maine to middle school aged students, a younger audience than the traditional high school age of students that attend CTE schools throughout the school year.

Students, too, are excited about the opportunity to spend a few weeks of the summer learning about career options and engaging in hands-on learning opportunities. “I am the happiest girl in the world right now,” said one of the students currently participating in a MS-CTE summer camp.

There are 21 CTE schools across Maine that are piloting MS-CTE programs which have allowed students to experience career options through hands on activities. The pilots have ranged from in-school programming, online career exploration, mentorships as well as the camp experiences currently taking place this summer. All programs offer a hands on component and a career exploration element as required by the standards.  

Check out this recent Portland Press Herald news article highlighting this excellent work: Summer camps build on effort to extend vocational programs to middle schoolers.

For more information about Maine’s MS-CTE programs, visit the MS-CTE website at or contact the Middle School CTE Specialist Margaret Harvey at Margaret.Harvey@maine.gov    

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE and Teens to Trails Partner to Increase Outdoor Opportunities for Maine Teens; Schools Can Apply NOW

Through a new partnership between the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Teens to Trails, schools serving teens are encouraged to apply for $500-$1500 which includes training and start-up support for school-based outing clubs.

winter hikingWAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students), a program of the Maine DOE, provides meaningful opportunities for Maine teens to engage socially with peers online or outdoors. Teens to Trails is a Maine organization whose mission is to connect high school students to life-changing outdoor experiences.
“We are thrilled by this partnership,” said WAVES Project Director Sarah Woog. “Teens to Trails is a Maine-based non-profit with proven expertise and passion for getting teens outside! Teens to Trails and WAVES have the shared goal of increasing Maine teens’ engagement with the outdoors. Together, we are excited to leverage our organizations’ resources and work collaboratively with schools to give all Maine students the opportunities they deserve.”

“In 2020, 53% of Americans participated in outdoor recreation, the highest participation rate on record,” said Teens to Trails Director Alicia Heyburn. “Outdoor spaces became places of refuge to safely socialize, improve physical health and connect with friends and family. Schools have an important role to play in continuing this positive trend by redefining the learning environment and using the outdoors to support the social and emotional wellbeing of students. The partnership between Teens to Trails and WAVES means that schools have trusted support to invest in making the outdoors welcoming and accessible to all students.”

Teens to Trails and the Maine DOE are eager to support an outing club at your school. School-based educators, with their administrators’ consent, are welcome to apply on behalf of their school. The application is simple, and the rewards are immense. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the final deadline to apply is September 17.

Eligible schools:

  • Serve Maine teens;
  • Have the support of the school principal school administration;
  • Have school staff/faculty member as club advisor;
  • Commit to participating in two Teens to Trails programs in the first year;
  • Are able to demonstrate how funding will increase access to the outdoors for teens who may not otherwise engage.

Schools who receive funding may expect the following support:

  • Funds may be used for a club advisor stipend;
  • Access to Teens to Trails Club Hub for tips on running a sustainable club;
  • Professional Development day for outdoor club advisor(s);
  • Free summer white water rafting trip for club advisors to network and have fun;
  • Back-to-school student outdoor club recruitment materials;
  • Option to join four outdoor weekends with clubs from around the state;
  • Spring and Fall Trip Lotteries to win pre-planned adventures;
  • Access to gear to keep students warm and comfortable;
  • Ongoing support from Teens to Trails staff, including support planning for sustainability.

Please submit your application at your earliest convenience to secure funding and begin planning for YOUR school’s Outing Club! Find more information and apply here.
Please reach out to sarah.woog@maine.gov with any questions or feedback – WAVES and Teens to Trails will be in touch shortly!

Student Opportunity: Interested in Art? Want to Make a Difference in your Community?

The following opportunity is provided for students by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.

Join AR Girls virtual camp this summer and use your creativity and design skills to produce your own augmented reality (AR) experience centered around the theme “reducing waste”

During the weeklong AR Girls camp, students will learn to use a cool and simple AR app called Metaverse to overlay graphics, videos, audio— even your own art and photos—on the real world.

Visit https://mmsa.org/projects/ar-girls/ or check our their flier for more information, or Register here.

For further questions, contact sgordonmesser@mmsa.org.

FREE Virtual Summer Camp for Available for Maine Teens Through WAVES

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce a FREE Virtual Summer Camp available to all Maine students entering grades 7-12. The camp will run Tuesday-Thursday, July 13- August 5. Brought to you by WAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students), this virtual opportunity will connect and empower Maine teens from throughout the state around engaging activities and collaborative problem solving. The camp will host a variety of opportunities for students explore their worlds and their interests this summer.

See the schedule: WAVES Summer Camp Schedule

Save the Date and FAQ for more information

Register here for the WAVES Virtual Summer Camp!

For further questions and information contact WAVES Program Director Sarah Woog at sarah.woog@maine.gov.

Student Summer Opportunity: O’Connor CIVICS Challenge!

Sandra Day O’Connor Institute For American Democracy presents the summer O’Connor Civics Challenge!, a civics video competition which is open now through Thursday, July 15, 2021 and open to all students entering 6th through 9th grade in Fall 2021.

The Challenge is to create the most amazing, exciting, and informative 3 minute video on CIVICS!

  • Choose a topic and watch a brief tutorial video:  
    • Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
    • Checks & Balances
    • Legislative Branch
    • Executive Branch
    • Judicial Branch
    • Citizenship: Rights & Responsibilities
  • Create a video up to 3 minutes long
  • Winners in each grade will be awarded Apple products
  • Four Winners in the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor category will also be awarded Apple prizes.

WHY TAKE THE CHALLENGE?  For so many reasons! You can show off your video skills to the world, learn more about how government works and impacts our lives, and have an opportunity to win fantastic Apple products!

Here is a PDF flyer!

The 2nd Annual O’Connor Civics Challenge is now open! Video submissions will be accepted now through July 15!

Learn More Here

Questions? Contact: Heather Schader Vice President, Programs & Administration hschader@OConnorInstitute.org | (602) 730-3300 x8