August 1, 2003-July 31, 2007
Level of Access
Eight districts in central Maine that comprise the Penobscot River Educational Partnership (PREP); four of them, including Maine Indian Education, partners in a current GK-12 project, have joined with the University of Maine to form Fellow-teacher teams to introduce K-12 students to experiments, field trips, and discussions in areas such as chemistry, climate change, marine sciences, molecular biology, geology, food sciences, and ecology. The program is: a) helping teachers and students reach the State of Maine's legislatively-mandated standards for Science & Technology (the Maine Learning Results), b) strengthening Fellows' communication and teaching skills, c) providing professional development for Teachers, d) enriching science for K-12 students, e) providing young male and female role models of SMET professionals to children in grades 3-11, and f) strengthening contacts between GK-12 science faculty and K-12 districts. The K-12 students are monitoring water chemistry and species diversity and abundance in cooperating federal wildlife refuges in areas near them. These shared monitoring activities link classes throughout the entire scope of the project. The spatially and temporally distributed data enables the teams to introduce interesting analyses and discussions across partner classes interacting through videoconferences. Each Fellow works intensively with two teachers in PREP and with a teacher from eastern Maine (Washington & Hancock Counties), western Maine (Madison), or southern Maine (Damariscotta, site of the University of Maine's marine sciences laboratory). The power of Maine's network of ATM classrooms, is being used to expand the Fellows' role modeling and introduce Fellows to a variety of teaching styles. The broader impacts of the project include strengthened backgrounds in science and attendance at the Maine summer Science Camp for the cooperating teachers. The K-12 districts' benefits include the enriched learning of their students and access to the equipment from microscopes to thermal cyclers that is necessary to meet the goals of the Learning Results, but which many districts lack. The University of Maine is benefiting from K-12 students who come to the University better prepared in science and is fulfilling its mission as a Land Grant/Sea Grant institution to serve both the state of Maine and the nation as a whole.
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Brawley, Susan H.; Norton, Stephen A.; Cole, Barbara J.; Vayda, Michael; Landis, Eric N.; Hunter, Susan J.; and Yehle, Ruey, "GK-12: NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education at the University of Maine" (2007). University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Grant Reports. 158.