The Maine STEM Partnership

A statewide STEM education improvement community


Check out FOSS Next Generation K-8!

This spring a group of 30 PK-8 teachers and administrators convened to review and select research-based, NGSS-aligned science resources to support our PK-5 educators. After many many hours of reviewing necessary criteria, diving into resources, discussing, and debating, this group unanimously decided to adopt FOSS Next Generation as our new elementary science resources. FOSS provides a well-developed program that has been revamped since the release of the Next Generation Science Standards.

The task force found FOSS to be a very strong resource that provides cross-content connections, great teacher resources and support, and local connections to the content. It also has productive talk already built into the lessons with discussion prompts and guides!

If you are interested in learning more about these materials or want to try them in your classroom let us know!

Patsy Adams finds teaching opportunity in a playground equipment loss

Patsy Adams, Maine STEM Partnership member and 5th grade teacher at Pittston Consolidated School has assisted her students as they procure a new piece of playground equipment for their playground.  This started two years ago when, due to safety reasons, their spiderweb structure was removed from their playground.  Patsy saw an opportunity to create a real-world, engaging project for her students- they were tasked to fill this void in the playground using 3D printing and engineering design.  Six groups of students created scaled models of their playground, researched playground equipment, and presented their choice of a replacement to the school.  Based on safety and popularity, the Merry Go All was chosen, with a price tag of $5000.00.  They are now looking for investors to help them reach their goals.  In a presentation to MSAD 11's district school board, the students were awarded a match of $2,500 toward the cost.  What an amazing, real-life experience for these lucky 5th graders.  Go Patsy Adams!!   

3D printed model of school playground

Middle School Life Science

A group of middle school life science teachers spent 4 days diving into SEPUP Issues and Life Science 3rd edition materials to prep them for our second year of piloting. Our piloting teachers were able to test out almost all units during our first year and reported great student engagement with the new resources. During this week they went through notes from the pilot year to help improve implementation for year two and build in additional notes and extensions to enhance the current materials in addition to improving resource navigation for anyone trying out these resources for the first time.

We are very excited to have an awesome team taking these resources into a second year of piloting. This group will be meeting throughout the year and journaling their process so that we can make sure we are rolling out high-quality, evidence-based science resources to our community for the 2019-20 school year.

Middle School Physical Science

A group of middle school physical science teachers spent 4 days diving into SEPUP Issues and Physical Science 3rd edition materials to prep them for our second year of piloting. We spent our days trying out new lessons, troubleshooting materials, building in formative assessments and mapping out tips and tricks to help teachers new to the resource to navigate the materials smoothly.

Even though we were only able to pilot a few of the 3rd edition units during our first year with these materials, we are already seeing some very exciting and promising outcomes. Not only are we seeing great learning gains from our embedded unit assessments, but some units are showing evidence that students might be showing bigger gains compared to our current resource units. During our second year of piloting we will evaluating the units we were not able to get to in the first year due to publishing schedules, and continue to evaluate student engagement and embedded assessment data.

We are very excited to be heading into our second year of piloting and have a great team leading this effort. Stay tuned to learn more about these new resources!

Several Maine STEM Partnership teachers presented how they use 3D printers in their classrooms as the 3D-Printing Expo at Thomas College in Waterville, ME on April 27, 2018.  From using 3D printed cars in physics, to making bubble wands, and creating new bug species John McKechnie of Ellsworth High School, Karen Fream of East End Community School, Gina Jandreau of Madawaska Elementary School, and David Track of Vassalboro Community School provided tips and tricks to using 3D Printing in a meaningful way in the STEM classroom.  

They all did a great job!! 

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