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IMAGINE a Maine where learning looks different.

Maine Education News

Maine Maritime Education

This week we're highlighting marine science schools focusing on connecting student interests with the strengths of our local history and economy. Learn more about ocean-themed learning taking place on the east coast of our state by reading below.

Maine Ocean School

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Maine Ocean School is a public magnet high school for marine science, technology, transportation, and engineering. In addition to receiving a complete high school curriculum, students pursue academic programs such as Marine Science, Transportation, Engineering, and Management based on their interests. They have the opportunity to achieve professional credentials like Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC), and more. Learning happens as students experience the ocean through on- and near-water experiences and regular interactions with marine practitioners.

In October, students enrolled in Maritime Business Mathematics explored the complexities of staffing and payroll by developing their own businesses. After selecting an industry, students determined a location, business type, and weekly staffing needs. In the final phases of this project, students completed W-9s for their "staff members" and generated paychecks for each employee. At the end of the project students felt their ability to accurately calculate payroll deductions would influence their financial decision making in the future. 

Herring Gut Learning Center

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Herring Gut Learning Center educates students and communities about the connections between the ocean, inland waters, and economy of Maine.

In addition to summer camps, summer events, alternative education and gifted and talented programs, Herring Gut offers a Middle School Intensive year-long science program. Students are involved in hands-on experiential learning including a micro-business model utilizing an on-site aquaponics system, salt-water lab and lobster pound for growing kelp. The curriculum aligns with Next Generation Science Standards with a focus on understanding the various water ecosystems, inhabitants, influences and effects of changing the climate.

Students who attended Early Release Day Adventures recently explored the fun science of states of matter. They made snow volcanoes using a kid-friendly elephant toothpaste experiment! The decomposition reaction of the hydrogen peroxide was sped up with a yeast catalyst causing a faster reaction. Dish soap was added to help make the reaction nice and bubbly.

Belfast Area High School Pilot: Marine Institute & Apprenticeship Program

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Belfast's question: How might we turn a nationwide workforce deficiency into potential career exploration opportunities for students?

Their pilot: They aim to prepare all Marine Institute students to apply STEM skills and practices in their career and future education by implementing a half-day program that allows for both community partnerships as well as career exploration through site visits and STEM related field trips. The RREV Grant Application will also support a rapid expansion of the number of student internships.

MDOE's RREV pilots are meant to inspire educators around the state to think boldly. Is there an idea from Belfast that you'd be excited to discuss with your educator colleagues? Share this newsletter with them!

Watch the video to hear from Lisa White, a science teacher at the public high school in Belfast, describe the project - and click HERE to learn more.

RREV Project - Marine Institute and Apprenticeship Program, Belfast Area High School


We hope these excerpts in our newsletters help to get your wheels turning!

  • How might you adapt these programs for your students?
  • Might your child benefit from engaging in programming like this?
  • Do you know of an administrator building similar ideas in your school?

Use this as a chance to nurture your creative thinking, build connections, and find collaborators to leverage the passions and expertise of Mainers around the state.

And if you like one of these ideas and want to try it at your school, join as a What School Could Be Maine Seed School and get support on implementation.

You can learn more about this opportunity on our website here or indicate your interest using this form! (Deadlines approaching!)


Legislative Updates

At the end of the 2022 session the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs voted to report out a committee bill regarding Child Development Services. The bill is An Act To Reorganize the Provision of Services for Infants, Toddlers and Children with Disabilities from Birth to 6 Years of Age and Extend the Age of Eligibility under the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to 22 Years of Age. It has been assigned LD # 2039. The majority (OTP) report and the minority (OTP-AM) report can be found here

This bill failed to be enacted. The House and the Senate voted for different versions of the bill and neither was open to agreeing with the other's version. The House voted ONTP (ought not to pass) on the majority committee report while the Senate voted in favor of the minority report.

The provision of services for young children around the state is an important issue that affects children, families, providers, and local districts. We imagine this topic will return next time around. If you have thoughts, questions, or concerns, talk to your Education and Cultural Affairs committee members, your representatives, or your superintendent. Legislators and district leadership need feedback from those affected. 

3/16/22 Education Innovators Series Event with Rob Houben

Registration for this upcoming event will be opening in May! More information can be found here.

Pender Makin Speaks on Accountability

How might we best show up to show deep respect for our educators? Maine's Education Commissioner Pender Makin shared her thoughts at last month's Innovative Educators Series event. Check out this video clip from the event, or view the whole recording on our YouTube page here.

The board and staff of Ed Forum expresses its deepest sympathies to the friends, family, and colleagues of Martin Mackey, who was most recently the director of MDOE's RREV program. A memorial service will be held Friday, April 29, at 11 a.m. at The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Mackworth Island. Memories and condolences can be shared at http://www.brackettfh.com.

Jennifer Chace

Executive Director

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