Maine Science

Newsletter of the Maine Science Teachers Association
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December 2006


President’s Letter

MSTA held its annual (school year) conference in September. There were some great sessions presented. Even though the conference was offered in the fall, our numbers were again low. This creates a financial struggle for the association. We need to tighten our belts even tighter than we have before. To be fiscally sound, this newsletter is being electronically mailed. Postage is We also have some openings quite an expense and this is one way members on the board of development that we can stretch our money. We will continue to directors. If you are interested in becoming a board provide professional services to our membership but it member, please contact me. may look different in the future. MSTA will be keeping the same domain name Don’t forget to put money in your budget the 2007 One of our board – 2008 school year for next years MSTA annual members is taking over as Webmaster for us. Check conference AND the NSTA annual conference in out his article in the newsletter. We are looking at Boston in the spring of 2008. some new features on our updated pages and would welcome your input. Hope you have a great holiday season, This is a time of change in the profession and MSTA wants to support you during this time.

We are looking for any suggestions you might have about financial support, the conference, website suggestions and other programs we might be able to support. Please send any suggestions you have to me at I will bring them to the board and see what we can do.


We Missed You!
If you attended the MSTA conference at UMF last February, but you couldn’t join us in September , your MSTA membership runs out in February. We really want you to continue as an MSTA member. Please use the form at the end of this newsletter to “re-up” as a member.

Inside this issue: MSTA & Maine News ....................... Pp 2 - 7 Professional Development .............. Pp 8-12 Teacher & Student Resources……. Pp 13-16 MSTA Member Application………….P 17


Candid Shots from the MSTA 2006 Convention

President Mary with Presenters

Hands-On Science

Physics in Action

Vendor Area

Learning from each other

Pour Carefully!

The Unknown Science Teacher


Family Science Night
Thanks to Prof. Andrea Freed and her UMF Students for all they did to make Family Science Night a BIG success! Thanks also to Sky Connection for opening their indoor planetarium to the Family Science Night participants again this year
Getting ready for a balloon rocket race

Jumping for Electricity

“Old Sparky” in action

Learning about wind energy

Bridging the gap

What can we learn here?

Slime is Fun


Three new full color posters focusing on 60 common birds of Maine wetlands, backyards and forest & field habitats are now available from MDIFW. Each 24” x 32” poster, printed on heavy glossy paper, features an original habitat painting by popular Maine wildlife and landscape artist Tom Merriam; with photographs of 20 common bird species superimposed. The back of each poster, in black and white, has individual habitat and bird species information specific to Maine. A wonderful teaching aid! Price is $3.00 each or the set of 3 for $8.00; Maine residents add 5% sales tax. $3.50 for postage and handling; To purchase directly, stop into MDIFW Headquarters, 284 State Street, Augusta. To order, call the MDIFW Information Center at 207-287-8000 or visit the MDIFW Online Store at All orders shipped in sturdy cardboard tubes.

A new MSTA Website in the Works : Share your ideas for how it can help you best! After quite a while with its "tried and true" Internet front door, MSTA is in the process of redesigning its presence on the Web. As we do so, we intend to do more than just give the site a facelift: we want to make it work for you, the members. The site is in early planning stages right now, and we're hoping to hear from you about features you'd like to see on the new site. What should the MSTA website be? How could it be most useful to you? Are you interested in:
• • •

Something we haven't even thought of yet?

What resources would be useful to you? Would you like?
• • • • •

Field trip location reviews? Lab safety and hazardous waste resources? Local news? Useful science news or links? Something else?

Forums to help you share lesson ideas with other teachers? A digital "swap meet" for used lab equipment? A collection of the best lab demonstration videos from other teachers?

We're committed to making the new MSTA website a place you want to visit and use, but we need your input. Drop us a line with your feedback about "MSTA 2.0." You can email your ideas to Chad Dorsey at We may not be able to promise that we can put any one idea into place, but we promise that we will consider them all.


You are invited to a unique workshop showing the latest NASA discoveries… A workshop presented by: The Challenger Learning Center of Maine Workshop Title: “Beyond the Solar System ” Materials from the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Explore new teaching and learning

resources for building understanding of the structure and evolution of our universe. Date and Time: To be announced for each location. (March 2007) Locations: University of Southern Maine, Southworth Planetarium University of Maine at Presque Isle Challenger Learning Center of Maine, Bangor, Maine

I'm not sure how many teachers know that Maine has a NASA-sponsored Educator Resource Center. It's housed in Bangor at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine. We have materials to borrow or copy as well as great posters and other freebies to hand out to your students. Check out what's available from the CORE site, then give us a call or send us an email to let us help you find what you need. We also frequently offer Professional Development workshops in which we take these materials, align them with Maine's LR's and create valuable assessment tools for your use. Annette L. Brickley, Center Director Challenger Learning Center of Maine NASA Educator Resource Center 30 Venture Way Bangor, Maine 04401 207-990-2900 fax 990-2040

How many Planets are there in our Solar System - or how can Nine Pizzas become Noodles or Nachos?
Since 1930 nearly every student has used the “My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” pneumonic device to remember the names of the Solar System’s nine planets; however, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), after years of debate, has decided, officially, that there are just eight - demoting Pluto from planet to “dwarf planet.” Before the official announcement, made on August 24 of this year, rumors were flying that the IAU would push the number of planets in the Solar System up to 12 -adding Pluto’s moon Charon, the asteroid Ceres, and the recently discovered 2003 UB 313 (nicknamed “Xena” by its discoverers) to the planetary family. Under the new definition established by the IAU an object is a planet if it orbits a star, is spherical in shape (has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape), and clears out its neighborhood of orbital debris. Pluto failed to fulfill this third requirement. But don‚t feel too sorry for Pluto. As the best known member of the newly designated class of celestial objects


known as “dwarf planets”, Pluto will lead the list that in a few short years from now will far outnumber the members of the “planet” family. There are currently at least a dozen candidate “dwarf planets” listed on the IAU’s “watchlist” which keeps changing as more and more Kuiper Belt objects (KBO’s) and trans-Neptunian objects are discovered. Pluto and the other “dwarfs” won’t be forgotten - the New Horizons spacecraft that was launched last April is still headed on its way for a rendezvous with Pluto about a decade from now, and the Dawn spacecraft to be launched next year will get up close and personal with asteroid Ceres. Mike Brown, who led the team that discovered 2003 UB 313, is a little disappointed that it didn’t become the tenth planet but he is happy that the IAU accepted his proposed name, “Eris”, for the object that was referred to as “Xena”. In Greek lore, Eris is the goddess of discord and strife. The moon orbiting Eris has been named Dysnomia, the daughter of Eris and the demon spirit of lawle ssness. Although the revamping of our solar system might seem unsettling, it's really nothing new. When Ceres was first discovered in 1801, it too was called a planet, as were several other similar objects found later. Brown added that, “It is scientifically the right

thing to do, and is a great step forward in astronomy.” Things thought to be common knowledge are sometimes changed by the process of science - a good lesson for students of all ages - and now you need only remember that energetic mom served “nachos” or “noodles” instead of “nine pizzas”, le.cfm?Object=Pluto

Did you Remember to Schedule your Missions?
Its time to sign up for this year’s missions and the Challenger Center is currently taking mission reservations for the 2006-2007 academic year. If you would like to ask a question, make a comment, or be put on our mailing list, please send me an email at: The Mission Continues Robin Kennedy Lead Flight Director Challenger Learning Center Of Maine

Maine Learning Results Review
The Maine Learning Results review, as required by Maine legislation, is part of an ongoing cycle of review. This January 2007, marks the culmination of the two year review of the 1997 Maine Learning Results. The review has been an opportunity to make Maine's education standards clearer, more focused and more reflective of the skills and knowledge required for students to be career, college and citizenship ready. Why do states have learning standards? Standards for learning serve several purposes. First and foremost, statewide standards set the stage for equitable access to essential learning for all students. Standards also serve as the frame for the creation of coherent district curricula and they are a tool to assist entry level teachers in focusing on appropriate, significant, and meaningful instruction. Finally, standards are required by Section 111 of the federal No Child Left Behind Act which states, "Each state shall demonstrate that the State has adopted challenging academic content standards and challenging academic achievement standards..." There has been strong support from educators for the 2007 proposed revised Maine Learning Results (MLR). The results of the online survey and the feedback received during the 2006 spring and fall statewide information sessions co-hosted by the Maine Department of Education, the Maine Education Association, and University of Maine System showed that the large majority of educators find that the 2007 proposed revised MLR appear to be clearer, more coherent and more manageable than the 1997 MLR. Educators have appreciated the clear continuum of learning available in the proposed revised standards. This continuum


makes it especially easy for teachers new to the field to identify a progression of learning PK Diploma and can simplify the job of developing instruction around key learning goals. In most content areas of the 2007 proposed revised MLR the number of standards and performance indicators has dramatically decreased. The reduced numbers of performance indicators continue to serve as the assessment targets for the creation of the Maine Educational Assessments (MEAs) in mathematics, reading and science. Descriptors (items identified with lower case letters in the document) provide clarity about essential instruction and specific knowledge and skills that are fair game for development of statewide assessments. The panels of educators involved in the review kept students and educators at the center of the work. They applied their collective teaching experience, understanding of national standards

and research on learning. They integrated input from the national experts, feedback from the field, business community, focus groups and research on the changing workplace. Their goal was to identify clearer more focused standards that will prepare Maine students for the 21st century. The educators involved in the development of the proposed revised 2007 MLR believe that these revised learning goals are important today because they offer students a clearer picture of the skills and knowledge needed for success in the future and provide a clearer, more manageable base for a statewide system of learning. Anita Bernhardt Distinguished Educator, Maine Learning Results Review 23 State House Station Augusta, Maine 04333


Dear Science Educators: For those of you that are not yet on the Maine Science Teachers Network, you can register by visiting the Maine Math and Science website for more information. If you are interested in receiving the listserv emails, go to the to register. NSTA National Conferences: It’s budget time again. If you aren’t already planning to attend the NSTA 2007 conference in St. Louis, you might want to consider the 2008 conference that will be right here in New England. I have attended two national conferences and can recommend them to teachers at all levels. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss! Be sure to check the NSTA website for any updates and membership information at • St. Louis, MO: March 29-April 1, 2007 • Boston, MA: March 27-30, 2008 • New Orleans, LA: March 19-22, 2009 Awards Info: Science Grants for Teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education in school and/or district. They are awarded in three categories: ü Environmental Science Education ü Physical Science Applications ü Literacy and Science Education Start your application today for the opportunity to get one of the fifty large grants up to $10,000 or one of the twenty for up to $2,500 at There is still time- applications for the Toyota Tapestry Awards are due on January 18, 2007. Toshiba/NSTA Exloravision Awards Exploravision Awards for K-12 students are due on January 30, 2007. Students are invited to envision new technologies for the future. Prizes are awarded for the most innovative, creative ideas that combine imagination with scientific principles. For more information visit the If you have any thoughts about this newsletter or ideas you would like to pass on to your fellow Maine Science Teachers, please contact me at Laurette Darling, Editor


Apply soon!

Openings still available!

Great Professional Development Opportunity!

Spring Semester 2007 ˆ Earth System Science ˆ AMS online course
The American Meteorological Society (AMS), Education Division, is again offering its online course, "Water in the Earth System". The 12week Spring 2007 semester runs from Jan.23rd to April 22nd. Successful completion of the course and participation in the three general meetings will result in 3 graduate credits at no cost to participants. The Sat. morning meetings (10:00AM - Noon) in the Gardiner area are expected to be on 1/20, 2/24, and 4/21. College Break is the week of March 5th. Text, Investigations Manual, and other materials will be provided free at the 1st meeting. Text, materials and course credits are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, NOAA, U.S. Navy, and SUNY at Brockport (NY). The weekly contact and mentoring for participants is provided by a Local Implementation Team (LIT) member. Multiple participants from the same school or district are permitted, providing for teacher interactions, travel cost sharing, and companionship for the three meetings. A practice-preview week is provided during week of Jan.16th, but not required, to familiarize participants with the website activities and the course homepage. Learn where they are and how to use great online resource sites. AMS Education is particularly seeking grades 5-12 teachers who have not participated in an AMS course. Additional information and application are available at: For the application using the WES course home page, click on the flashing link "Welcome to WES" in the upper right corner. On the WES Overview page, click on "Apply to the Program", then "Download the Application", and print the 2 page form. Please send the completed and supervisor signed application to: Lucky Greenleaf, Maine LIT Leader 1047 E. Waldo Rd. Belfast, ME 04915 For questions or specific information, email:

Integrated Science Teachers Please join us for an Integrated Science Conference
Purpose: To identify teachers in Maine who are currently teaching IS who are willing to share resources, successes and challenges unique to teaching IS. Who: Teachers who are currently teaching Integrated Science as well as those considering an Integrated Science program. When: Friday, March 23, 2007 Time: 8:00 – 3:00 PM Where: Poland Regional High School, Poland Me. Cost: $15.00* For more information please contact: Kathy Floyd *Registration fee includes membership to the Maine Science Teacher Association.


Touch the Past: Archaeology of the Upper Mississippi River Valley
Walking through a thousand-year old stockaded village, visiting on-going archaeological excavations, making stone tools, learning how people have lived for the past 12,000 years, and creating ways to bring this back to your classroom - all of these are part of our summer institute on the archaeology of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. This summer the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse will be offering a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers. The Institute will run from July 9 through 27, 2007 and will be held on the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse campus, with field trips scheduled to archaeological sites across the state. The Institute will provide twenty-five K-12 teachers with three weeks of study of the process of archaeology and the major cultures of the Upper Mississippi Valley, including how these societies adapted and evolved over the past 12,000 years. Although the institute will be based in Wisconsin, teachers around the United States would greatly benefit from this opportunity. Participants will explore the rich archaeological record of the Upper Mississippi Valley and the indigenous cultures as well as the process of archaeological discovery and interpretation. Besides being a fascinating story, the archaeological record of the Upper Mississippi Valley provides a laboratory within which to examine how we have come to know what we do about the past, and how archaeologists move from potsherds and projectile points to insights into how people lived, adapted to their surroundings, and changed through time. Participants will learn about the nature of the archaeological record, including its strengths and limitations, through exposure to actual archaeological excavations and laboratory work, and discussion of how we can infer information from cultural remains. Through authentic research experiences and inquiry-based projects, teachers will learn to make relevant connections between in-depth archaeological, anthropological, historical, literary, and cultural content and their classroom teaching. More information about the Institute and registration can be found on-line at: The deadline for applications is March 1, 2007. For additional information please contact Bonnie Jancik at

Bonnie L. Jancik, Director of Public Education Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse 1725 State Street La Crosse, WI 54601 Phone: 608-785-6473 -- Fax: 608-785-6474 E-mail: --Visit the MVAC World Wide Web site at:

Marshmallows? Cotton candy?
Comets are beautiful, mysterious objects only rarely seen in our night skies. A comet often appears as a fuzzy ball with a long, white tail-sometimes with a second blue tail visible. But what are they? What’s at the heart of a comet? That’s what the Deep Impact space mission set out to learn by crashing its “smart impactor” into the nucleus of Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005. Deep Impact’s camera and many other orbiting Nancy Leon, Education and Public Outreach Lead NASA New Millennium Program/Space Place NASA/JPL 4800 Oak Grove Drive Mailstop 301-235, Pasadena, CA 91109 Phone: (818) 354-1067 – email: and ground-based telescopes observed and studied the material that was blasted out of the resulting crater. Now scientists all over the world have had time to look at the data and gain a better understanding of these icy visitors from the outer solar system. Visit The Space Place at, and see what they have found out.


Martian Devils
by Dr. Tony Phillips

Admit it. Whenever you see a new picture of Mars beamed back by Spirit or Opportunity, you scan the rocks to check for things peeking out of the shadows. A pair of quivering green antennas, perhaps, or a little furry creature crouched on five legs…? Looking for Martians is such a guilty pleasure. Well, you can imagine the thrill in 2004 when scientists were checking some of those pictures and they did see something leap out. It skittered across the rocky floor of Gusev Crater and quickly disappeared. But it wasn't a Martian; Spirit had photographed a dust devil! Dust devils are tornadoes of dust. On a planet like Mars which is literally covered with dust, and where it never rains, dust devils are an important form of weather. Some Martian dust devils grow almost as tall as Mt. Everest, and researchers suspect they're crackling with static electricity-a form of "Martian lightning." NASA is keen to learn more. How strong are the winds? Do dust devils carry a charge? When does "devil season" begin-and end? Astronauts are going to want to know the answers before they set foot on the red planet. The problem is, these dusty twisters can be devilishly difficult to catch. Most images of Martian dust devils have been taken by accident, while the rovers were looking for other things. This catch-as-catch-can approach limits what researchers can learn. No more! The two rovers have just gotten a boost of artificial intelligence to help them recognize and photograph dust devils. It comes in the form of new software, uploaded in July and activated in September 2006.

"This software is based on techniques developed and tested as part of the NASA New Millennium Program's Space Technology 6 project. Testing was done in Earth orbit onboard the EO-1 (Earth Observing-1) satellite," says Steve Chien, supervisor of JPL's Artificial Intelligence Group. Scientists using EO-1 data were especially interested in dynamic events such as volcanoes erupting or sea ice breaking apart. So Chien and colleagues programmed the satellite to notice change. It worked beautifully: "We measured a 100-fold increase in science results for transient events." Now that the techniques have been tested in Earth orbit, they are ready to help Spirit and Opportunity catch dust devils-or anything else that moves-on Mars. "If we saw Martians, that would be great," laughs Chien. Even scientists have their guilty pleasures. Find out more about the Space Technology 6 "Autonomous Sciencecraft" technology experiment at ecraft_tech.html, and the use of the technology on the Mars Rovers at tml. Kids can visit html and do a New Millennium Program-like test at home to see if a familiar material would work well in space This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Sponsored by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and supported with funding from the National Semiconductor Foundation

Connecting Science, Inquiry, and LiteracyStatewide Conference
December 14-15, 2006 Samoset Resort, Rockport Maine $150
Research and practice in the science community suggest that language literacy is essential for effective inquiry-based science learning. In order to deeply understand science concepts and processes, students must use literacy skills for sense- making and communication. A related body of research from the literacy community suggests that students improve their literacy skills when those skills are used and practiced in an engaging, authentic context. Inquiry based-science provides that context! This conference will address the reciprocal skills of literacy and inquiry-based science in the context of science teaching and learning. Integrating literacy into science involves much more than reading and writing about science topics. At this conference you will have an opportunity to: ? change your thinking about the meaning of science and literacy integration; ? examine research and national studies with data that show how a strong elementary science program improves reading and writing achievement, particularly for low achieving students; ? experience activities that model how reading, writing, drawing, speaking, and listening are used authentically in science to construct understanding of science concepts; ? learn how inquiry-based science is more than "hands-on" and how you can improve your teaching through inquiry with the right ma terials and learning goals; ? acquire several new strategies and resources for incorporating the authentic use of literacy into your classroom such as scientists' notebooks, science talk, explanation writing, developing the academic language of science, making sense of science through trade books and picture books, children's drawings and graphic organizers, and more. Come learn how K-6 science fits into an NCLB world, forms the foundation for the skills and knowledge students need to be successful in middle and high school science, and makes learning exciting for students and teachers, too! Elementary teachers are encouraged (but not required) to bring a middle school science teacher to address the coherency of a K-8 approach to science, inquiry, and literacy, For more information and a link to the online registration go to: or visit our web site at

Editor’s Note: Due to the delay in putting out this newsletter “to bed”, this event is taking place this week. We wanted to make sure that you were aware of MMSA’s Science Inquiry and Literacy initiative. Please contact Lynn Farrin at MMSA for more information about this great program.


High School Lab ScienceA Statewide Symposium Discipline January 22-23, 2007 Samoset Resort, Rockport
Laboratory experiences have been taken for granted for decades as part of most U.S. high school science curricula and courses, but they have rarely been carefully examined (NRC, 2006). This conference, sponsored by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, will convene science educators from all over Maine interested in improving laboratory science courses. Some of the areas explored during the conference include 1) the role of labs in science education; 2) policies including standards, graduation requirements and college admissions; 3) what we currently know from research about how laboratory experiences impact student learning; 4) considerations for designing effective laboratory experiences; 5) the role of computer technologies in school laboratories; 6) using the lab experience as a context to support literacy (technical reading, expository writing, and oral presentation skills) 7) facilities, equipment, and safety, and 8) the vision of high school labs for the 21st century learning. The conference will be framed around the recently released report from the National Research Council, America's Lab ReportInvestigations in High School Science. Several Maine schools will be featured to share components of their lab science programs. Each high school in Maine is encouraged to send at least one scie nce teacher. Teams, including administrators and science department chairs are encouraged to attend. There will be time set aside for teams to work on plans for improving laboratory science in their schools. For more information about this conference or to register, visit, Click on Calendar of Events.

FREE Teacher’s Kit and Opportunity to Win $250-$5,000 for Your School
The Consumer Aerosol Products Council (CAPCO) has created a FREE resource for science teachers. The CAPCO Science Class Challenge Kit contains all of the materials necessary to teach your students about the earth’s protective ozone layer, CFCs and aerosol products. The Kit includes a teacher’s guide, classroom activities, experiments, homework assignments and the DVD, “Another Awesome Aerosol Adventure.” In addition, the kit is a perfect companion to CAPCO’s Science Class Challenge, an opportunity to design your own creative method of teaching important environmental issues. Through the Science Class Challenge, teachers can earn $250-$5,000 for their schools as well as a pizza party for their class. To order a kit and learn more about the Science Class Challenge visit:


Visit to learn about two exciting ways for teachers and environmental educators to travel to the Amazon Rainforest. 1. Sign-up for the 15th annual Educator's Amazon Rainforest Workshop on scheduled June 30 - July 9, 2007. Co-sponsored by Selby Botanical Gardens, this 10-day event is a professional development opportunity for teachers to work side-by-side with a spirited faculty of scientists. Experience a ¼ mile Rainforest canopy walkway, get involved in a village service project, and see how indigenous cultures use the forest for medicine, food, and shelter. Academic credit and an extension to Machu Picchu are available. Land cost for this educator workshop is $1998, plus roundtrip airfare. 2. You can TRAVEL FREE during our 8-day Student Amazon Rainforest workshops in June and July 2007, while giving your students and their families the benefits of educational travel to one of the most diverse environments in the world and participate in a life changing Service Learning project in a village along the Amazon River. Bring a group of 6 and travel with all of your expenses paid. Land cost for students & families is $1898, plus air. For expedition information or funding ideas call Dr. Frances Gatz at 1-800-669-6806, email or visit the website Environmental Expeditions 9335 Fraser Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20910 Frances Gatz, Ph.D., Director of Rainforest Workshop

Save The Date! Friday May 18, 2007
If you are a 4th, 5th, or 6th grade teacher in southern Maine, you are eligible to bring your students to the 12th annual Southern Maine Children’s Water Festival! The festival, a one-day educational event attended by 800 students and their teachers, will be held at the Portland campus of USM. There is no charge to attend, and funds are available to schools to help defray transportation expenses. The goal of the Children’s Water Festival is to emphasize the importance of water to human and ecosystem health, as animal habitat, and in weather and other earth processes. Although this day is educational and fun for the students, we also hope to encourage further exploration of the many aspects of water. To this end, teachers are provided with classroom materials: books, lesson plans, curricula, posters, and other items donated by our many sponsors and presenters. Applications will be mailed in early December to every school with a 4th, 5th, or 6th grade, but because there sometimes seems to be a black hole in the mailroom, you may want to contact us to have an application sent directly to you. Contact Lynne at the address listed below, or go to ex.htm Major Sponsors of the Southern Maine Children's Water Festival include: Maine Depart ment of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Conservation, Portland Water District, Poland Spring Bottling Company, Maine Rural Water Association, Maine Coastal Program, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Cumberland County SWCD, the University of Southern Maine, Maine Audubon, U. S. EPA New England, and Maine DHS Drinking Water Program. Hope to see you there! Lynne Richard Environmental Education Coordinator Maine Project WET Coordinator Portland Water District 1 White Rock Rd Standish, ME 04084


Engineering is Elementary (EiE) Engineering & Technology Lessons for Children!
Engineering is Elementary is a project designed to promotes learning and teaching of engineering and technology by elementary school students, grades 1-5, and their teachers. As part of the project, developed by the Museum of Science in Boston in partnership with teacher leaders, curricular materials have been created that integrate engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science lessons. Each set of Engineering is Elementary lessons is a unit that integrates an elementary school science topic with a specific field of engineering. Each unit engages students in the engineering design process and includes:

A storybook that introduces basic engineering content and related science content and highlights engineering activities that children will do. Each story is narrated by a child character from a different racial or ethnic background or country and includes original illustrations. Lessons Plans with detailed instructions for teachers. Duplication Masters -- ready-to-photocopy activities, handouts, and assessments for students, provided at two levels--basic and advanced--to accommodate a broad range of developmental needs. Background information and additional reference resources for teachers.

• •

Each unit targets specific learning goals from the National Standards for Technological Literacy and connects to widely used science programs, such as FOSS, STC, GEMS, and Insights. The lesson plans include suggestions for enhancing cross-curricular connections, as well as for adapting activities for classrooms at different developmental levels. Likewise, when appropriate, student materials are provided at two levels (basic and advanced). In addition, student materials are available in English and Spanish. Several units are available including:
• • • • • • •

Earth Materials: Materials Engineering Air & Weather: Mechanical Engineering Water: Environmental Engineering Balance & Forces: Civil Engineering Simple Machines: Industrial Engineering Insects: Agricultural Engineering Sound: Acoustical Engineering

To learn more about the EiE project or these resources, visit


Calendar of events for Project Learning Tree and Maine Environmental Education Association
Save the dates for some excellent Environmental Education opportunities to share experiences and learn from experienced EE practitioners. 2007 Maine Summer Teachers’ Tours – dates and locations to be announced in December at: Are you one of the thousands of Maine teachers trained to use Project Learning Tree during the last 30 years? If so, we are happy to announce that Maine PLT is planning a 30th Anniversary celebration to be held at the 4-H Tanglewood Camp in Lincolnville on October 19 & 20, 2007. Save the date and join old and new friends at this gala event. Watch www.mainetreefoundation/ for updates. In 2007, the Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA) hosts the New England Environmental Education Association Annual Conference on September 14-16, 2007. Watch the MEEA website for details about this immersion into EE gathering and while at the website, browse through the Maine Environmental Education Guide: A Resource for Maine Educators. If you want to take a field trip with your class and just need a little extra financial assistance, MEEA offers a Field Trip Assistance grant. Criteria and application can be downloaded from the MEEA website:


Museum of Science Educator Resource Center
Teachers of Maine! Did you know that the Museum of Science in Boston has an outstanding collection of educational materials that are available to you through the Educator Resource Center? The Educator Resource Center (ERC) located in the Lyman Library on the 3rd floor of the museum, houses an extensive collection, reviewed by educators, focused primarily on technology and engineering educational materials. Teachers can search through the Museum’s hand-picked selection of the best standards-based science, technology and engineering resources for their classrooms, including Museum’s exhibits, programs, and K12 technology and engineering curriculum resources for educators. Materials can only be checked out in person but returns may be done via mail (return postage is your responsibility). Why not plan a trip to the Museum today and check out the library in person! Remember as always, teachers get into the museum’s exhibit halls free (identification required). For more information about the ERC or to review the collection online visit:


Science Literacy Corner
Book Reviews by Nancy Chesley, MMSA Science Associate

Somewhere Today by Bert Kitchen
Summary: This author/illustrator, known for his elegant sense of design and meticulous paintings, depicts twelve beautifully composed, exquisitely detailed, full page portraits of animals in action. Various species of animals in their courtship rituals, at work and play, and coping with needs of survival are described clearly and briefly. Included are: a sea otter, western grebes, chameleon, archerfish, bald eagles, brown hares, spotted skunk, speckled salamanders, dung beetles, rattlesnakes, blue bird of paradise, and a dormouse. Recommended Grade levels : Grades K-5 {Grades K-2 (if read aloud by the teacher) } Access: Kitchen, B. (1992) Somewhere Today. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 1-56402-377-X (paperback): $5.99

Thirteen Moons on a Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruhac & Jonathan London
Summary: Folklorist Joseph Bruhac and poet Jonathan London work together on a presentation of the Native American lunar calendar that portrays seasonal patterns. For each of the thirteen scales on a turtle’s shell, there is a Native American moon legend. The brief, poetic retellings describe the predominant weather and explain what is important about each month to a Native American culture. The illustrator, Thomas Locker, once again proves himself a gifted landscape artist, capturing the essence of the seasons and the legends. Recommended Grade leve ls: Grades K-5 {Grades K-2 (if read aloud by the teacher) } Access: Burhac, J and London, J. (1992) Thirteen Moons on a Turtle’s Back. Philomel Books. ISBN 0-69811-584-8 (paperback): $5.99 ISBN 0-39922-5141-7 (hardback): $16.99

When Hunger Calls by Bert Kitchen
Summary: This author/illustrator, in his third book about animal behavior, sticks with the familiar format used in Somewhere Today and And So They Build to highlight the habits of twelve animal predators. His paintings and text capture the startling, ingenious ways these mammals, birds, and insects capture and devour their prey. Recommended Grade levels : Grades K-5 Grades K-2 (if read aloud by the teacher) Access: Kitchen, B. (1994) When Hunger Calls. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 1-56402-971-9 (paperback): $5.99


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