Maine Science

Newsletter of the Maine Science Teachers Association
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May 2006

President’s Letter Dear Members, As the new president of Maine Science Teachers Association, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am in my 26th year of teaching – my 12th year at Gardiner High School. The first 14 were at Madison High School. I currently teach Lab Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and 9 th grade science (physical and earth science). The students I teach range from the AP students to the students with special needs. MSTA is working to find new ways to support the work you do in the classroom. There are many challenges in our work. It is sometimes difficult to be released from the classroom or find the money to attend good professional development. Along with our annual conference, we have offered some shorter professional development opportunities (i.e. a mission at the Challenger Center, an outdoor experiences in the woods around China Elementary school). If you have an opportunity that you would like to offer contact me or another board member. We would love to have you share your knowledge and experiences. We are also looking at providing useful information on our website. One example is providing you a place to find the current state laws that impact what we can do and use in the science classrooms. This would include things like using li ve animals, chemical storage and disposal, use of blood or other body fluids, and plants that can/can’t be used. I am looking for a few people who can help take the information and put it in a useful format for our membership. If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact me. I look forward to serving as your president. If you have suggestions for the board to consider, please pass them along. We need you input to better help us meet your needs. Have a great spring,

Mary Whitten MSTA 2006-2007 President

Please Remember to save the dates September 29th & 30th for the Maine Science Teachers Association Annual Conference.
Inside this issue: MSTA & Maine News .......................Pp 2-9 NSTA and Other National News.......Pp 10-14 Professional Development...............Pp15-18 Teacher & Student Resources……..Pp19-22

MSTA 2006-2007 Conference
The Maine Science Teachers Association invites you to mark your calendars for the 2006-2007 conference on September 29th and 30th. The Buker School building in Augusta is the proposed site for the two-day conference activities. We plan to have strands that have been popular with our members in the past.
Proposed Strands: Science & Literacy Earth, Life & Physical Science Environmental Science Technology in the Science Classroom Maine Learning Results Update & Implications for Classroom Teachers Presentations by: Department of Education MMSA Area Teacher Leaders in Science Education NASA Materials NSTA Bookstore Exhibitors & Door Prizes Family Science Night and “The Sky Connection” Planetarium

A "Call for Presenters" will be posted on the listserv in the coming week. The presenter and exhibitor forms will also be posted on the MSTA website at The contact person for the conference is Sharon Gallant. She may be reached at

Fall Conference Notes:
The 2005-2006 Annual MSTA Conference was held in January at the University of Maine in Farmington. The format was different in that we held sessions on both Friday and Saturday. There were two-and-a-half hour sessions along with our traditional hour-long sessions. We also hosted a Family Science Night for the first time. Area families joined us on Friday night and approximately 100 parents and kids participated. New to our format was a special 3-D presentation after lunch for all to enjoy. National Semiconductor also presented the awards to this year’s recip ients at our conference. We would like to thank our sponsors: National Semiconductor for hosting the Science and Action awards reception, PAEMST for sponsoring the Saturday morning continental breakfast, Farmington Hannaford for their support of the Family Science Night and The Sky Connection for providing programs for the families during Family Science Night. We would also like to acknowledge our exhibitors: The Sky Connection, Usborne Books, Prentice Hall, Delta Education, Great Source, Acadia National Park, Energy, Tilbury House, Flinn Scientific, Quizdom, Holt Rinehart and Winston, CPO Science, The Rock Detective, Maine Environmental Education Association, NSDL, Ferry Beach Ecology School, National Geographic School Publishing, NSTA, EAST Alliance, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Chewonki, and Maine Energy Education Program. A special thank you to those who provided door prizes for our members throughout the conference. We thank UMF and especially, Professor Andrea Freed, for their support prior to and during our first attempt to host the conference on a date other than the Friday prior to Columbus Day Weekend. The MSTA board is already hard at work on the next conference scheduled for September. Please see the article on the 2006-2007 Conference also in this newsletter.

Laurette Darling, Vice President

January 2006 Conference Candids

President Mary Whitten & Jim Cook open the show

Teachers learn new Hands-On Skills

Nation Semiconductor “Science in Action” Awards Ceremony

Business is brisk at the NSTA Bookstore

Lynn Farrin conducts a Science & Literacy session

The Inflatable Planetarium was a big hit during the Family Science night


The best part of setting up for Family Science is getting to play with the equipment!

Kids and Parents enjoy Family Science Night

MSTA Officers for 2006
Mary Whitten, Gardiner High School, President Laurette Darling, China Primary School, Vice President George Powers, Bangor High School, Treasurer Lynn Farrin, MMSA, Secretary

From the Family Science Night
After the Family Science Night that was held in conjunction with the January MSTA Conference, I received the following email. “Our family wanted to express a huge thank you for such a fun filled evening. Our children raved about this night all weekend. You staff was so friendly, and offered such a variety of fun filled learning experiments. The best part is, My children have taken in interest in studying the stars. They have been able to identify the star constellations they learned about in the planetarium. It is experiences like this that make learning fun. Thank you, your time and attention to this night is greatly appreciated. The McCabe Family” I sent the McCabe’s a note asking their permission to reprint their email. They responded with the following: “Dear Laurette, I would love for you to use our comments on family science night. Since that weekend my children still show a strong interest in stars. In fact, we just went to the library just about a week ago to print a star constellation map for every month of the year. They are so excited about this. One day, they might be putting on their very own science night!!! You’re welcome to use my full name. If there is anything else I can do to help feel free to email. Thank You, Sally McCabe” It’s nice to know that we had such a positive impact on one family. Family Science nights are fun for kids, parents and teachers. Maybe you should sponsor one at your school!

Laurette Darling


Governor’s Academy Cohort 2
MSTA members photographed here deserve our congratulations as they “graduated” from the Governor’s Academy. They joined other Math and Science teacher leaders for a reception

hosted by Governor Baldacci at the Blaine House in November. This is the second math and science cohort sponsored by MMSA.

MSTA Dine and Discuss- China School Forest
Anita Smith and Elaine Philbrook, Project Learning Tree coordinators and China Schools teachers, hosted a Dine and Discuss at the China School Forest in the Fall. Pat Maloney and students from Unity College joined us. We walked the trail while they explained how the school forest was designed. If you have suggestions for future “Dine and Discuss” activities, please contact Laurette Darling


2005-2006 Science in Action Award Maine Winners
National Semiconductor is proud to announce the winning projects of the first Science in Action Awards. Six Maine school projects were chosen to receive awards. Congratulations to: Science Sleuths , Nancy March, Karin Felmly, Jen Kugler, Kim Spencer, Yarmouth Elementary School, Yarmouth; Motion and Speed -- Let the Race Begin! Julie Knowlton, Elaine Tardiff, Melanie Hussey, Rob Borden, Milo Elementary School, Milo; The Golden Mousetrap Award, Mark Woida, Deer Isle -Stonington Elementary School, Deer Isle; Finn Brook Stewards Address the State of The Stream, Karen McCormick, Mark Trask, Whitefield Elementary School, Whitefield; Experimenting with Solar Energy and Motion, Donna Oliver, Susanne Gallant, Lisa Beers, Eddington School, Eddington; Monitoring a "Natural" Security Crisis in our Backyard, Christina ChambersMiller; Wiscasset Middle School, Wiscasset. The Science in Action Award program, sponsored by National Semiconductor and in partnership with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, was created to recognize and reward inquiry-based, hands-on curriculum projects. Selected individual teachers receive up to $2,000 to purchase materials for their classroom and receive a personal award of $1,000. Selected teacher groups can receive up to $5,000 to purchase materials, divided between classrooms and receive personal awards of $2,000, divided among the group. For more information about this award and this year’s winning projects visit

Science in Action Award Application deadline for upcoming school year: October 12, 2006

Two Maine Science Teachers, Mark Trask and Karen McCormick from the Whitefield School receive their awards at the MSTA Fall Conference

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
Congratulations to Steve DeAngelis from Maranacook Community School in Readfield on his 2005 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching ( The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Our other state finalist in science was Jeffrey Jay Steinert from Edward Little High School in Auburn. Steve will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and a paid trip for two to Washington, DC for the weeklong recognition events and professional development activities. (He’s there right now!) Elementary applications have been submitted for the 2006 outstanding K-6 teachers in Math and Science. If you are a grades 7-12 Math or Science teacher and plan to apply next year, or are thinking about applying for next year, you should contact Tad Johnston, our state coordinator for both math and science, at

MSTA Electronic Newsletter
You have been sent this issue of the Maine Science Teachers Association Newsletter as an email attachment because the costs of printing and mailing a traditional paper newsletter have skyrocketed in the past year. If you have changes in your email address information or in any of the information on your membership form, please lest me know so that we can keep our records up to date and make sure you continue to receive regular copies of the MSTA News. Any submissions or ideas for future MSTA Newsletter articles should also be sent to me at my new email address

Thank you! Laurette Darling, Newsletter Editor


Maine Science Teachers Association (MSTA) Membership Form

Please complete the information below. Please note: Purchase orders are a tremendous burden for your volunteer registrar. Name _______________________________________ Position ________________________________ Home Address________________________________________________________________________ Home City/Town ______________________________________________________________________ Home State _________ Home Zip ____________

School or organization _________________________________________________________________ School/Organization Addresss __________________________________________________________ School/Organization City/town ___________________________________________________________ School/Organization State _________ School/Organization Zip ____________


Home ____________________________ Work ____________________________

Email__________________________________________ Fax # _______________________________ Preferred mailing address (for newsletter, etc) [ ] home Level: [ ]K-2 [ ]3-4 [ ] 5-8 [ ] high school [ ] organization [ ] pre-service

[ ] college

We are in the process of planning next year’s Annual Conference. Please check strands of interest: [ ] Science and Literacy [ ] Standards Based Kits [ ] Physical Science [ ] Inquiry [ ] Ocean Science [ ] Science Labs of the Future [ ] Environmental Science [ ] NASA and Earth/Space Science [ ] Technology [ } Professional Development [ ] Assessment [ ] Other __________________________

If you would like to renew your membership or join the organization, please send $15 to the address below.

Please Make Checks Payable to MSTA and Mail to: Maine Science Teachers Association George Powers, Registrar 41 17th St. Bangor, ME 04401-3139 Questions (207) 942-0616

Maine Learning Results for Science and Technology Revised
On April 7, 2006 the Maine Department of Education posted the proposed revised Maine Learning Results standards. All teachers of science and technology from PK – Diploma are asked to go online now and review the proposed revised standards for science and technology. In addition to the documents there are important explanatory materials and an online survey that has been set up to collect feedback. The feedback collected will inform the final draft of the standards that will be brought before the Legislature for approval in January 2007.
INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 126 POLICY CODE: IKF TO: Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Career and Technical Education Center Directors, Curriculum Coordinators, Guidance Counselors and School Health Coordinators Susan A Gendron, Commissioner of Education April 11, 2006 Proposed Revised Standards and Online Survey Available for Career and Life Development, Modern and Classical Languages, Science and Technology, Social Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts

You may access the document, support materials and online survey at ence.html The survey will close May 31, 2006. Thank you for taking the time to be part of this important work.

Anita Bernhardt


The Department of Education is pleased to inform you that the proposed revised standards for Career and Life Development, Modern and Classical Languages, Science and Technology, Social Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts, an online survey and other related information are now available on the Maine Learning Results Review website. The Department extends its thanks to the many teachers who participated in this work as members of the content area panels. Soliciting feedback regarding the proposed revised document is the next of many steps in a multi-year process of adoption and implementation. It is critical that as many educators as possible provide feedback through the online survey. Please share this information with all educators in your district including teachers of Career and Life Development (formerly known as Career Preparation), Modern and Classical Languages, Science and Technology, Social Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts. The online surveys for Career and Life Development, Modern and Classical Languages, Science and Technology, Social Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts will close on May 31, 2006. The online surveys for the proposed English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Health and Physical Education standards have been extended until May 5, 2006. The proposed revised documents, survey and other information may be found online at Questions should be addressed to Anita Bernhardt at


science and technology educational materials. A number of after-hours social events and site seeing tours rounded out a full conference menu. You can visit NSTA’s website for full details and highlights from this conference and get the scoop on future conference offerings. Perhaps attending an NSTA conference is in your future?

NSTA Anaheim
The sun came out just in time to welcome participants to the National Science Teachers Association’s 54th National Conference on Science Education in beautiful Anaheim, California. This is, as the association points out, the first gathering that uses a brand new namethe NSTA 54th National Conference on Science Education- to reflect the rich and more in-depth offerings featured at this and future events. To help participants make the most of the professional development opportunities available while in Anaheim, the conference was planned around six strands, enabling participants to focus on specific areas or interest or need. The strands featured at this years’ event were: Using Technology to Enhance Student Learning, Formative Assessment: How Will You Know What Your Students Know?, Science and Literacy: An Essential Partnership, Changing School Culture: Building Professional Learning Communities, The Many Faces of Inquiry, and Especially for Administrators: Supporting Quality Science Education. In addition to organizing conference offerings by strand, NSTA held a special daylong conference, Science Assessment: Research and Practical Approaches which highlighted the work of several NSF-funded programs. Participants also took part in special offerings including Science for Young Learners Day, Professional Development Institutes, (short courses), NSTA Symposia , NSTA International Science Education Day, and Teacher Researcher Day. As always, NSTA assembled a number of mustdo and see events. Featured speakers JeanMichel Cousteau, Bill Nye, and Steve Spangler captivated audiences while Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, co-hosts of Discovery Channel’s popular MythBusters series delighted attendees at the President’s Annual Banquet. Numerous of opportunities were just waiting to be explored in the exhibit hall – vendors and various organizations showcased the latest

Lynn Farrin MMSA

Local Systemic Change
Since the inception of the National Science Foundation-funded Local Systemic Change (LSC) initiative, Horizon Research has collaborated with LSC projects in designing and implementing an extensive evaluation of the initiative. The findings of this 10-year evaluation are now available to the wider education community. These findings will be useful to states, districts, higher education, and others who are designing and/or leading similar kinds of efforts to improve mathematics and science professional development. This message contains a link to the first set of LSC Research Updates - one page summaries of key findings of interest to K-12 practitioners. These Updates provide information on how LSC professional development influenced the following areas: - Teachers' Perceptions of their Content Preparedness, - Teachers' Use of Investigative Teaching Practices, and - Amount of Time Devoted to K-5 Science Instruction. The Updates can be downloaded as PDF documents from the LSC website: More detailed information and reports on the LSC research are also available at the site.

Lasers – A simple explanation
Many highly useful devices are based on lasers. Lasers can be used to play music or movies, read inventory codes on objects, cut through everything from fabric to solid steel, and perform exquisitely delicate surgery. Laser energy is a form of light, but what makes it different from ordinary light? The latest "Amazing Fact" on The Space Place describes step by step the basic properties of natural light and the special properties of laser light. Interactive animations demonstrate the concepts in a simple and fun way. Visit to get a laser-sharp understanding of this form of energy and to find out how lasers can help to find life on other planets.

SciJinks Web Page
Why is the sky blue? Why does the sky sometimes turn red at sunset? Every curious child will ask these questions at some point. Are you ready to give scientifically correct and simple answers? Visit SciJinks to refresh your memory. The SciJinks Web site targets young people of middle school age. It is a joint effort of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The new "Why is the sky blue?" page can be found in the How & Why menu on the SciJinks Weather Laboratory home page, The preceding five articles were submitted by: 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


space weather”, says James Slavin, Project Scientist for ST5. Slavin suggests some other potential uses for micro-sats: A cluster of micro-sats between the Earth and the Sun-spread out in space like little sensor buoys floating in the ocean-could sample incoming waves of high-speed particles from an erupting solar flare, thus giving scientists hours of warning of the threat posed to city power grids and communications satellites. Or perhaps a string of micro-sats, flying single file in low-Earth orbit, could take a series of snapshots of violent thunderstorms as each micro-sat in the “train” passes over the storm. This technology would combine the continuous large-scale storm monitoring of geosynchronous weather satellites-which orbit far from the Earth at about 36,000 kilometers' altitude-with the upclose, highly detailed view of satellites only 400 kilometers overhead. If ST5 is successful, these little satellites could end up playing a big role in future exploration. The ST5 Web site at has the details. Kids can have fun with ST5 at, by just typing ST5 in the site's Find It field. This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Micro-sats with Macro-potential
By Patrick L. Barry Future space telescopes might not consist of a single satellite such as Hubble, but a constellation of dozens or even hundreds of small satellites, or “micro-sats,” operating in unison. Such a swarm of little satellites could act as one enormous telescope with a mirror as large as the entire constellation, just as arrays of Earthbound radio telescopes do. It could also last for a long time, because damage to one micro-sat wouldn't ruin the whole space telescope; the rest of the swarm could continue as if nothing had happened. And that's just one example of the cool things that micro-sats could do. Plus, micro-sats are simply smaller and lighter than normal satellites, so they're much cheaper to launch into space. In February, NASA plans to launch its first experimental micro-sat mission, called Space Technology 5. As part of the New Millennium Program, ST5 will test out the crucial technologies needed for micro-sats-such as miniature thrust and guidance systems-so that future missions can use those technologies dependably. Measuring only 53 centimeters (20 inches) across and weighing a mere 25 kilograms (55 pounds), each of the three micro-sats for ST5 resembles a small television in size and weight. Normal satellites can be as large and heavy as a school bus. “ST5 will also gather scientific data, helping scientists explore Earth's magnetic field and

Planets in Strange Places
By Trudy E. Bell Red star, blue star, big star, small star-planets may form around virtually any type or size of star throughout the universe, not just around mid-sized middle -aged yellow stars like the Sun. That's the surprising implication of two recent discoveries from the 0.85-meter-diameter Spitzer Space Telescope, which is exploring the universe from orbit at infrared (heat) wavelengths blocked by the Earth's atmosphere . At one extreme are two blazing, blue "hypergiant" stars 180,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the two companion galaxies to our Milky Way. The stars, called R 66 and R 126, are respectively 30 and 70 times the mass of the Sun, "about as massive as stars can get," said Joel Kastner, professor of imaging science at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. R 126 is so luminous that if it were placed 10 parsecs (32.6 light-years) away-a distance at which the Sun would be one of the dimmest stars visible in the sky-the hypergiant would be as bright as the full moon, "definitely a daytime object," Kastner remarked. Such hot stars have fierce solar winds, so Kastner and his team are mystified why any dust in the neighborhood hasn't long since been blown away. But there it is: an unmistakable spectral signature that both hypergiants are surrounded by mammoth disks of what might be planet-forming dust and even sand. At the other extreme is a tiny brown dwarf star called Cha 110913-773444, relatively nearby (500 light-years) in the Milky Way. One of the smallest brown dwarfs known, it has less than 1 percent the mass of the Sun. It's not even massive enough to kindle thermonuclear reactions for fusing hydrogen into helium. Yet this miniature "failed star," as brown dwarfs are often called, is also surrounded by a flat disk of dust that may eventually clump into planets. (Note: This brown dwarf discovery was made by a group led by Kevin Luhman of Pennsylvania State University.)

Although actual planets have not been detected (in part because of the stars' great distances), the spectra of the hypergiants show that their dust is composed of forsterite, olivine, aromatic hydrocarbons, and other geological substances found on Earth. These newfound disks represent "extremes of the environments in which planets might form," Kastner said. "Not what you'd expect if you think our solar system is the rule." Hypergiants and dwarfs? The Milky Way could be crowded with worlds circling every kind of star imaginable -very strange, indeed. Keep up with the latest findings from the Spitzer at . For kids, the Infrared Photo Album at The Space Pla ce ( html) introduces the electromagnetic spectrum and compares the appearance of common scenes in visible versus infrared light. This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

study the atmosphere if it's not there." Furthermore, a layer of snow on the ground ("probably a few centimeters deep," estimates Stern) could hide the underlying surface from New Horizon's remote sensors.

Snowstorm on Pluto
by Dr. Tony Phillips There's a nip in the air. Outside it's beginning to snow, the first fall of winter. A few delicate flakes tumble from the sky, innocently enough, but this is no mere flurry. Soon the air is choked with snow, falling so fast and hard it seems to pull the sky down with it. Indeed, that's what happens. Weeks later when the storm finally ends the entire atmosphere is gone. Every molecule of air on your planet has frozen and fallen to the ground. That was a snowstorm-on Pluto. Once every year on Pluto (1 Pluto-year = 248 Earth-years), around the beginning of winter, it gets so cold that the atmosphere freezes. Air on Pluto is made mainly of nitrogen with a smattering of methane and other compounds. When the temperature dips to about 32 K (-240 C), these molecules crystallize and the atmosphere comes down. "The collapse can happen quite suddenly," says Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute. "Snow begins to fall, the surface reflects more sunlight, forcing quicker cooling, accelerating the snowfall. It can all be over in a few weeks or months." Researchers believe this will happen sometime during the next 10 to 20 years. Pluto is receding from the warmth of the Sun, carried outward by its 25% elliptical orbit. Winter is coming. So is New Horizons. Stern is lead scientist for the robotic probe, which left Earth in January bound for Pluto. In 2015 New Horizons will become the first spacecraft to visit that distant planet. The question is, will it arrive before the snowstorm? "We hope so," says Stern. The spacecraft is bristling with instruments designed to study Pluto's atmosphere and surface. "But we can't

Stern isn't too concerned: "Pluto's atmosphere was discovered in 1988 when astronomers watched the planet pass in front of a distant stara stellar occultation." The star, instead of vanishing abruptly at Pluto's solid edge, faded slowly. Pluto was "fuzzy;" it had air. "Similar occultations observed since then (most recently in 2002) reveal no sign of [impending] collapse," says Stern. On the contrary, the atmosphere appears to be expanding, puffed up by lingering heat from Pluto's waning summer. Nevertheless, it's a good thing New Horizons is fast, hurtling toward Pluto at 30,000 mph. Winter… New Horizons... Only one can be first. The race is on. Find out more about the New Horizons mission at . Kids can learn amazing facts about Pluto at This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

2006 Forests of Maine Teacher' Tours
Join us on a 4-Day Tour of Maine's Forests & Mills Ÿ Learn about sustainable forestry, forest ecology, recreation, wildlife, wood products & more! Ÿ Meet with foresters, biologists, land owners and mill owners Ÿ Maine TREE Foundation provides everything from comfortable accommodations to answers for all your forest related questions Ÿ Trained facilitators present a PLT workshop on each tour - all PLT activities correlated with MSLR WHEN AND WHERE: Tour One - Little Lyford Pond Camps near Moosehead Lake - July 11 - 14 Tour Two - Twin Pine Camps on Millinocket Lake near Katahdin - July 18 - 21 Tour Three - Leen's Lodge on West Grand Lake in Downeast Maine - August 1 - 4 Graduate credits available on Tours One & Two. To register for two graduate credits on Tour One, contact Dr. Kuech "The Science of Maine Forests" EPB 530 University of Southern Maine To register for one graduate credit on Tour Two, contact Dr. William Livingston "Forest Biology Problems - Field Instruction" University of Maine, Orono 207 581-2990 2.8 CEU's are available for all tours. Teachers' Tour registration is $100. All other expenses (except course work and CEU's) will be covered by The Maine TREE Foundation. For further information contact: Martha Fenno at 207 621-9872 or Patricia Maloney, Coordinator Maine Project Learning Tree P.O.Box 344 Augusta, Maine 04332 207 626-7990

Study Maine Forests with your students!
Create a Forest Inventory Growth (FIG) plot with your students at a nearby forest with a forester partner. FIG training is offered to middle school and high school teachers. What: An interdisciplinary high school and middle school study plot – create a hands -on data collecting site. Log onto the interactive FIG website where students enter and compare data with other participating schools. Learn about the Standard Visualization System and longitudinal research at Holt Research Center, Arrowsic and how to apply this information to your curriculum.

Who Should Attend? Maine Middle and High School teachers and foresters interested in creating an authentic science project to study forest ecology with students using technology and links to other Maine sites through the FIG website. When: June 25, 26 and 27, 2006 Where: Camp Kieve, Nobleboro Cost: $50 registration fee plus $10 to cover CEU’s All teachers receive tools and resource materials to

set up FIG plots at their site. Ÿ Trained and experienced teachers, foresters and UMO professors lead the training sessions. Ÿ The Kennedy Learning Center at Kieve is wireless Ÿ The 2.5 day training and curriculum are fully aligned with the Maine Learning Results. Ÿ 2.7 CEU’s are available in addition to a certificate of completion!

Visit - the Project Learning Tree Page and FIG training for registration form. Send $50 and registration form to: Pat Maloney Maine Project Learning Tree PO Box 344 Augusta, Maine 04332 (207) 626-7990

Delivering Energy Education with Project Learning Tree and Maine Energy Education Program
Maine Project Learning Tree and the Maine Energy Education Program are happy to announce the following 6-hour preK-8 workshop: When: Monday, May 22 from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m. Registration begins at 8:30 Where: Pine Tree State Arboretum Viles Room 153 Hospital Street Augusta 04332 Workshop fee: $15 includes all materials except the E&S kits - available for $25 Facilitators: Peter Zack, MEEP Coordinator Stefany Gregoire, Environmental Educator, DEP Pat Maloney, Maine PLT Coordinator Bring your own lunch. Morning snacks provided. Call or write to sign up or if you have further questions: Pat Maloney, Coordinator Maine Project Learning Tree P. O. Box 344 Augusta, Maine 04332 626-7990 or Stefany Gregoire: 287-7027

Who Should Attend: All Educators and community leaders involved with Energy education What: PLT offers a guide plus a kit: A recently revised preK-8 Activity Guide includes over 15 Energy activities plus an Energy & Society Kit. MEEP offers experiential energy education programs for Maine students and teachers. Materials and activities offer participants a balance between the economic, environmental and social impacts of energy choices affecting our society.

Watch for you Maine Project Learning Tree Newsletter in Mailboxes next week!


2006 Summer Courses for Teachers at College of the Atlantic
Please visit our website to learn more about our distinctive summer two-week (4 credits) and one-week (2 credits) courses. July 9-22 (two-week courses offered) Field-Based Introduction to Geology Coastal Marine Ecology Examining the Evidence: Your Classroom as a Crime Lab Introduction to Astronomy Oceanography Woody Plants of Mount Desert Island

Elementary Teacher Leaders Wanted!
We are looking for elementary teachers to be part of a very exciting K-6 science initiative sponsored by National Semiconductor in partnership with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. We are looking for elementary teachers interested in leading their school through a 2 year program, focused on building linkages between science inquiry and language literacy. This is an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen your K-6 science program through high quality, research-based, engaging, and yes, fun! professional development. In addition to offering schools ongoing support for teachers, this initiative (LSILL - Linking Science Inquiry and Language Literacy) provides schools with materials for inquiry-based science, a wealth of resources, and a menu of professional development offerings for tailoring the program to fit your school’s specific science inquiry and language literacy interests. This is truly an opportunity not to be missed! For more information, please contact Lynn Farrin If you are not an elementary teacher but know of a strong elementary teacher leader, please pass this information along! Lynn C. Farrin Science Project Director Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance PO Box 5359 [219 Capitol Street - UPS, Fed Ex. Deliveries] Augusta, Maine 04332 207.287.3776


July 23-29 (one week courses offered) - Examining the Evidence: Your Classroom as a Crime Lab, Part II - Weather Forecasting: Intro to Meteorology and Operational Forecasting July 30-August 5 (one week course) - Climate Change: Causes and Consequences July 23-August 5 (two week courses offered) - Teaching from a Portable Planetarium - Field Ecology and Natural History - Intro to Herpetology - Intro to Whales, Porpoises and Seals Fees: Tuition per credit (Maine in-state) $200 (Out-of-state) $300 Room and board costs based on single or shared occupancy. For detailed information, course descriptions, syllabi and an application form, visit our website at or contact Jean Boddy at 800-597-9500 or

MIT Short Course: Relativity, Gravity, and Cosmology [8.06s]
Date: July 10-13, 2006 | Tuition: $1,950 | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 2.5 Cambridge, MA LINK: y.html Overview: Recent advances in gravitation theory and cosmology, combined with breakthroughs in observational astronomy, are transforming our understanding of space and time and our perspectives on the origin and future fate of the universe. This course is designed both for individuals who would like to learn the fundamentals of Einstein's theories of relativity and for those who are interested in the most recent advances in our understanding of the nature of black holes, other relativistic phenomena in our universe, and the formation and evolution of the universe itself. The course will cover a large number of topics, ranging from the experimental and theoretical underpinnings of the special and general theories of relativity to the birth, history, and future evolution of the universe. All subject matter will be presented on a level accessible to anyone familiar with algebra and Freshman-level physics. Do not be concerned about the request for professional credentials in the standard application form. This course is intended for interested laypersons with a Freshman level of understanding of algebra, not for professionals in relativity or cosmology. For information about other MIT short summer professional courses, visit . * Educator Scholarships: The MIT Professional Institute is pleased to announce that we will be offering up to 25 scholarships of $500 each to teachers or other educational professionals enrolling in the Relativity, Gravity, and Cosmology course. To be considered for a scholarship, you must first complete the online application form for this course. After you submit your application, send an email to stating your qualifications, your objectives for taking the course, and your reasons for requesting a scholarship.

Rainforest Workshops - Teachers & Students to the Amazon
Visit to learn about two exciting ways for teachers and environmental educators to travel to the Amazon Rainforest. 1. Sign-up for the 14th annual Educator's Amazon Rainforest Workshop on scheduled July 7-16, 2006. 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. 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 on June 15, June 25, or July 5, 2006, while giving your students and their families the benefits of educational travel to one of the most diverse environments in the world. Bring a group of 6 and travel with all of your expenses paid. Experience a 1/4 mile Rainforest canopy walkway, get involved in a village service project, and see how indigenous cultures use the forest for medicine, food, and shelter. Land cost for students & families is $1798, 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, Rainforest Workshops Fax: 301-585-4899 email: Phone: 800-669-6806 or 301-585-7027 Web site: HTTP://WWW.TRAVEL2LEARN.COM


Ecology Education for Maine Schools Using Maine Ecosystems as Outdoor Science Classrooms The Ferry Beach Ecology School in Saco, Maine is offering a variety of discounted ecology education programs to Maine Schools during the Memorial Day Week—May 30th through June 2nd—funded through a grant by the MortonKelly Charitable Trust. Below are listed the various programs we offer which can be taken separately or combined, for a further discount to give your students a comprehensive ecology experience. The FBES Field Study Day Program-- $5 per student (up to 100 students, 10 chaperones). Outdoor field study of two ecosystems at Ferry Beach-- Full Value is $12 per student. (*See below for list of possible Field Study lessons.) A copy of the FBES Field Guide, an Ecological Tour of Maine’s Coastal Ecosystem will be included for each classroom. The FBES Residential Field Study Program-$35 per student (up to 50 students, 4 chaperones). 2 Day Outdoor residential field study of three to five ecosystems at Ferry Beach including 3-4 onsite lessons at Ferry Beach. (*See below for list of possible Field Study lessons.) Overnight Room and Board for students, teachers, and chaperones (includes 3 meals, snacks and lodging)—and a copy of the FBES Field Guide, an Ecological Tour of Maine’s Coastal Ecosystems for each classroom *Field Study lessons availableThe ABCs of Ecology—An Introduction to Field Ecology Ÿ Sensory & Nature Awareness Ÿ Autumn, Winter, or Spring Ecology Ÿ Erosion Study at Camp Ellis Ÿ Forest & Freshwater Ÿ Coastal Watersheds at the Camp Ellis Salt Marsh Ÿ Beaches & Dunes Ÿ Climate, Weather & Geology Ÿ Tide Pools at the Biddeford Pools Tide Pools Ÿ Astronomy & Nature at Night (residential program only) Ÿ Organic Gardening


Connections— Sustainability & Community Ecology

Lesson are available, some by the season, some by teacher’s choice. Each one lasts 1.5-2 hours and is offered outdoors on the Saco Bay Coast. Please Note: Program and Prices are listed for Memorial Day Week 2006 only. Openings also available for School Year 2006-2007. Drew Dumsch Executive Director Ferry Beach Ecology School 8 Morris Avenue, Building One Saco, Maine 04072 ph: (207) 283-9951 Hummingbird Migration Map Check out this spring map of Hummingbirds and add your first observation of Ruby-throated migrants to the Maine list. Editors Note: We think we saw a hummingbird in Fayette on April 30th Very cool! for future years Deborah Avalone-King Maine DEP Air Bureau 17 SHS Augusta, ME 04333


Professional Development Resources :
Congratulations to Page Keeley, Frances Eberle, Lynn Farrin and Cheryl Rose of MMSA on the publications of their professional development books. Many of you piloted the formative student assessment probes for the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science written by Page, Frances and Lynn. Page’s other new book, written with Cheryl Rose, is Mathematics Curriculum Topic Study. This book contains 92 ready-to-use CTS guides arranged in seven categories that are aligned with NCTM content and process standards. Both books are available from MMSA and you can read the write-ups at the MMSA website:

Auction begins: 8 am April 24 Auction ends: 6 pm May 29 A few of the primary categories of solicited items for auction include: • Astronaut memorabilia • Celebrity memorabilia • Artwork • Jewelry • Airline tickets • Vacation Packages • Sports event tickets • Hotel stays • Consumer Electronics • Gift certificates • Miscellaneous merchandise Proceeds of the items listed from the Challenger Learning Center of Maine will go directly to your Maine learning center! All bidding and payment will be via credit card. cMarket will validate all credit cards before accepting bids. Challenger Learning Center will process the credit card payments following the closeout of the auction and prior to shipping the item to the successful bidder. For more Information, contact the Challenger Center at


Summer Program Dates and Cost
Junior Space Explorer
June 21-23 9-Noon
Includes Materials and Snack

Grades K-2


Space Explorers
(2 sessions available)

Grades 3-4 9-4:00 9-4:00 Grades 5-8


While at Space Explore Camp, participants will do a variety of hands-on science explorations, physical activities, and field trips designed to generate excitement for learning and exploration. Possible topics include:

July 10-14 July 24-27
Includes Materials and Snack

Advanced Explorers
(2 sessions available)


July 17-21 July 31 - Aug 4

9-4:00 M-Th 9-11:00 Fri 9-4:00 M-Th 9-11:00 Fri

Includes mini mission on last day and 2 “special” lunches

Rocket Launchers High Powered Rocketry
(Grade 6-7 must be returning campers)

Grades 6-10


Space communication Planetary community Microgravity Space art Planetariums Mission patches Flight (from kites to rockets) Rocketry

Moon craters Mars Rover Astronaut life Power of the sun Robotics Space vehicles High Powered

Aug 7-10


To Register, Complete the form below or register online at Questions? Call us at (207) 990-2900

Student’s Name Parent/Guardian Address

Grade next fall Phone Email Camp dates [ ] I would like to know about scholarships
limited scholarships available upon request


Mail with a nonrefundable $25 registration deposit to CLC of ME, 30 Venture Way., Bangor, ME 04401

Encounter Earth
This fall the Challenger Center has added a new mission scenario for Maine's students, entitled Encounter Earth. Since opening in March 2004, the Center has been running the mission scenario, Rendezvous with a Comet, geared primarily for middle school students. However, Challenger Center staff wanted to expand their audience to high school students, which is just what the Encounter Earth mission does. "What determines the appropriate grade level for a mission is largely how the mission objectives align with the state's learning standards. When we looked at the Encounter Earth mission and the grade 9 standards, it was a perfect match. We knew just which mission we needed to run next. The content is fantastic and we're really excited." explains Center Director, Annette Brickley. During the new mission, the students work on specialized teams as part of an Emergency Response

Squad (ERS-1 j. A low earth orbiting (LEO) satellite has malfunctioned and must be replaced. The elite ERS-1 group is composed of eight teams trained in satellite design and environmental survey. One half of the crew is stationed on a LEO 5pacelab and must work to construct a new satellite and redeploy it into orbit. While the Satellite team is constructing the new satellite, the remainder of the crew must collect and transmit data typically handled by the satellite. They must be aware of any environmental conditions that might pose a threat to Earth as they are the first line of detection and response.

The CLC 4 ME Club Comes to Maine
Blast off to orbit with us! If you are between the ages of nine and 17, you can be a part of the Challenger Learning Center of Maine's CLC 4 ME Club. The CLC 4 ME Club offers young people interested in space and science a chance to learn even more by being a part of a special group of space enthusiasts through member-only events and learning opportunities. The CLC 4 ME Club of Maine's own Challenger Learning Center gives the children of Maine first hand opportunities to experience the wonders of space and science. The benefits are out-of-this-world! The $35.00/year membership includes:

Discounts of $5 off admission to public missions 10% discount in the gift shop 10% discount off Space Explorer Camp Invitations to special member-only events 10% discount off the CLC birthday party program including 10% discount in the gift shop for birthday party attendees.

The membership package also comes with a membership card, NASA sticker, Challenger sticker, and a Mars Rover Model Cut-out! Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles!