Blogs

Fieldwork Management Strategies and Teacher Tips

Veteran Vital Signs teacher, Kellie Oullette shares her strategies for maximizing learning during fieldwork in a recent email conversation:

Q: How do you find enough time get out into the field in one class period?

I can get students to do their field work in one class period after they've been through the process once. They need to truly understand what their responsibilities are in the field, which some of them don't totally "get" until they've done it once and realized that they were lacking detail/information.

BOLO for Brown marmorated stink bug

News Release from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry:
AUGUSTA – Entomologists at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) are seeking public assistance locating the brown marmorated sting bug (BMSB). Recent posts to the DACF’s Maine Bug Watch Facebook page have state officials interested in the prevalence of the BMSB in Maine. The bug is a major agricultural pest in other states and has caused severe economic damage to a number of crops in the mid-Atlantic states.

Regional Middle School Teacher Communities with Vital Signs

The Vital Signs Team is working with middle school educators from across the state who are excited about bringing more authentic science investigations into their classrooms. These regional teacher communities (RTCs) are focused on building community in rural teacher communities, enhancing teacher practice, and increasing student interest and success in science.

Browntail Moth Boom

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According to the Maine Forest Service, this is one of the "worst major, widespread outbreaks in over one hundred years." Read this article for the full story on the browntail moth in the northeast - http://www.northeastipm.org/about-us/publications/ipm-insights/browntail...

2017 Vital Signs Freshwater Investigation Mini-Grant

We rely on our ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams for drinking water, recreation, and economic opportunities. With 5,700 water bodies and countless waterways, Maine’s freshwater resource managers need Maine students to be citizen scientists in their local freshwater ecosystems, and to help raise awareness in their communities. Freshwater investigations can be challenging - special equipment may be required and field sites may not be accessible from the school campus.

Vital Signs goes Downeast

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On Friday April 28th, at the University of Maine in Machias, 12 classroom educators, 1 employee from the Department of Marine Resources, and 1 educator from the Downeast Institute, joined together for the Washington County STEM Improvement Institute with Vital Signs; a full day of work around dealing with data in the context of an authentic investigation. Teachers represented grades 5-12 and the towns of Machias, Perry, Pembroke, Harrington, Jonesport, and Beals.

Hot Topic! New England Cottontail

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Many of you may be familiar with the New England Cottontail from a past Hot Topic! we posted here a little over a year ago now. Didn't see that post? Check it out HERE.

Fall 2016 Field Season

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On this snowy day in February, we thought it would be a great chance to reflect on the amazing Fall 2016 field season that the Vital Signs Community had. This was an exciting fall, with new community members from all across the state and into NH participating and gathering data!

Deer Isle Students Reopen School Nature Trail

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Guest blog post by: Mickie Flores, Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School

The seventh and eighth graders at Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School took science out of the classroom this Fall, collecting and analyzing data on the school's old nature trail, and now the students are ready to reopen the trail to the public this upcoming spring. Everyone has been hard at work identifying native species and learning about the relationships between the living and nonliving components of the site as they cleared the trail, which now extends from the elementary school playground toward the high school.

Portland student working on an invasive species cookbook

Have you ever wondered what you can do with invasive species? One high school student, Oliver Curtis, started a project with the Telling Room (a non-profit writing center in Portland, ME) that will end in him publishing a book, an invasive species cookbook!

Read more about this story HERE.

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