MSSM Educators Camp 2013 - Another awesome week!

    It was my pleasure to spend another week in Limestone at MSSM's 2013 STEM Educators Collaborative. I had an amazing time co-teaching a VS course with Pat Parent and spending time with fun, inspiring, and engaged STEM educators. I can't wait until next year. For now, here's a little bit about what we did.

The VS course started off with a little bit about VS including sharing some stories of great things happening in classrooms. We also learned about invasive species and started practicing our fieldwork skills at skills stations. We tee'd up our mission and research question which was around the question of knotweed in southern vs. northern Maine. Check out the CACE blog post or the knotweed jigsaw for more background on that.


The next day we headed into the field. The heavy rain and thunder showers cleared up just in time! We visited 2 sites with possible knotweed infestations. One ended up being giant knotweed! We visited a 3rd site, Trafton Lake, to look for purple loostestrife. We wanted to help Pat and his students with their mission to monitor loosestrife and look for Galerucella. You can check out our observations on the Explore Data page.

For the final days of our course we uploaded data, analyzed our data (conclusion? we need more data in The County!), explored the website, played games, and started to make classroom plans. The group of teachers was awesome, and we had a really fun and productive time.


In addition to the VS class, Pat and I took the SeaPerch class where we built underwater ROV's!

Other camp highlights include a great key note by Freeman Hrabowski III, a trip to Long Lake to test a SeaPerch, laser tag, watching the flight class fly their model planes, a giant slip'n slide, and seeing Saturn through a telescope at the Francis Malcolm Science Center.


Thank you to the anonymous donor who made the camp possible. Thanks to the participants in the VS course for being curious, enthusiastic, and fun. And a great big thanks to Pat Parent for leading the Vital Signs charge.


I also wanted to mention that I kept running notes of the week, including my fieldwork notes, in Evernote. It was a really handy and user friendly tool and it was easy to use my photos from my iPad in this blog post after pulling them from the Evernote webpage.

Could be a cool tool to use with students for collecting fieldwork notes in the field on their iPads. If you try it out, let us know.