Vital Signs goes Downeast


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.

The focus of this institute was move teachers through the investigation process; providing context and purpose to an investigation, developing field work and sampling methodology skills, collecting and posting data, peer review, and data analysis. Teachers experienced how students would go through each activity. We highlighted activities that allowed for students to collect data and have productive conversations about the data at multiple points in an investigation. Working with data is a hurdle for many classrooms. Whether it is time or comfort with the content, we have found that many educators want more supports around how to get students really understanding and talking about data.

This institute was truly an energizing experience for all involved. The group was engaged throughout the day and all left feeling energized. Here are some quotes from teachers from our post-survey that they took within two weeks of the experience:

    “LOVED this workshop! I've already used skill stations in my classroom & next step is field work!”

    “Had a very good day and appreciated everything.”

    “...Our 5th-6th grade team is so excited to implement a research project with our students!”

    “Thank you for your time and for coming to Downeast Maine. I look forward to working with you more and helping my students along this journey of collecting data and analyzing it!”

Interested in more professional development opportunities with Vital Signs? Look HERE!