Fall 2012 - A long and talkative season!

    After last spring, we didn’t think any new records could be set. You all proved us wrong! This was the longest and most talkative fall field season yet with 1315 comments made and the latest observation published on December 12. A total of 584 species observations were published, including the first Vital Signs sightings of Heterosiphonia japonica, winter moth, and European oyster.

Designing WITH Teachers update


    We want to share with you the full video recording that provides an overview of the Designing with Teachers publication that the Annenberg Innovation Lab released in October. You can download the publication and see additional resources HERE.

VS and the Framework

    Last week at the Maine Science Teachers Association (MSTA) annual conference Rhonda Tate of Dedham School and I got to share Vital Signs with a group of interested teachers from around the state. One of the big topics at MSTA this year was the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I was excited to show these teachers some of connections between Vital Signs and the science practices outlined in the Framework. Here’s some of what I shared.

Vital Signs is mobile!!

    Breaking news! Check it out.

Breaking News! EAB in MA

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been creeping east. This July the invasive insect was found in Connecticut, and just this morning Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation announced that it was found in Dalton (near the NY border). Keep your eyes peeled for EAB and cerceris (the native wasp that will help us detect it).

Participants rock the ID cards

    Have you seen the VS species ID cards library lately? For years we had been dreaming of the day when all of our ID card photos and content would be generated by VS participants. We took a first big leap towards that big dream this summer.

September events on invasive species

Two upcoming informational events on invasive species:
Important Invasive Pests of the United States (and available treatments) - Sept. 14
Farmington Invasive Plant ID workshop - Sept. 25

Interested? Additional details below.

Building assessment tools together

    Want to know more about what students are learning through their Vital Signs investigations? So do we!

8 experienced Vital Signs teachers, 3 researchers from Stanford University, 1 researcher from University of Maine, and 4 GMRI staff spent August 14 and 15 together and made big strides towards building tools that will help us start to figure that out this fall.

Eyes on the Water - Building a database!

    This summer the Lovell Invasive Plant Prevention Committee (LIPPC) and Kezar Lake Watershed Association (KLWA) have been rallying the community around getting to know the native freshwater plants in their watershed.

MSSM STEM Collaborative Camp Part 2 – Collaborating is Fun!

    July 22-28th was one of the most fun weeks of my adult life. I spent it collaborating and networking (discussing, building, creating, and playing) with science, math, and technology educators! I watched amazing rockets launch into the air. I helped build dive-bombing kites. I played laser tag and tried to save the world from pandemics (just a board game, don’t worry).
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