Looking Back: Spring 2015 with Vital Signs


Happy Summer!

The sun is out and so is school! We thought we’d take advantage of this lovely day to look back on the spring 2015 field season!

Students and educators across the state took off to their nearby ecosystems and collected some great data!

Hot Topic! Invasive Aquatic Plants


The 4th of July is right around the corner kicking off another beautiful Maine summer. Each summer brings an influx of visitors to the state, reigniting the efforts of courtesy boat inspectors and lake monitors who are all on the look out for invasive aquatic plants. The common means of spreading these invasives is by bringing boats, trailers, fishing gear and other recreational items into this state.

Narraguagus Vital Communities Project


Guest Blog post Helen Sprague and from Narraguagus and Harrington Elementary School students. The original idea for this project was to somehow reach out to the community and get their help in monitoring the environment. At first we thought about a big spaghetti dinner that would include the high school and its feeding grammar schools, but that may have been thinking too big. So, we took it down a notch and had the schools work independently on their own ideas to reach out to the community.

Photo Contest Winners!


First off, a huge thank you to all of those who participated, and you should all pat yourselves on the back for doing such a wonderful job. Focusing on how you are conveying information through a photograph vs. just taking a photo makes a big difference in providing good visual evidence of your observation.

Getting Microscopic in Dedham


Guest blog post by Rhonda Tate My middle school students have been active young scientists this year both in the field and in the lab. I want to share two funny things that happened this winter that both lead back to microscopes... Not just any microscopes -- Foldscopes.

Hot Topic! Forest Pests


Sitting around a campfire on a warm summer night is a favorite activity of a lot of us in Maine. Especially if s’mores are involved! Hopefully that firewood you're burning is from a local source. It's actually illegal to bring firewood into the state of Maine and with good reason.

Spring Field Season Photo Contest

    Welcome to the Vital Signs Spring Season Photography Contest! We're excited to celebrate the skilled observers in the VS community this spring with a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and recognition on the VS website for the best photo in each of the following categories:

Spring - where art thou?

    Guest blog post by Rhonda Tate
    April is the month when my mind turns to green grass, rushing streams, and Vital Signs! While it may seem like Vital Signs investigations are a far off dream, my students and I will be headed out into the field to gather some of our ongoing data just next week.

NSTA Conference 2015


Hi all! Christine here. I had the opportunity to attend the NSTA national conference last month. I made some new friends, was introduced to new resources, and learned a lot about NGSS. I'm excited to bring that learning back and share with the community of Vital Signs educators. Here are a few of the highlights.

Field Trips


As warmer temperatures arrive classrooms start to plan their spring field work. You may be asking interesting scientific questions about field sites right on campus. Some of you may be thinking about exciting field sites across town. Maybe you are thinking of partnering with local land trusts?

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