MMSA's March 2022 Newsletter

Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities

Advocacy Matters
Did you know that one key component of our work at MMSA is to leverage the findings of research to inform and educate policy makers? Today I am happy to share news on two advocacy fronts that the MMSA team has been focusing on.  

First, Maine’s Climate Change Education legislative initiative, LD 1902 a “Resolve to Establish a Pilot Program to Encourage Climate Change Education in Maine Public Schools” is a powerful rallying call for STEM educators across the state. Increasing access to Climate Change Education professional development for educators was one of the key findings of the 1st Community-based Environmental Learning Census that MMSA completed in 2019.

This exciting initiative will fund climate education professional development for teachers as well as partnerships between schools and community organizations. This strengthens the opportunities for place-based STEM education and community partnerships that make a true difference in students’ lives. To learn more about LD1902 and the actions you can take now to support this legislation, read my testimony to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and check out our partner NBEC’s climate education policy webpage.

Second, I am very excited to share a “hot off the presses” collaborative policy recommendation created by MMSA, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Science is US. These recommendations are intended to help bolster the state’s STEM education and workforce, as well as encourage policymakers to reprioritize science and engineering. The policies complement and support the Maine Economic Development Strategy and its focus on talent and innovation as a pathway to the state’s economic development and growth. Check out the full report and recommendations here

As always, please reach out to learn more. 

With gratitude,
Ruth Kermish-Allen
Executive Director
4th-grade Teachers: Implement a Brand New Earth Science Unit with PeBLES2

PeBLES2 (Place-Based Learning for Elementary Science at Scale), a project of MMSA and BSCS & funded by the National Science Foundation, would like to invite 4th-grade teachers from across the country to join us in testing a brand new earth science unit (~6 weeks in length), designed for teachers to localize to their classroom. 

Participating teachers will receive:

  • curriculum materials
  • professional learning in a cohort of teachers from across the country
  • a generous stipend to work deeply with us for two years

Please complete this application and submit any questions to Rhonda Tate, PeBLES2 Project Manager, Priority deadline: April 1, 2022

Find out more
Teach ME Outside Presents at Upcoming Maine Environmental Education Association Conference

Teach ME Outside will be presenting two workshops at the upcoming Maine Environmental Education Association Conference on April 7. These workshops will be used to share updated resources and professional learning activities to help ensure all Maine youth have access to powerful, hands-on environmental learning opportunities. We will also highlight our community-informed process for conducting the next Census of Community-Based Environmental and Outdoor Learning in Maine.

The 2022 Census is a follow up to the 2019 groundbreaking statewide census, which established baseline data about environmental learning in Maine. In the last three years, data from the 2019 Census have been used to: 
  • garner more funding for Maine youth programming;
  • provide targeted professional development and other supports for Maine educators and practitioners; 
  • and impact local and regional decision making on the direction of outdoor and environmental learning in Maine.
Register for the MEEA Conference and learn more about Teach ME Outside and other exciting initiatives happening across Maine! Read on...
Register for the conference
Teams Competed in the Destination Imagination Maine State Tournament

This year, the Reach Project at MMSA held the Destination Imagination Maine State Tournament for the first time. Destination Imagination (DI) is a creative, team-focused STEAM competition for K-12 and university students.

Each year teams choose between seven different Team Challenges, and spend months working together to design, build, and create solutions that they present to appraisers in eight-minute performances. 

The 2022 Maine State Tournament was held at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast on March 12. Dedicated volunteers gathered from all across the state to give students the chance to compete in person for the first time since 2019. Learn more...

Check out the tournament
Welcome to New Staff Members at MMSA
Heather Neal
Heather Neal
MMSA Title:
 Finance Director
Something you’re proud of at MMSA: To help support teachers and give students around the world access to a well rounded education.
Lisa Kenyon
Nate Vlahakis
MMSA Title:
 STEM Education Specialist - Computer Science
What is your STEM passion area: Computer Science. Creating something that could potentially reach thousands of people is an amazing feeling.
MMSA provides support and resources to educators across Maine, the country and beyond.   Consider supporting this work by becoming a contributor.  Visit to learn more.
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Physical Address: 343 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330
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