Your help could further MMSA’s vision of a brighter STEM future for the State of Maine and the nation. Today, I ask you to support MMSA and become a part of the movement to support exciting new ways for our youth to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.
There is one undeniable fact, educators are some of the best problem solvers on this Earth. Over the past few weeks, you have each been faced with challenging scenarios that none of us could have dreamed about a month or two ago. All of us here at MMSA want to say THANK YOU for your commitment to the youth you serve as you dive into uncharted territories supporting learning in these tumultuous times.
MMSA is here for you – in whatever capacity. Please reach out. One of MMSA’s greatest strengths is bringing people together. We strive to find disparate efforts advancing STEM education and access across the nation and bring those ideas together to generate a united front that none of our organizations could accomplish on their own. Our country and the world is grappling with how we respond to the emerging pandemic of coronavirus/COVID-19 and as STEM educators our response must be data-informed, creative, and deliberate. MMSA is thinking intently about how we maintain and perhaps even increase the level of collaboration and professional learning opportunities in this new paradigm of social distancing.
As of Monday, March 16th, MMSA has transitioned to 100% work from home. All of our staff members are available to support you throughout the coming weeks and months, as always. Our grant programming is continuing on – but we will be re-evaluating how to leverage the grants we have been awarded to be as responsive as possible to the needs of the educators we partner with. All of our programming will be transitioning to virtual interactive professional learning rooted in research-based best practices of how educators learn best in virtual settings. Again, please let us know how we can support you and your colleagues in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Thankfully, MMSA has worked hard to design a hybrid virtual and in-person workplace and programmatic culture over the last few years. Since we serve rural educators in Maine and across the country, reaching more than 35 states, we have been forced to be creative in designing innovative models to support and meet the needs of rural educators through interactive virtual learning – even before COVID-19 emerged. We have learned how to build community online, how to incorporate hands on activities, and how to use facilitation strategies that build on the functions of virtual learning environments. Please read this “Afterschool Matters” article written by MMSA staff to learn more about what we have discovered about offering high quality, impactful virtual professional learning.
Any project that you are currently participating in with MMSA will be reaching out to you to check up on how you are doing, to identify what we can all do to move forward the work you have been engaged in, and to discuss any additional supports you may need at this time. All MMSA staff are just as available to you (perhaps more so) as we have ever been. Don’t be a stranger and let us know how we can help support you, your students, and your school.
Please reach out to MMSA as everyone strives to build community, stay connected, and ensure that we ALL keep on learning!