Maranda Chung

A headshot of Maranda ChungMMSA Title: STEM Education Specialist – Science

Hometown: Brunswick, Maine

Education: B.A. in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College

When did you start working at MMSA? August 29, 2022

What projects are you currently working on? PLAY (Project Manager); Science Consulting (Communications Lead)

Something you’re proud of at MMSA: I’m proud of the ways we collaborate with Maine schools, organizations, and communities to engage students in high-quality STEM learning. We value the experiences and expertise of educators and see them as critical partners in this work.

What is your teaching/learning philosophy? I’m a firm believer in experiential learning. When we participate in hands-on experiences that are relevant and meaningful to our lives, we develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the world around us. Experiential learning engages not only our minds, but also our senses, emotions, interests, and identities. The lessons we learn with our head, heart, and hands last a lifetime.

What is your STEM passion area? Why? Science! As an educator, it has been especially rewarding to facilitate hands-on science in outdoor settings, from field journaling in the redwood forest to soil investigations in a school garden. These outdoor environments can activate students’ curiosity and enthusiasm in new ways. Beyond the constraints of the classroom, students are immersed in real-world phenomena – excited to make observations, ask questions, and investigate their surroundings.

What do you like most about your role at MMSA? I love building connections and collaborating with colleagues. Our staff team is supportive, passionate, and growth-minded, eager to stretch our thinking and learn from one another.

Favorite STEM-related memory. One memory that stands out is from my time as an outdoor educator in northern California. I was leading a group of 5th and 6th-grade students on a “beach day” to explore coastal ecosystems: sandy shores, salt marshes, and tidepools. Some of the children had never seen the ocean before; they were totally awe-struck. At the end of the day, as we were walking back to the bus, one of the students exclaimed, “Thank you for taking us on this fun adventure!” In that moment, I was filled with gratitude. I hope all students can experience science as a “fun adventure,” full of joy and wonder.

What did you do before you worked at MMSA? Before joining MMSA, I spent 11 years teaching and managing education programs in Maine and California. Most recently, I was the Associate Director of Admissions at Maine Coast Semester in Wiscasset, Maine. Previously, I worked as the Education Programs Manager at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport, Maine.

What do you like to do in your free time? Cooking, gardening, playing music, exploring Maine’s many parks and beaches, and spending time with family.

What memory from your childhood would you like to share that exemplifies why you do the STEM education related work that you do? I distinctly remember a 4th-grade unit about backyard birds. We learned how to identify common birds such as the Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, and Cedar Waxwing. We made bird feeders and spent time in the woods behind our school, hoping to catch a glimpse of species we hadn’t seen before. It was the first time I remember taking our studies beyond the classroom, and it was exhilarating!

Pronouns: she/her

Email: all emails are first initial last name at mmsa.org