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Partnerships Propel MMSA, STEM Education Forward

A photo of MMSA staff and educators at the Workforce Ready 2030 mid-year gathering in 2024.

The heart and soul of MMSA is our partnerships—partnerships with educators and youth, partnerships with higher education and nonprofits, partnerships with governmental agencies, and partnerships with STEM professionals and corporations. Our programming would be hollow and formulaic without the strong prioritization of robust and meaningful partnerships.

Research and Professional Development

Our research and professional development at MMSA work in a reciprocal way. For example, the recently released Community-Based Outdoor and Environmental Learning Census provides data-backed insights into how students learn about the natural world. In turn, this research enables decision-makers and educators to improve program design and practices that take learning beyond the classroom walls. In this follow-up report to the 2019 Census, data was captured from more than 900 individuals from all 16 counties. The Census and case study reports were organized by Teach ME Outside, a collaborative project between Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA), Maine Environmental Education Association, and the Nature Based Education Consortium.

Research-to-Practice Partnerships

Research-to-Practice Partnerships (RPPs) are a particular framework that has become a foundation to many research projects at MMSA. In RPPs the core tenet and belief is that educators should be the leaders and drivers of how and why research is done and educators craft research to support the needs, challenges, and questions that they see as important to their craft. Currently, the MMSA project STEM Workforce Ready 2030 is accepting applicants for this kind of partnership, which provides a way for educators, administrators, and MMSA facilitators to learn from one another and work toward shared goals. Together, they are drafting CS integration curriculums, working on dissemination strategies, creating opportunities to research, co-author papers, and develop facilitation skills, as well as creating CS integration best practices.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice

All of us here at MMSA are constantly listening to our partners to understand what the needs of the STEM education community are. As a dynamic organization, we strive to respond as quickly as possible and work to utilize what resources we already have access to generate the greatest impact possible. MMSA is constantly evolving as we grow with our partners. One of those areas of growth is in a focus on strategies for broadening participation in STEM for all. Inequality and bias are ever present, especially in STEM fields; MMSA is committed to continue working every day toward better embodying the values expressed in our equity statement.

Creating and sustaining partnerships will continue to form the core of MMSA’s work into the future. We look forward to building partnerships with you and your organizations to generate outcomes and impact that we could not have done alone—imagine what we can accomplish together!

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