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.
What it is: The Community-Based Environmental Learning Census is dedicated to taking the first steps toward building the capacity and networks for community-based environmental education fields in the state of Maine. A census to determine who, where, and how K-12 youth are engaging in this type of learning is happening right now and a report will be available in Spring 2019.
If you are a school administrator, teacher, non-profit executive director or education director, informal educator, or otherwise work with K-12 youth, please click the link above to take the survey.
Survey participants will be entered into a raffle to win great prizes including:
- L.L. Bean gift certificates
- Registration to the 2019 Maine Environmental Education Association conference
- MMSA Professional Development courses
We are interested in learning how schools and organizations (including nonprofits, afterschool programs, land trusts, libraries, etc.) across Maine are educating K-12 youth about the environment while also connecting them to their communities. These learning experiences do not have to necessarily take place outdoors, but they do need to connect to locally relevant content. There are many terms for this type of learning including “Nature-Based Education,” “Environmental Education,” “Place-Based Education,” and many others. We want to hear about all of the work being done in Maine that may fall into these categories.
Why we need it: The state of Maine has a wealth of community-based environmental education initiatives. Unfortunately, many of these initiatives work in isolation from other similar initiatives and the impacts of the educational experiences are not measured or understood. Consequently, there are no overarching learning goals that this community is working towards in unison.
Goals: This census will regularly gather information from the field to:
- Determine professional development needs
- Examine current and anticipated challenges that these initiatives face
- Identify regions and populations that are not being served equitably
- Identify weaknesses in how this type of education is being delivered
- Identify high quality educational experiences that could serve as exemplars for others
Examples of what Community-Based Environmental Learning is:
- Making observations and/or gathering and interpreting data about natural phenomena outside of the classroom
- School gardens connected to math, science, or other learning outcomes
- Developing a better understanding of an environmental issue – such as water quality or air pollution – and then generating ideas for how to create change locally
Examples of what it is not:
- Walking on nature trails for physical activity without any additional learning outcomes
- Units on the rainforest or other topics not connected to local community ecosystems
We have recruited an advisory board of leaders in the field of environmental education in Maine to help us accomplish these goals. For more information or if you would like to be a part of this project, please contact MMSA Research Associate Alex Brasili, firstname.lastname@example.org