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The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (The Maine RiSE Center) provides an integrated approach to University-based research and professional development in science and mathematics education. The Center is a joint effort of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Development and College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.  The activities of the Center bring together faculty from the science and mathematics disciplines with faculty from education.  With this combination of resources, the Center is reevaluating and reforming introductory level science and mathematics  courses, establishing new practices for K-12 science teacher preparation, and building infrastructure with teachers, schools, and administrators through out the state.

Activities undertaken by the Center are targeted to create attractive, content-rich teacher preparation and continuing education options for mathematics and science teachers. The Center is working to develop well-qualified science and mathematics teachers for grades K-12 and to spearhead the development of coherent, developmentally appropriate curricula for mathematics and science.

You can find us by accessing the Map to the RiSE Ctr.


Director: Susan McKay, 207-581-4678
Administrative Specialist:
Leisa Preble, 207-581-4672


A partnership bringing together over 45 rural Maine schools, the University of Maine, three Maine non-profits with expertise in science education, and science and technology leaders at the Maine Department of Education to target the teaching and learning of physical sciences in grades 6-9 and the preparation of science teachers at the University of Maine.  To find out more about this partnership, click on the link above.

Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership logoMAINE ELEMENTARY SCIENCES PARTNERSHIP
The Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership (MaineESP) is an exciting expansion project of the MainePSP. Supported for three years by a $1.7M grant from the Maine Department of Education’s Math Science Partnership Program, the MaineESP seeks to create an infrastructure to strengthen rural science education in grades PK-5. To find out more about this partnership, click on the link above.

Job Opportunities
All professional positions are filled at this time. Post doctoral positions are still available. Please click on the “Open Positions” link on the right.


Justin Lewin - Commencement Speaker, Graduation 2014

Justin Lewin – Commencement Speaker, Graduation 2014


Commencement Speaker 2014 – Justin D. Lewin
Justin D. Lewin of Castle Hill, Maine, majored in biology. He also began graduate work toward a Master of Science in Teaching in January. His numerous academic honors include an Armed Forces Communication & Electronics Association STEM Teachers for America’s Future Scholarship and Maine PSP Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant Fellowship, both in 2012, and a UMaine Center for Undergraduate Research Fellowship in spring 2013. For more about Justin, please click on the above link.

2013 SBE Video Contest Winner – Zachary Batz – Share the Excitement: Inquiry based Intro Labs
One of the SBE Video Contest Winners for 2014 is our own Zachary Batz. To view his video, click on the link (above) and click on the video by Zach Batz.

2014 Fellows by the American Chemical Society (ACS) named
Mitchell Bruce
, an associate professor of chemistry (and member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education), was named a 2014 fellow by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Bruce is one of 99 scientists recognized by the society for demonstrating outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and making important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society. The 2014 fellows represent a range of disciplines and geographic locations, from 30 of the society’s technical divisions, 57 local sections and 23 national committees. This year’s class will be recognized Aug. 11 at the society’s 248th national meeting in San Francisco. A full news release with a complete list of this year’s fellows is online.

EqualityMaine Out Front Volunteer Leadership Awardee
The EqualityMaine Awards 30th Anniversary Celebration Banquet was held in Portland on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Our Elementary Science Partnership Project Coordinator, Travis Hall, won the “Out Front Volunteer Leadership Award”. To read more about Travis, please click on the link above. Way to go, Travis!!

Duke Alum Michael Wittmann Specializes in Physics Education Research
     Like many physicists, Michael Wittmann (’93) was drawn to the subject because it’s a way of understanding how the world works. But Wittmann is also interested in understanding how teaching and learning work. “I come from a line of teachers and physicists and engineers,” he says. “So I grew up with dinner table conversation about both of those topics.”
To satisfy both of his interests, Wittmann specializes in physics education research (PER) at the University of Maine, where he was recently promoted to full professor. He is a member of the research group at the Physics Education Research Laboratory there, as well as the Center for Research in STEM Education, which he co-founded in 2001. He also co-chairs the biennial Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research conference in Bar Harbor, Maine.
To Wittmann, there’s a little bit of physicist in everyone—or there ought to be. “It irritates me when I’m at a party and someone says, ‘What do you do?’ and I say, ‘I’m a physicist,’ and their response is, ‘Oooh, that’s hard.’ They are forgetting that they are scientists by nature—they have questions about the world, and we can answer them. As a teaching community, we’re missing the boat if people have that reaction.”
For more information, please click here.

Smith Leads a Science Transformation
     A University of Maine researcher is participating in five projects aimed at improving nationwide science instruction and assessments.
Michelle Smith, assistant professor in UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology, is the principal investigator on four projects and co-principal investigator on another granted $6.8 million in total funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF); UMaine’s portion is $1,012,269.
The projects, three of which are collaborative with other universities, involve UMaine administrators, faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students, undergraduates and area K-12 teachers. “All of these stakeholders … will contribute to national initiatives to improve science education,” says Smith, a member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education (Maine RiSE Center).
For more information, please click here.

Promotions, Promotions!
If you see them around, please congratulate Michael Wittmann on his promotion to Full Professor, and Natasha Speer on her promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure. We are so proud of them!!

Poster Presentation at the PhysTEC Conference Summarizing Current Work of the Partnership



Kendra Michaud
Thesis Advisor:
Daniel Capps

Measuring Student Experience at Informal Science Education Centers

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
2:00-3:00 pm
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium
(165 Barrows Hall)


2014 Jackson Laboratory Teaching Sabbaticals – Done for this semester
Read about one teacher’s sabbatical experience in “Spirit of discovery”!


Maine RiSE Center Colloquia & Seminar Series: Done for Spring Semester. Look for us in the fall!
3:00-4:00 pm, First Monday of the month
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, 165 Barrows Hall (unless otherwise indicated)


Upcoming Thesis Defenses:

Kendra Michaud
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 2:00-3:00 pm
Hill Auditorium
“Measuring Student Experience at Informal Science Education Centers”


Con”GRAD”ulations, 2014!!!

 Congratulations to the following MST Students who will be graduating on Saturday, May 10!

Zachary Batz – Mathematics (August)

Daniel Bragdon – Mathematics

Shahram Firouzian – Mathematics (August)

Kalee (Gurschick) Gwarjanski – Generalist

Jon Janelle – Mathematics



Pi Pi Baby

The Resource Coordinator and the Owl Rescue

Maine PSP Indoor Soccer Team – 2011-2012

Team RiSE 2012 Winter Schedule

Directions to Fields:


The Center was created by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Education, Award Number R125K010106.



Past Center News