Skip Navigation

2008 - 2008 Summer Academy Workshop Descriptions

2008 Summer Academy Workshop Descriptions

“Integrating Science and Mathematics Education Research into Teaching:
Resources and Tools for Improved Learning”

June 25 to 27, 2008 • University of Maine • Orono, Maine

*The 2008 conference and Summer Academy was supported by an award from the National Science Foundation Discovery Research K-12 Program under Grant No. DRL 0736967 and the Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative, which is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EPS-0554545 and, in partnership with The Jackson Laboratory, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Bank of America Company, trustee of the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation.

Additional support provided by Acadia Partners for Science and Learning, with funding through a Maine Department of Education Math and Science Partnership Grant, the Challenger Learning Center of Maine, with support from the NASA New Investigator Program, the University of Maine NSF ITEST Project: IDEAS Inquiry-based Dynamic Earth Applications of Supercomputing, DRL 0737583, and the National Science Foundation with funding to Dr. Paul Rawson, (Grant No. IBN0133349).

University of Maine Center for Science and Mathematics Education Research

Please note: For updated information, please see

Classroom Inquiry into Climate Using Computer Models and Linked Laptops
We will spend two days developing inquiry exercises for students to investigate Earth’s climate system using the University of Maine ice sheet model, Net Logo, and technology that allows laptops to be linked to visualize large high-resolution images in the classroom. This academy is a continuation of an ongoing series of workshops for middle school teachers, Inquiry Based Dynamics of Earth Applications of Supercomputing (IDEAS), however, up to 11 additional teachers are welcome to participate for these 2 days.

Limit: 22 teachers
Target audience: Grades 6 – 9 teachers

  • Peter Koons, Professor of Geological Sciences,
  • Molly Schauffler, Assistant Professor (adjuct), Climate Change Institute,
  • Bruce Segee, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
  • Yifeng Zhu, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maine

Location: University of Maine, Orono

Understanding Climate Change
Goals: Among the most frequent topics appearing in the press during the past decade are “global warming” and “greenhouse effect”. The ongoing research on our planet’s climate is of such importance that whenever a new discovery is made, a new theory proposed, or a new model developed, a story about it is carried in major newspapers. What do we and don’t we understand? Can we catch the attention of our students and help them make a difference in their own future?
Content: Participants will hear first-hand from professors about their ongoing climate-related research. Open discussions with these researchers will allow teachers to expand and probe their own understandings of climate change and the earth systems behind it. Each content presentation will be followed by inquiry-based learning activities/resources designed to help make the transfer of content back to the classroom. Some time will be spent discussing how to answer student questions about recently released entertainment media on the topic of climate. Teachers will work to create their own curriculum plan relating the earth systems and climate change.

Limit: 10 teachers (preference given to middle school and Maine teachers based on funding source).
Target audience: Middle school teachers


  • Annette Brickley, Professional Development Director, Challenger Learning Center of Maine
  • Deirdre Byrne, Research Assistant Professor, School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine

Location: University of Maine, Orono

Aquaculture Workshop: Domestication of Aquatic Organisms
This workshop is designed to provide middle and high school level educators with background information and a conceptual framework for using aquaculture as a hands-on tool for teaching science. The workshop will include topics such as, 1) working with small scale aquaculture systems (aquariums) for classroom based demonstrations of basic aquariology, water chemistry, filtration (biological, chemical, mechanical), the aquatic food web, and the biology of different types of aquatic organisms, 2) gaining experience with the tools and techniques for monitoring an aquaculture system, 3) learning about and developing links to aquaculture research programs at the University of Maine and elsewhere in the state. To boost production, the aquaculture industry has turned to both traditional applied breeding programs and the use of biotechnology. In recent years, however, a tremendous amount of controversy has arisen over the production and marketing of “genetically modified organisms” (GMOs). Yet, what constitutes a genetically modified organism is not always clear or easily defined. This institute will 1) introduce teachers to basic genetic concepts that historically have formed the cornerstone of genetic improvement programs and which are used in aquaculture research programs at the University of Maine, 2) help educators gain experience in using computer software for classroom demonstration of these principles, and 3) establish links that will allow teachers and their students to work “in-silico” with aquaculture and applied breeding programs research programs at the University of Maine.

Limit: 10 teachers
Target audience: middle and high school level educators

  • Dr. Paul Rawson, Associate Professor, School of Marine Sciences,
  • Neil Greenberg, Aquaculture Research Complex, University of Maine.

Location: Aquaculture Research Complex with overnight field trip (with accommodations, meals and travel covered by the program) at the Darling Marine Center, Walpole, Maine

Explorations in Classical Geometry
This workshop examines a small selection of Euclidean geometry topics. We will focus on axiomatic systems; geometric transformations (including isometries and similarity transformations); polygons and circles; constructions; and symmetry groups. While the material may be sophisticated, the intent is for each participant to bolster her or his grasp of a few large, underlying concepts that have potential connections to high school geometry. These connections may be either explicit or implicit. Dynamic geometry software such as Geometer’s Sketchpad will be used where appropriate.

Limit: 15 teachers
Target Audience: High school mathematics teachers (focus on geometry, but all welcome)
Instructor: Eric Pandiscio, Associate Professor, Mathematics Education, University of Maine.
Location: University of Maine, Orono

Building Inquiry-based, Student-driven Research into Science and Mathematics Programs
The natural systems and cultural resources of Acadia National Park are the focus of a wide variety of research studies. Middle school and high school science and math teachers can tie into these studies as they seek to encourage and model use of inquiry for students. In this 3 day academy program (we will wrap up at Saturday at noon), which will take place at the Schoodic Education and Research Center in Acadia National Park, participants will work directly with research scientists to explore problems and questions that students can investigate in natural areas around their schools. The academy will build around a field experience investigating intertidal systems surrounding the Schoodic campus in the park. (Participants should bring boots or other gear for working in intertidal zones.) Building on this field work, participants will get practice in formulating hypotheses and proposing research designs–skills that are important for teachers who want to engage students in hands-on scientific investigations.
The program will cover food, lodging, and transportation expenses for teachers participating in this academy. The work builds on the experiences and lessons learned during the 2007-08 school year as Acadia Partners for Science and Learning has worked with teachers in a number of schools to develop research projects that engage students in inquiry-based learning. Participants will gain insight into “lessons learned” from this collaboration of scientists and teachers. This ongoing project is seeking to expand to work with more teachers who want to improve inquiry-based instruction skills; the academy will be an excellent place to become more familiar with the project.

Limit: 15 teachers
Target Audience: teachers interested in field work, hands-on science, and engaging students with data
Instructors: Bill Zoellick, Program Development Director, Acadia Partners for Science and Learning, assisted by teachers and scientists who have been part of the program.
Location: Schoodic Education and Research Center campus in Acadia National Park

Web Based Resources to Assist in Calculus Instruction
We will explore a number of different online resources that are available for calculus instruction. These include animations that illustrate important concepts, graphing- calculator emulation programs, and other programs—from function graphers to computer algebra systems for computing derivatives and integrals—that assist in exploring calculus topics. The workshop will address a number of important topics in calculus via a set of activities designed to employ the online resources.

Limit: 16 teachers
Target audience: The content is primarily at the calculus level, but middle school and high school mathematics teachers are welcome.
Instructor: Bob Franzosa, Professor of Mathematics, University of Maine
Location: University of Maine, Orono

Mathematics with Technology
This workshop will provide the opportunity for teachers to engage with mathematics technology resources that support teaching and learning. Interactive web-based applets and GeoGebra, an open source, multi-platform application will be explored. Each session includes instructor-facilitated hands-on time. Guided collaborative activities will model purposeful integration of the technology. Instructional strategies will support concept development for all learners and meet teaching and learning standards for mathematics and technology.
Outcome: Participants will adapt technology resources for classroom use in content-centered lessons.
Participants will need laptops capable of connecting to the Internet.

Limit: 15 teachers
Target Audience: Mathematics teachers ~ Algebra I thru Calculus
Instructor: Judy Chandler, M.Ed Curriculum & Instruction (Technology specialty), Technology Integration Specialist – Bangor School Dept, Apple PD/MLTI HS Mathematics Trainer
Location: University of Maine, Orono

Using Sliders in Mathematics Instruction
A slider is a tool in graphing programs that enables us to vary one or more parameter values in a family of functions to observe how the changing value affects the shape of the graph of the resulting function. In a set of activities, we will use sliders to explore a variety of families of functions, uncovering properties of the functions and employing the functions in applications.

Limit: 16 teachers
Target audience: The content is primarily at the high school level, but middle school and high school mathematics teachers are welcome.
Instructor: Bob Franzosa, Professor of Mathematics, University of Maine
Location: University of Maine, Orono


Back to 2008

Past Center News