Mission Statement

To advance the research and practice of teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM disciplines.

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center) is an interdisciplinary center organized to conduct research, graduate education, and professional development, and to build community partnerships focused on improving the research and research-based practice of STEM education at all levels of instruction. Members of the RiSE Center include faculty, staff, and graduate students engaged in education research across multiple STEM departments and the College of Education at the University of Maine.

RiSE faculty, staff, students, and collaborators contribute to knowledge of teaching and learning across STEM subject areas, with significant national and international contributions in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Education, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics.  

The RiSE Center provides education and professional development for emerging educators through undergraduate and graduate opportunities, including teaching and research assistantships, a Master of Science in Teaching degree with a teacher certification option, and an interdisciplinary STEM Education PhD program.  

The RiSE Center also facilitates community partnerships with K–12 schools and school districts, teachers, university faculty, and other organizational partners in Maine and beyond to improve STEM education and teacher preparation through research-supported practices.

Ways that Members Contribute to the Center’s Mission

Faculty membership in the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center) consists of faculty appointed in academic departments, the RiSE Center, as well as faculty appointed to both an academic department and the RiSE Center. This document describes the various ways that members of the RiSE Center contribute to the Center’s mission in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.


The faculty member may contribute to the Center’s scholarship mission by developing a significant and independent research program resulting in scholarly contributions to the field of discipline-based education research. These scholarly contributions may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Authorship or co-authorship of refereed articles, books and other refereed publication formats appropriate to the candidate’s discipline within education research;
  2. Receiving funding for scholarly activities from internal and external funding agencies, including industries;
  3. Submission of scholarly activity proposals to the College, University, University of Maine System, or external funding agencies, including industries;
  4. Documented ongoing contributions to the design and implementation of research-guided professional learning opportunities and/or learning community collaborations for teachers (K-16) related to the faculty member’s area of expertise, with evidence of how research was translated into practice;
  5. Colloquia or talks presented at professional meetings or other institutions;
  6. Editorship or membership of the board of editors of a scholarly journal;
  7. Editorship of books, journal volumes, or other collections of scholarship;
  8. Organization of professional meetings, symposia, and workshops;
  9. Conference proceedings;
  10. Invited works (i.e., works that are editor-reviewed such as invited book chapters, contributions to special issues/ volumes, etc.);
  11. Published reviews of books or curricular materials;
  12. Peer recognition of scholarly activity, including awards and prizes;
  13. Graduate thesis advising and committee membership.


Faculty contribute to the teaching and advising mission of the RiSE Center in various ways. The teaching mission includes activities directly related to instruction as well as activities focused on professional growth in teaching. Documentation of these contributions to the mission may include (but is not limited to):

  1. A portfolio of course materials taught by the faculty member since their last review, for at least one course in the MST program and one course in the academic department, if applicable. Materials may include syllabi, assignments, examinations, or other written materials that are provided to students as part of regular instruction, as well as de-identified examples of student work on these materials;
  2. Measures of student performance by an independent mechanism such as comparative norm tests or other approaches designed to evaluate student learning;
  3. Observations of teaching that contain an evaluative component;
  4. Awards and nominations for awards for teaching activities;
  5. Presentations, workshops, funded grants or publications on teaching that came about via a peer-review process or some other mechanism that indicates peer recognition of their quality and/or value to the community;
  6. Evidence of effectiveness as an undergraduate advisor, if such duties are assigned;
  7. Signed written student letters or comments;
  8. Evidence of successful graduate or undergraduate advising, when applicable.

Documentation of engagement in activities that foster professional growth in teaching may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Reflections on teaching and professional growth;
  2. Development and institution of new courses, as demonstrated by relevant documentation or publications;
  3. Participation in ongoing professional development, such as attending workshops or conferences on teaching, collaborating on studies of learning in their classrooms, or similar activities;
  4. Evidence of innovative teaching, including new methods of teaching, or modifications of existing materials, as demonstrated by relevant documentation or publications;
  5. Evidence of participation in peer observations of teaching.
  6. Evidence of involvement in the design or modification of a program’s curriculum and/or the assessment of graduates.


Faculty contribute to the service mission and faculty governance of the RiSE Center in various ways that include (but are not limited to):

  1. Contributions to Center, College and University governance, planning, and programs through committee work and by taking on specific tasks at the Center, Departmental, College, University, and System level;
  2. Service as a faculty advisor to and/or participating in student organizations;
  3. Consulting for public and private organizations;
  4. Service to professional or scientific organizations as an office holder, committee member, member of an advisory board
  5. Reviewing or editing of journal articles, grant applications, and books/book chapters.
  6. Activities involving K-16 education, such as judging a science fair, contributing to the program of an event that brings together educators, or their students or reviewing a learning experience designed by a colleague. (Ongoing partnerships, including research- practice partnerships with K-16 education, may be more appropriately considered Scholarship.)

RiSE Center Conceptual Framework

The RiSE Center integrates STEM education research into teaching practice through teacher preparation, education reform, community partnerships and professional community. This is our conceptual framework for integrating research and practice.

RiSE Center Conceptual Framework: Statewide Professional Community Using Research to Improve STEM Education, Community Partnerships and Collaborative Innovations at All Educational Levels, Graduate Education for STEM Educators, STEM Education Research Within and Across STEM Disciplines