Starting in 2016, the work and community that began as the MainePSP and MaineESP evolved into a broader community known as the Maine STEM Partnership. Below, you will find a brief history of the MainePSP and MaineESP, as well as information about the University Classroom Observation Program which came out of the MainePSP.
University Classroom Observation Program (UCOP)
UCOP brought middle and high school teachers to the UMaine campus to observe instruction in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Two papers have been published based on the findings from the program (2014 and 2016). Visit the UCOP program page for more information.
Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (PSP)
In 2011, The National Science Foundation awarded the RiSE Center with a grant to build a sustainable infrastructure that strengthens rural science education.
The MainePSP brought about fundamental changes in grades 6–9 science instruction through vertically-aligned science curricular materials and ongoing professional development. Impacts have been demonstrated for teachers, classrooms, students, and the broader community.
Teachers gained knowledge for teaching, including content knowledge, knowledge of scientific practices in multiple physical science domains, and knowledge of pedagogy for teaching science.
MainePSP schools offering vertically aligned instruction to grade 8 students showed significant improvement in proficiency compared to non-PSP schools. In addition, students indicating science career interest increased significantly for students receiving two vertically aligned years of MainePSP instruction between 2014 and 2016.
The MainePSP also demonstrated impacts to teacher leadership and development of a professional community. The professional network developed through the MainePSP led to other successful projects and partnerships, including the MaineESP.
For the 2016–17 (Year 7) Report on Education Research conducted through the MainePSP, click here!
For the 2016–17 Report on MainePSP Programs and Activities, click here!
Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership (ESP)
In 2013, the RiSE Center was awarded a Mathematics and Science Partnership grant from the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership was created. The vision of the MaineESP was to create and infrastructure to strengthen rural science education in grades PK–5.
The MaineESP impacted 126 Maine schools, with demonstrated benefits for teachers and students. Teachers gained science content knowledge.
Participating teachers also reported that the MaineESP increased collaboration in their schools and districts, strengthened relationships with colleagues.
Students and classrooms were also impacted by the MaineESP. Teachers reported spending more time teaching science than they had prior to their participation in the MaineESP (a few times a day versus few times a week), which led to MaineESP students achieving proficiency at a higher rate. Students also reported stronger science career interest than students in non-ESP classrooms.