– Community Impact –

Science Education

Since 2011 DEI has been making science and math resonate with students from all over coastal Maine.

DEI’s marine education program makes relevant scientific exploration part of pre-K to 12grade education. We provide access to applied and integrated STEM instruction for students in rural Maine. Teaching students how to think critically about the familiar marine resources their families depend on, and how to care for the marine environment, ignites an enthusiasm for learning, as well as an understanding of the relevance of STEM to their communities and to their own career aspirations.

Naturally curious, children quickly make observations and ask questions that can inspire an authentic research project. DEI’s unique “Let’s Find Out” engagement method has been used successfully with students of all ages. Its foundation is the principle that research should be reserved for questions to which no one knows the answers. Teachers, scientists, and students embark on the exploration together, and make new discoveries together.

  • Since 2011, over 15,000 students and teacher visits have been recorded as part of DEI’s educational programming.
  • Over 5,000 students have taken part in DEI’s education activities since 2011. This 
includes:
    • Ongoing Marine Science Days programs for schools.:
    • Over the past five years, DEI has coordinated and overseen season-long field 
research projects for six coastal schools.
    • 250 students and 17 teachers participated a National Science Foundation research 
project that examined the growth and survival of juvenile soft-shell clams in four coves.
    • Four elementary schools and five high schools participated in DEI’s Lobsters in the Classroom program during the 2016-2017 school year.
    • Student Presentations at Marine Trade Shows. 
For example, a large-scale field research project to measure the shellfish productivity and green crab recruitment in three coves of Searsport and Stockton Springs with Searsport High School. The results were presented at the 2018 Maine Fishermen’s Forum.
    • Improved test scores.
  • Last year’s state assessment data shows that in one school DEI serves, 92% of students scored at or above the state average/expectations in science.
  • At the same school, the percentage of students scoring below state expectations fell by 79% after a year of participating in DEI’s education programming.
  • Increased student engagement and encouragement of STEM-based career aspirations.
  • Provided training and assistance to 1,200 educators since 2011.
  • From 2011 – 2017 provided workshops and training for 407 educators, including the initial 2017 Coastal Science Academy cohort of nine teachers from six coastal towns.
  • From 2010-2015 the ten workshops that DEI hosted resulted educators earning 935 contact hours necessary for teacher recertification.
  • These workshops led to 60 intensive engagement classroom projects for 1,687 students.
  • 400 UMM college students majoring in Marine Biology since 2001.
  • DEI provides workforce development for future marine science professionals.
  • Hosted 60 internships since 1995. Interns have gone on to become educators, work for state government agencies, or are employed by private aquaculture or environmental consulting companies.
  • All 12 research and hatchery technicians employed at DEI since 2003 were former UMM students.
  • DEI’s Director of Research has supervised three graduate students and has served on 16 graduate student committees at the University of Maine (Orono) and one at Florida Atlantic University. At UMM, he has supervised seven undergraduate theses, and 19 undergraduates for research credits or as co-op students.

Our Community Impact:

ADAPTIVE </br>FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
ADAPTIVE
FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

DEI provides science-based leadership to adapt to a changing marine environment.

FISHERIES STOCK ENHANCEMENT & RESTORATION
FISHERIES STOCK ENHANCEMENT & RESTORATION

DEI has produced hundreds of millions of seed clams for coastal communities.

BUSINESS </br>INCUBATOR
BUSINESS
INCUBATOR

DEI has assisted fishermen and other entrepreneurs create new aquaculture opportunities.

SCIENCE </br>EDUCATION
SCIENCE
EDUCATION

DEI’s marine education program makes scientific exploration part of pre-K to 12 grade education

SHELLFISH </br>FIELD DAYS
SHELLFISH
FIELD DAYS

Join us August 11th for this annual event and our ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new facility.

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