The future of Maine’s coastal communities rests with its young people, most of whom complete their K-12 grade education with no marine science education. Downeast Institute’s goal is that future lobstermen, clammers, aquaculturists, and others who will make their livelihood from the ocean possess an understanding of the ecology of the marine environment and the tools to think critically about challenges they may encounter.
DEI’s Education Program has been providing experiential marine science and applied math education to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students since 2011. We assist students and their teachers in understanding the scientific process through project-based experiences in intertidal and rocky shoreline ecology. Our “Let’s Find Out” approach fuels students’ natural curiosity and demonstrates repeatable methods that can be used in any investigative setting.
Educational Activities since 2011:
– Over 16,000 student and teacher visits have occurred.
– Over 7,000 students have taken part in DEI’s education activities.
– Almost 3,000 educators have received training and assistance.
Results of DEI’s education programs include:
– Increased science in the classroom.
– Improved science & math test scores.
– Workforce development for future marine science professionals.
On the occasion of Downeast Institute’s Groundbreaking, Noah Carver, a student at Beals Elementary School, won a lottery to represent BES at the event. He presented the following speech:
“Hello! I’m Noah Carver, a 7th grader at BES. On one of my earliest trips to DEI I remember bursting through the door proclaiming “Blind Scientist in the House!” Dr. Beal and I have been great friends ever since!! I’d like to thank Mrs. Haskell, Dr. Beal, Ms. Tilton and Mr. Crowley for the opportunity to represent Beals Elementary School today. It’s a great honor!
DEI has always been one of my absolute favorite places in the world! Seriously, from the first time I visited about 5 years ago as part of my school’s gifted and talented program, I’ve looked forward to returning at every chance. DEI is a great link between students and real life, hands on marine science. It connects students, schools and community, and deepens our understanding and appreciation of the environment whether securing future jobs or for the pure enjoyment of being in nature. And just like me, every student can feel like a real scientist because here at DEI, we really are!! So to all who have made this opportunity possible, thank you!”
June 9, 2017
Collaboration with Educators
DEI specializes in long term educational collaborations, such as Marine Science Days and Coastal Science Academy, during which we assist teachers as they create hands-on, field-based applied marine research projects for preK-12th grade students. We also welcome students of all ages to our facility for field trips and other activities and programs.
Our programs encourage students to use the scientific method to further explore their own observations and questions. We develop activities, projects, and curriculum that can be utilized in any classroom, as well as at home.
Marine Science in Your Community
Marine science learning experiences with our portable touch tank, baby lobsters, and other resources are sometimes available to travel directly to classrooms and community events around Maine. Contact us for more information.