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 from 2011 to 2018:

– 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.

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.

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