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MPSP Profile

Maine Physical Sciences Partnership: Research and Infrastructure for Ongoing Educational Improvement


The Maine Physical Sciences Partnership project brings together forty-eight rural Maine schools, the University of Maine, three Maine non-profits with expertise in science education, and science and technology leaders at the Maine Department of Education to target the teaching and learning of physical sciences in grades 6-9. The partnership research is aimed at gathering information on effective science curricula and pedagogy for working in rural communities. This project focuses on the identification and implementation of proven curricular resources and the full range of critical supports needed for their successful implementation. The Partnership implements research-supported curricula and intensive professional development for teachers using the new curricula. Pre-service teachers of science from the University of Maine and partnering universities participate in curriculum selection and professional development, and also work as teaching partners in the classroom to implement the curriculum. The implementation involves approximately 9800 students and 100 teachers and exposes teachers to 100 hours of professional development over two years. The project provides direct services to the participating districts, builds a regional infrastructure for ongoing improvement in STEM education and contributes to a designed research effort that will inform future rural educational initiatives.