Energy For ME
Middle and high school students and their families in coastal and island communities in Maine are increasing their STEM energy content knowledge and technology proficiencies by analyzing, discussing, and responding to locally-relevant energy issues.
Energy for Maine (ME) is a three-year project that will develop, implement and evaluate a model to increase the STEM competencies and career aspirations of students in rural communities. The project will directly engage at least 50 teachers, 100 students and their families to increase STEM energy content knowledge and technology proficiencies by analyzing, discussing, and responding to locally-relevant energy issues through both in- and out-of-school activities. This model will be developed on Maine's islands and coastal communities by networking 17 middle and high schools through interdisciplinary professional development experiences, project-based technology integration in the classroom, and home-based enrichment activities. The goal of the project is to increase students' understanding, motivation, and self-efficacy towards STEM concepts and careers through their participation in innovative technology-infused energy inquiry. The project will build upon the successful model for teacher professional development that was developed by the CREST program (NSF Awards: 0525118 & 0737588), as it will combine place-based education strategies, nonhierarchal learning environments, and integrated technology to stimulate inquiry-based learning. While deploying innovative new approaches to facilitate inter-generational learning, the project will integrate the analysis of real-time energy data in the classroom to motivate student engagement and meet learning standards through a local context. Students will strengthen their understanding of fundamental concepts in physics (e.g. electricity and transformation of energy) and engineering (e.g. power generation and distribution, home heating and heat transfer) as they learn how these concepts influence the efficient use of energy in their own homes and community buildings.