2008 Annual Report
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Education Programs Lobster: Untold Tales Vital Signs Vital Venture

Education Overview

As a working marine lab whose commitment to education goes far beyond traditional outreach, GMRI has emerged as a unique success story in our nation’s quest to improve science education.

We met the challenge of cultivating science literacy head-on, working hand-in-hand with Maine’s formal education community to provide authentic and personally meaningful science learning experiences for thousands of middle school students. We provided professional development and grew our online library of curriculum resources to support teachers in meeting the needs of 21st century students. We made our programs available at no cost to schools or families to ensure that all Maine students have an equal opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills essential for college, careers, and citizenship.

In October 2010, our LabVenture! program celebrated an extraordinary milestone — we have served over 50,000 5th and 6th graders! Students visiting our lab had an unforgettable hands-on research experience that sets the stage for their future learning. They peered through microscopes, examined marine life, explored underwater ecosystems in our live exhibit tank, and went to sea on virtual fishing trips.

Our Vital Signs community expanded to include over 162 educators, 43 participating scientists, dozens of citizen scientists, and over 5,000 7th and 8th graders. This vibrant community investigated, mapped, and monitored species in Maine’s freshwater, coastal, and upland habitats. They published over 1,300 native and invasive species observations at www.vitalsignsme.org. We expanded the use of Vital Signs in informal settings by training Master Gardeners, watershed associations, and mentors for out-of-school youth programs.

We launched an exciting new program called PowerHouse that puts the real-world challenge of energy conservation at the center of science and math learning by empowering students to analyze real data collected by their home electrical smart meters. This effort was one of ten projects selected nationwide to join Startl’s 2010 Design Boost, giving us an unusual opportunity work with some of the nation's leading product design and education and technology innovators at an early stage of program development.

Spotlight on Education

Roll over the images below to view a sample of the education programs underway at GMRI. Click on an image to learn more about the project.

  • Lobstering
  • Vital Signs
  • LabVenture!
  • Advisors
  • Environmental Literacy
  • Science Content

Deepening Our Impact

Vital Signs Extends Across Curriculum

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