Nicole Danielson, director and science teacher at Maple Tree Community School in Readfield, recently attended the BLOOM Educators’ Program summer workshop on exploring oceanography in East Boothbay.

The professional development workshop, which took place July 19-22 at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, is part of the Keller BLOOM Program, according to a news release from Maple Tree Community School.

Danielson was one of 10 science teachers statewide to attend the program, which offered science educators the opportunity to collaborate with Bigelow Laboratory scientists to enhance ocean science education in the state of Maine.

“The Bloom Educator program was an incredible teacher training and research experience providing me not only with the tools, but also the laboratory resources to teach higher-level hands-on science curriculum in our science classroom,” said Danielson in the release. “Ocean science is not only interesting and engaging to all ages of students, but the skills, content, and problem solving strategies are particularly applicable and important when thinking about the ecology of the Gulf of Maine and our global ocean systems.”

Led by Dr. David Fields and Dr. Nicole Poulton, topics in this summer workshop included the history of oceanography, the ocean’s biological pump, primary productivity and climate change.

Participants spent a day in the field on a research cruise, attended seminars by Bigelow scientists, and engaged in hands-on laboratory learning activities. Attendees received curriculum materials, aquatic field sampling and laboratory equipment, and follow-up academic year support, as well as three Continuing Education Units.

“I am extremely excited to teach the fundamentals of ocean science in a laboratory setting for the students at Maple Tree this year. This training will help me incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards for our students, as well as empower me to authentically show students what it means to think like and be a scientist,” Danielson said, according to the release.

Maple Tree offers a unique educational opportunity as students participate in weekly immersion experiences/trips, which take them beyond the school campus to extend and enhance their science and socials studies learning.

This year, many of the trips will be ocean-based, exploring and researching areas of the Kennebec River and coastal communities including rocky inter tidal, salt marshes, mud flats, beaches and estuarine environments. Students will use much of the sampling equipment provided by Bigelow Laboratories to conduct experiments, and will analyze and present their data as extensions of their mathematics and literacy programs.

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