BRUNSWICK — The Maine Environmental Education Association will hold its annual meeting and conference virtually Wednesday and Thursday, April 7 and 8.

With 30 workshops led by Maine educators, and two keynote plenary panels, this is the largest annual gathering of environmental education and outdoor learning practitioners and students in the state. This year the association is offering a pay-what-you can sliding registration fee with the intention of ensuring that cost is not a barrier for attendance, specifically for students and teachers.

All are invited to join, and participants will have access for up to six months post conference to watch all recorded workshops.

This year’s conference, “EEvolve: Environmental Education Reinvented,” will focus on lessons learned as educators have shifted their instruction in the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will share strategies for more effectively implementing outdoor and environmental education in schools and community programs across the state. Because of the surge in outdoor learning in Maine schools, supporting educators as they implement outdoor learning has never been more important for the health and wellness of Maine youth.

Attendees can explore and share innovations, new trends, resources and curricula ideas that will advance educators’ work in the face of both the pandemic and the deep inequities in society that the pandemic is exacerbating.

The conference will highlight Maine leaders in the field with two keynote plenary panels. The first panel, “Shifting Strategies in Environmental Education in Response to COVID-19,” will be held at 4 p.m. April 7. Keynote panelists include Ryder Scott, state director of UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers; Sarah Plummer, environmental education coordinator with the Portland Water District; Beth Clarke, principal of Agnes Gray Elementary School in West Paris; and Kosis Ifeji, a student at Bangor High School.

The second panel, “Centering Equity in Environmental Education in the COVID Crisis and Beyond,” will be held at 4 p.m. April 8. Keynote panelists include: Pious Ali, Portland City Council member; Korah Soll, executive director of the Rural Aspirations Project in Bar Harbor; and Amara Ifeji, MEEA grassroots development coordinator and National Geographic Young Explorer.

To register for the conference or sponsor or host a virtual exhibit, visit meeassociation.org/programs/meea-conference. For any questions, contact the association at [email protected].

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