Applications will be taken from January to April, accepted teachers will be notified in May, and sessions will run June through August, 2024.
All teachers who complete the program will also be able to bring their class for a FREE field trip to MDM!
Each teacher's school will also receive a $100 substitute teacher stipend for each of the in-person sessions during the school year. We want this program to be accessible to all teachers, so travel stipends may also be available for teachers traveling from a distance.
What is the commitment?
This is an example of the 2023-2024 schedule; 2024-2025 dates will be updated in January, 2024:
August 14 - in-person orientation
October 13 - in-person*
November 3 - in-person*
January 9 & 11 - Zoom
February 16 - in-person*
March 22 - in-person*
April 23 & 25 - Zoom
May 31 - in-person*
June 24 - in-person closing session
* = Substitute teacher stipend to school
"This Academy is one of the most exciting, groundbreaking educational initiatives I have encountered in years. It represents an unprecedented opportunity for Maine educators at all levels to share and be trained in the best and most timely innovations on an ongoing basis. That the Academy would be run by the Museum means that it can take best advantage of the Museum's established network and, as an autonomous nexus, the Academy can work independently of any particular educational institution's approach or budget. The Museum is the right institution to lead this effort.”
James H. Page, Ph.D.
Chancellor Emeritus, The University of Maine System
The STA is made possible by US Department of Education Grant #S215K220059
What is the Science Teacher Academy?
The Science Teacher Academy (STA) program of the Maine Discovery Museum is being developed to address the gap in professional development opportunities available for elementary school teachers to more effectively and confidently teach science. The STA will partner with teachers, administrators, schools of education, museums, and other informal science organizations to greatly expand the science taught in Maine schools and better prepare those teachers in science teaching.
Who Can Participate?
In Fall 2023, the STA will begin with a pilot cohort of elementary school teachers from across the state. For the first year, we will select 10 teachers to participate. Our goal in future years is to include at least two teachers from each of Maine's sixteen counties in each cohort.
How Are We Different?
Unlike many other science PD opportunities for teachers in Maine, the STA will focus on elementary education. Teachers involved in each cohort will participate in a year-long immersive professional development program to enhance their science teaching. At the end of the program, teachers will join other alumni of the program in a Community of Practice where they will continue to share ideas and strategies with a network of their peers.
What Topics Are Covered?
Session themes will include how to foster inquiry in elementary classrooms, pedagogies of play, space systems including a field trip to Challenger Learning Center of Maine, forces & interactions, weather and climate, aquaculture, and ecosystems. Sessions are connected to the Next Generation Science Standards as well as the Maine Learning Results for science. Additionally, emphasis will be given to interdisciplinary activities and incorporating science into ELA, math, and specials such as art.