VS club in Vinalhaven - Collaborating to solve problems and engage kids outside

    Guest blog post by Amy Palmer, Vinalhaven School

    This fall and winter we started a Vital Signs club at Vinalhaven School. Our focus so far has been on the Winter Moth.

Shiny new data entry tools

    Time to play with the new data entry pages! We've been listening to you and watching where the data entry process trips you up. We think we've fixed some things and added some useful features. This is what we did...

Reclaiming Mackworth

Guest post by Jamien Jacobs, Friends School of Portland, Mackworth Island

What's the problem?

    Mackworth Island, off the coast of Falmouth, is currently home to several schools, a stunning public trail around its perimeter, and miles and miles of tangled Asiatic bittersweet. Completely eradicating bittersweet on Mackworth Island would be a Herculean task, but a science teacher and students from the Friends School of Portland are working on it. Read all about it.

Vital Signs NORTH!

    There’s a new group of (amazing!) teachers in Central Aroostook County who are excited to get their students contributing to Vital Signs.

    Schools in the mix were:



    We all got an award! On behalf of the whole Vital Signs community, we're excited and honored to receive the Excellence in Environmental Education Program Award from the Maine Environmental Education Association. Here's why we were chosen:

Massabesic Middle School’s Search for the New England Cottontail

    A special guest post from Pat Parent of Massabesic Middle School!

    Students at Massabesic Middle School continue “student scientist” efforts with fieldwork into the winter season. Students on the Aroostook team are working with Melissa Brandt of York County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service to search for the New England Cottontail (NEC).

Webinar - Invasive Shrubs in Eastern US

    When I saw the announcement for a webinar called, “Invasive Shrubs in Eastern US Forests: Filling an Empty Niche?,” I wondered if “filling a niche” meant that invasive species could be beneficial in our eastern forests.

    I am really glad I had time to listen in.

Creative, multimedia, video projects enhance learning

Found the article Application of Core Science Concepts Using Digital Video: A “Hands-On” Laptop Approach from the NSTA Journal of College Science Teaching really interesting. The gist is that students completed video projects and reflection papers on one of two topics (the scientific method or neurotransmitters). The students did significantly better on test questions for the topic that they had done their video projects and reflection papers on.

Fall 2012 - A long and talkative season!

    After last spring, we didn’t think any new records could be set. You all proved us wrong! This was the longest and most talkative fall field season yet with 1315 comments made and the latest observation published on December 12. A total of 584 species observations were published, including the first Vital Signs sightings of Heterosiphonia japonica, winter moth, and European oyster.

Designing WITH Teachers update


    We want to share with you the full video recording that provides an overview of the Designing with Teachers publication that the Annenberg Innovation Lab released in October. You can download the publication and see additional resources HERE.

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