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Students at Trenton Elementary School, and thousands of other middle school students from across Maine are engaged and valued (treasured!) participants in the Vital Signs community. Check out one of the careful observations from the Trenton team!

Vital Signs students are learning science by being scientists. From questions to conclusions, they are practicing real science alongside Maine’s scientists and other learners statewide. By applying and sharing their knowledge of ecosystems, biodiversity, and invasive species, they are furthering what we all know about species and habitats in Maine. Students are connecting with and making meaningful contributions to communities outside of their classrooms.

Students play these critical roles in our community:

    1. They look closely for native and invasive species in local ecosystems, and publish their observations to the Vital Signs database.

    2. Students analyze, reflect on, and make meaning for their findings and the findings of others in the Vital Signs community.

    3. Students review the work of their peers statewide with an eye towards improving data quality throughout the Vital Signs community.

    4. They create multimedia projects that summarize findings, that teach and motivate others, and that extend learning into communities.

From this firsthand authentic research experience, students start to imagine what it would be like to be an environmental scientist or biologist, a nature photographer or science journalist, a taxonomist or cartographer, a volunteer or lifelong citizen scientist.

Register or contact us if you are interested in joining our student network. Or talk your teacher into joining us!


Colby, Middle School of the Kennebunks
Colby is a student at Middle School of the Kennebunks. During the 2008 field season, Colby blossomed in her role as Principal Investigator. She lead her team to collect, record, and publish macroinvertebrate data for their ecosystem health stream survey. Her genuine enthusiasm for science is contagious and inspiring.

Student teams who published observations in Fall 2011

Madawaska Middle School, Madawaska

Dedham School, Dedham (video!)

Falmouth Middle School, Falmouth

South Portland High School, South Portland

Whitefield Elementary School, Whitefield

Loranger Middle School, Old Orchard Beach

Woolwich Central School, Bath

Massabesic Middle School, Waterboro

Cape Elizabeth Middle School, Cape Elizabeth

Woodland Consolidated School, Baileyville

Lincoln Middle School, Portland

Trenton Elementary School, Trenton

James Doughty Middle School, Bangor

Cony Middle School, Augusta

Gardiner Regional Middle School, Gardiner

York Middle School, York

Westcot Junior High School, Westbrook

Friends School, Mackworth Island, Falmouth

Vinalhaven School, Vinalhaven Island

• Winslow Junior High School, Winslow