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The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)

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The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (The Maine RiSE Center) provides an integrated approach to University-based research and professional development in science and mathematics education. The Center is a joint effort of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Development and College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.  The activities of the Center bring together faculty from the science and mathematics disciplines with faculty from education.  With this combination of resources, the Center is reevaluating and reforming introductory level science and mathematics  courses, establishing new practices for K-12 science teacher preparation, and building infrastructure with teachers, schools, and administrators through out the state.

Activities undertaken by the Center are targeted to create attractive, content-rich teacher preparation and continuing education options for mathematics and science teachers. The Center is working to develop well-qualified science and mathematics teachers for grades K-12 and to spearhead the development of coherent, developmentally appropriate curricula for mathematics and science.

You can find us by accessing the Map to the RiSE Ctr.


Director: Susan McKay, 207-581-4678
Administrative Specialist:
Leisa Preble, 207-581-4672


A partnership bringing together over 45 rural Maine schools, the University of Maine, three Maine non-profits with expertise in science education, and science and technology leaders at the Maine Department of Education to target the teaching and learning of physical sciences in grades 6-9 and the preparation of science teachers at the University of Maine.  To find out more about this partnership, click on the link above.

The Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership (MaineESP) is an exciting expansion project of the MainePSP. Supported for three years by a $1.7M grant from the Maine Department of Education’s Math Science Partnership Program, the MaineESP seeks to create an infrastructure to strengthen rural science education in grades PK-5. To find out more about this partnership, click on the link above.

Job Opportunities
All professional positions are filled at this time. Post doctoral positions are still available. Please click on the “Open Positions” link on the right.



Commencement Speaker 2014 – Justin D. Lewin
Justin D. Lewin of Castle Hill, Maine, majored in biology. He also began graduate work toward a Master of Science in Teaching in January. His numerous academic honors include an Armed Forces Communication & Electronics Association STEM Teachers for America’s Future Scholarship and Maine PSP Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant Fellowship, both in 2012, and a UMaine Center for Undergraduate Research Fellowship in spring 2013. For more about Justin, please click on the above link.

2014 Fellows by the American Chemical Society (ACS)
Mitchell Bruce, an associate professor of chemistry (and member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education), was named a 2014 fellow by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Bruce is one of 99 scientists recognized by the society for demonstrating outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and making important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society. The 2014 fellows represent a range of disciplines and geographic locations, from 30 of the society’s technical divisions, 57 local sections and 23 national committees. This year’s class will be recognized Aug. 11 at the society’s 248th national meeting in San Francisco. A full news release with a complete list of this year’s fellows is online.

Promotions, Promotions – 2014!
If you see them around, please congratulate Francois Amar on his promotion to Full Professor and Dean of the Honors College, Michael Wittmann on his promotion to Department Chair of the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, and Sarah Nelson on her promotion to Associate Research Professor. We are so proud of them!!



2015 Jackson Laboratory Teaching Sabbaticals
The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and The University of Maine would like to announce the final Teacher Research Sabbatical program: a paid academic-year research experience open to all STEM teachers in Maine and other rural New England states.  This will be the LAST year for the sabbatical program as JAX shifts resources to a more broadly-disseminated model for teacher professional development in genomics.

Read about one teacher’s sabbatical experience in “Spirit of discovery”!

Maine RiSE Center Colloquia & Seminar Series:
3:00-4:00 pm, First Monday of the month
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, 165 Barrows Hall (unless otherwise indicated)
Click on the link (above) for more information.

Nov. 3 – Grant Williams, Saint Thomas University, NB
Kinulations: Fostering K-12 Students’ Understanding of Science Concepts through Participation in Kinesthetic Simulations

Friday, Dec. 5 in Rm 141 Bennett at 3:15 pm (Note different day/time/venue)Joe Redish, University of Maryland


Upcoming Thesis Defenses:

None at this time

Con”GRAD”ulations, 2014!!!

 Congratulations to the following MST Students who will be graduating this season!


Daniel Bragdon – Mathematics

Kalee (Gurschick) Gwarjanski – Generalist

Jon Janelle – Mathematics


Zachary Batz – Mathematics

Shahram Firouzian – Mathematics (double major – MST/MA)

Kendra Michaud – Mathematics



Pi Pi Baby

The Resource Coordinator and the Owl Rescue

Maine PSP Indoor Soccer Team – 2011-2012

Team RiSE 2012 Winter Schedule

Directions to Fields:


The Center was created by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Education, Award Number R125K010106.


Image Description:

Image Description: Maine Physical Sciences Partnership

Image Description: Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership logo

Image Description: Justin Lewin - Commencement Speaker, Graduation 2014


Past Center News

Additional Links

Contact Information

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)
5727 Estabrooke Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5727
Phone: (207) 581-4672 | Fax: (207) 581-9555E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469