What’s New

CSI-Maine (Community Science Investigations in Maine) supports schools as essential partners with their communities in confronting change. Schools are especially important in rural communities where the science and math teachers, their students, and school lab facilities can provide data for decision-making. This website provides stories and tools for teachers and community leaders.

CSI-Maine currently manages two programs. One focuses on local-level shellfish restoration and resilience; the other helps teachers and students examine community drinking water quality. Here are a few of the most recent posts. Use the menus at the top of this page to go deeper.

Shellfish Resilience

Shellfish lab entrance

Shellfish Lab – Getting Started

Work on the shellfish lab is finally starting! This is a picture of the lab entrance. We want you to know that renovation plans include replacing the pallet with stairs! On January 27, three of us got together inside the lab-to-be to make a list of materials to begin turning what was a clam buying station into a shellfish lab. I took pictures so you could come on inside, take a look, and join us in envisioning what the lab can be.

Gouldsboro’s Shellfish Resilience Lab

Gouldsboro has begun work on its Shellfish Resilience Laboratory and will have it operational by this spring. Located in Bunkers Harbor, the Resilience Lab is not only a key element in Gouldsboro’s program to restore clam flats to productivity and sustainability, but will also collect data and develop know-how that other Maine communities can use to manage municipal shellfish operations as Maine’s climate changes.

Clams to Data to Questions

What did we find? That was the question that Sumner Memorial High School Students began to answer as they analyzed the samples that they helped collect from John Small Cove in late October, 2017. This post is a little bit about clams and a lot more about supporting productive inquiry in the classroom. It revisits work students did three years ago, but that work, both in the classroom and on the clam flats, is still relevant today.

Drinking Water

Evidence, Probability, and Uncertainty

In a previous post, we used CTTM data that Old Town High School students collected to map the iron levels in water systems around their community. If we ask students, “Do you think we are more likely to find higher levels of iron in well water or municipal water?” a typical answer might be something like, “Well, I think we’ll find more iron in municipal water.” Or well water. It could go either way. It is not the choice between well water or municipal water that is important; what is important are the things missing in their response.

Map of Iron Levels in Old Town tap water

Using CTTM to Introduce Core Data Literacy Concepts

Old Town High School students returned to entering the tap water data they collected this fall after the holiday break. Early last week, we pulled the data into Tuva for analysis and saw that the students are building a rich picture of tap water quality around Old Town. These data are available to all Crowd the Tap Maine (CTTM) teachers. This post is the first of a series that describes how teachers can use these data, along with data that their own classes collect, to help students gain familiarity with some of the big ideas at the center of data literacy.

Map of water stains

A Look at the First CTTM Data and What We Can Do With It

Before the holidays, students working with Ed Lindsey and Chuck Neeley at Old Town High School collected water samples from taps in about 30 buildings around Old Town, Maine. They entered data about water chemistry, total dissolved solids, and visible evidence of water quality issues into the Anecdata repository. This post provides a peek at what they might find in when they look at the data in Tuva.


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Every month or so, we send out an email newsletter to keep folks up-to-date on new developments in our shellfish resilience and drinking water quality programs. Sign up below to be on the list.