“The SHIPS”: An Exploration of Youth Experiential Learning Pathways

Lead/Moderator: Hannah Greene, Workforce Development Specialist - Educate Maine

Corrie Hunkler, Youth Engagement Coordinator - Healthy Acadia (ELO)
Diana LeBlanc, Talent and Diversity Specialist - CEI (Internships)
Laura Wilson, 4-H Science Professional - University of Maine Cooperative Extension (Externship)
Lisa Millette, Community Development Officer, The Island Institute (Fellowship)
Michael McKernan, Director, Government and Community Relations - The Jackson Laboratory (Apprenticeships)

There are many different types of experiential learning programs that today’s young adults can participate in to gain meaningful, hands-on, real-world workforce training and exposure – that’s a good thing! However, with so many programs available it can be confusing to decide what type of opportunity is best suited to an individual or employer. In this session, attendees will gain a clear understanding of the similarities and differences between 5 of the most common types of youth experiential learning programs: internships, apprenticeships/pre-apprenticeships, externships, fellowships, and ELOs. Panelists will share the benefits of these programs for both young adult participants and employers, as well as best practices for building successful programs. The audience will walk away with concrete steps for how to promote these opportunities directly to youth.


Elevating STEM Futures: Empowering Girls Through Innovative Regional Partnerships

Lead/Moderator: Angela Oechslie, Program Director, Project>Login - Educate Maine

Shelby Bryant, Program Specialist, Project>Login - Educate Maine
Kymberli Bryant - Spruce Mountain High School
Lindsay Jamieson - The Roux Institute

Join us for an engaging presentation that explores Project>Login's innovative Girls Who Code Regional Partner model. Discover how this business-led approach transforms the landscape of computer science education for girls. We will delve into our successful summer camp experience, sharing best practices, including the use of Micro:bits to kickstart projects, collaborations that provide unique insights into local businesses, and our community-focused approach that welcomes students from multiple school districts. Learn how to implement these strategies in your community and empower young girls to become tech leaders.


Using Apprenticeships to Create Educator Pipelines!

Lead/Moderator: Heather Perry, Superintendent of Schools - Gorham, ME

Walter Kimball, Educator - University of Southern Maine
James Whitten, Dean of Workforce Development & Midcoast Campus - Southern Maine Community College
Wendy Kostenbauder, Program Manager - Maine Department of Labor

This session will share the story of how the Gorham Schools have worked with partners at MDOE, MDOL, SMCC and USM to create an Educator Apprentice Program that allows individuals to move from HS diploma to full teacher certification over the course of 4 years without tuition costs, while being employed full time with benefits, and in a manner that allows apprentices to balance home and work life! Sound too good to be true? It IS NOT! Participants will learn how the program works, its benefits to employers and apprentices and how the program may be scalable in your local region.


Pathways to Effective, Interdisciplinary Middle Level Practices in Teacher Preparation

Lead Presenter: Katie Rybakova, Associate Professor and Chair, LSOE - Thomas College 

In this session, participants will discuss the unique needs of the 5-8th grade middle level classroom in Maine, as well as how we can further develop programming specific to this special population in teacher preparation. We'll share our vision of best practices in middle level education as well as various pathways Thomas College has created to certify preservice teachers in the important and unique 5-8 grade spans in an interdisciplinary way. Ultimately, we want to address the ways in which we can strengthen the current teacher certification process while attending to the preparation needed to work on interdisciplinary, collaborative, inquiry-driven middle level teams.


Turning Criminal Records Into Economic Mobility

Lead Presenter: Colby Bracy, Human Resources Director - The Nonantum Resort 

Justice-impacted individuals make up about 1/3 of our population yet they are being overlooked and often barred from obtaining one of the 10 million unfilled jobs. In this session you will learn:


The St. George CTE And Makerspace Project: PreK-12 CTE

Lead/Moderator: Mike Felton - St. George Municipal School Unit

Paul Meinersmann, Director - St. George School Makerspace
Bobby Deetjen, Director - Midcoast School of Technology
Steve Ladd, President & Employee Owner - Steel Pro, Inc.

In this session, learn how St. George MSU is partnering with MidCoast School of Technology to develop a PreK-12 Career & Technical Education (CTE) program and construct a CTE/Makerspace Building that will be open to the community through adult education courses and "Open Shop" times. Attendees will learn how this new and exciting project will provide the opportunity to meet student needs and understand how CTE can affect students earlier in their education. Furthermore, attendees will understand best practices for developing crucial partnerships with local businesses, as we have done to gain sponsors. Powerful partnerships are helping us expand access to CTE to ALL students, PreK-12, and in the process, transform public education, fuel workforce development, and strengthen our local communities.

Paint The Picture: A Journey Towards Integrated Credits

Lead/Moderator: Todd Fields, Director - Westbrook Regional Vocational Center

Jeff Alexander, Math Teacher - Bonney Eagle High School
Amanda Jones, English Teacher - Bonney Eagle High School
Briana Morrill, Math/Science Instructional Coach - Westbrook
Kristina Lewis, Medical Occupations Instructor - Westbrook Regional Vocational Center
Gloria Noyes, Assistant Director - Westbrook Regional Vocational Center
Rachel O'Toole, School Counselor - Westbrook Regional Vocational Center

This session will provide sending school districts with a blueprint for how CTE students can earn core credit through their CTE program(s). Attendees will discover core subject content(s) that are currently embedded in CTE curriculums, learn how to award core credit equitably, be introduced to new assessment tools, and learn about pathways that have already been created to integrate subjects. This presentation is aligned with LD 436.

*Schedule and sessions subject to change