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Engaging learners. Exploring watersheds. Connecting communities.
VitalVenture is a grades 5-8 interdisciplinary curriculum that is changing how Maine students learn science, experience their environment, and connect with their local communities.
The curriculum uses watershed exploration to bridge and extend students' LabVenture! and Vital Signs experiences. In classrooms statewide, students are taking on important environmental issues that impact their local watersheds like climate change, biodiversity, and ecosystem health.
Each VitalVenture Watershed Experience gets students outside to observe, ask questions, investigate, take action, and deepen their scientific understanding and personal connection to their local watersheds. Students gain confidence and independence as learners, problem-solvers, and citizens.
While the individual activities, investigations, and action components of each experience stand on their own, the true strength of VitalVenture lies in its design as a four-year learning continuum, and its aim to foster independence and autonomy among learners.
VitalVenture was co-developed by GMRI education staff, Maine Sea Grant, and 31 of Maine's middle-level teachers. Including teachers in the development process ensured in a curriculum that works in the classroom, models best practices, and meets the needs of teachers and their students.