Bioproducts High School Curriculum:  Maine Bioproducts and Biotechnology lessons, designed and developed by Maine teachers, provide five STEM related science, math and social studies units of study.

Introducing Maine Forest Bioproducts and Biotechnology high school curriculum from Maine Project Learning Tree in collaboration with the Maine TREE Foundation, National PLT, The Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative (FBRI), and NSF/EPSCoR.

The Maine Bioproducts and Biotechnology lessons, designed and developed by Maine teachers, provide STEM related science, math, and social studies activities with resources, power points and direct connections to state of the art University of Maine research and to the most recent National PLT curriculum – Biotechnology and Risk.

Click here to review, download and use any or all of the five lessons:

Lesson One:  What is Biotechnology?

Lesson Two:  Biotechnology & Forest Bioproducts in Maine

Lesson Three:  Bringing FBRI to the Classroom:  Composites of the Future

Lesson Four:  The “New Biotechnology” in Maine – Maintaining our Sense of Place in the World

Lesson Five:  Systems and Life Cycle Analysis

Demonstration Forest Handbook
PLT Outdoor Classroom and Demonstration Learning Guide

Walk in the Forest Guide:  This guide will help you plan an event for adults, families, students or teachers. Walk in the Forest helps audiences of all ages unplug from their busy lives and witness the wonder of nature.  It provides a great opportunity for people to appreciate forests, and to teach others about the benefits forests provide and how forest management can enhance those benefits.

Kennebec Woodland Partnership:  This is a county-based initiative launched in 2009 to provide tools and strategies to help landowners make informed decisions about their woodlands and ensure a sustainable future for the county’s forest.

Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA):  Facilitates and promotes environmental education in Maine through the sharing of ideas, resources, information, and cooperative programs among educators, organizations, and concerned individuals. MEEA is built on the strengths and contributions of our members.

Created in 1982, MEEA helps organizations, schools, groups, educational programs, and individuals promote and expand environmental education in Maine. In addition, MEEA acts as a clearing house, keeping groups and individuals informed of issues and events in the field of environmental education. We believe conserving Maine’s rich cultural and natural heritage requires an environmentally aware citizenship.

MEEA is an affiliate of the New England Environmental Education Alliance and the North  American Association of Environmental Education:

As a force multiplier for environmental education, NAAEE is committed to promoting excellence in the field and expanding the reach and impact of our collective work. Through signature programs, advocacy, conferences, and other activities, NAAEE works with partners across North America and beyond, to advance our mission of accelerating environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more sustainable future.

Explore our Strategic Goals and Programs to learn more about how NAAEE’s programs bring environmental education to individuals, institutions, and communities.

The Northern Woodlands Goes to School (NWGTS) program provides classroom teachers with both a hard copy of the magazine as well as a digital edition. Current teachers and homeschooling parents are welcome to sign up.

SFI:  The future of our forests depends on strengthening the connections between sustainable forests, thriving communities, and responsible purchasing.  SFI is a solutions-oriented sustainability organization that collaborates on forest-based conservation and community initiatives that demonstrate and enhance our shared quality of life while providing supply chain assurances through standards, data, and authentic stories.

The school forest program serves as a resource for all school forests in the state.  What is a school forest?  A school forest is an outdoor classroom. A school forest is land registered through the state community forest program and owned or controlled by a public or private school and used for environmental education and natural resource management.


Spruce Budworm Lessons

The spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens) is one of the most destructive native insects in the northern spruce and fir forests of the Eastern United States and Canada. Periodic outbreaks of the spruce budworm are a part of the natural cycle of events associated with the maturing of balsam fir.

The first recorded outbreak of the spruce budworm in the United States occurred in Maine about 1807. Another outbreak followed in 1878. Since 1909 there have been waves of budworm out breaks throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. The States most often affected are Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These outbreaks have resulted in the loss of millions of cords of spruce and fir.

Read SBW lessons from two Maine teachers who have developed lessons for students and for their communities:

Created by Don Sprangers, Washington Academy, E. Machias Maine:

Preparing for the next Spruce Budworm Outbreak  

Created by Susan Linscott, Lee Academy, Lee, Maine:

Spruce Budworm Community Outreach Program
Spruce Budworm Community Outreach Rubric


Project Learning Tree Community Connections:  K-8 PLT Activity 50: 400-Acre Wood


Maine Campus Compact

 Community Connection: Maine Forest Service

400-Acre Wood, an activity found in the Project Learning Tree K-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide, is based on understanding how our forests are managed. The Maine Forest Service (MFS) within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry works to monitor the health and protection of Maine forests including water quality and wildlife. The MFS provides campers, hikers, hunters, fishers, and other outdoor explorers with a safe and sustainable forest. To do this they must manage forests in the most efficient ways possible. A Best Management Practices publication from the forest service details laws, regulations and practices to sustain our forest lands.

The MFS provides resources and advice for people interested in managing a forest. Ten district foresters provide technical assistance and educational services to landowners, loggers, schools and educational institutions, municipalities and other stakeholders and they conduct workshops and forest demonstrations.  If you are looking for a community connection when teaching 400-Acre Wood, look to your district forester.  Invite a forester to visit your classroom to talk about most popular forest recreational uses and impacts of these activities on the forest ecosystems. If you want to arrange a forest field visit for students contact your district forester who can lead talks and hands-on activities that demonstrate how wildlife or invasive species might effect a campground or other recreational activities. To contact your district forester visit:

For more information about the MFS resources and essential questions that support this activity visit:

Other available resources from the Maine Forest Service include information on invasive species, fire safety, the trees of Maine, water protection, and how to care for and understand our forests by becoming a forest steward. These resources can be used to expand the 400 Acre Wood or for encouraging other research opportunities in your classroom.

Possible Questions:

  1. What does a day in the life of a forester, a logger or a forest landowner look like?
  2. When deciding which recreational activities to include in a forest plan (i.e. camp sites, hiking trails, swimming areas), how do you take local wildlife into consideration?
  3. What are the continuous expenses and incomes involved in managing a forest? How do maintenance costs impact income from a well-managed forest?
  4. Where do you see the most profit in managing a forest?


No Child Left Inside:  A special initiative of Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell, coordinated by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to encourage Connecticut families and visitors alike to enjoy all the recreational resources and outdoor activities available in Connecticut’s state parks, forests and waterways.  From Kent Falls in Kent to Stratton Brook in Simsbury to Fort Trumbull in New London, it’s time to discover the great outdoors!

Nature Journaling with PLT: Discover how experiential learning across all subjects can be achieved by encouraging your students to use a nature journal.

Take-It-Outside:  Take it Outside is an initiative led by former Governor John E. Badacci to encourage Maine’s children and families to reconnect with nature.  Take it Outside! Is your one-stop shopping information source for year-round outdoor recreation opportunities in Maine.

Learn Outside:  Project Learning Tree offers multi-disciplinary tools and resources for educators who want their students to learn about the natural world … by being there.

PLT Greenschools:  Inspire students to take responsibility for improving the environment at their school, home and in their community.  Engage your students in greening their school.  We offer training for adults, tips on starting a student-driven GreenSchools program, how to obtain equipment and collect data, and ways to empower your students to design and lead an action project that uses their STEM skills. 

The Maine Forest Service has 10 District Foresters who provide technical assistance and educational services to landowners, loggers, schools and educational institutions, municipalities and other stakeholders.

Field Foresters conduct educational workshops, field demonstrations, media presentations and can provide limited one-on-one contact with individual landowners.



The Common Core State Standards: The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

The Next Generation Science Standards have been released.

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