Colby biology students working in a Skowhegan Middle School after-school program are helping out in the only project in Maine chosen as a model by the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century grant program.

Colby students and a lake educator are visiting the Skowhegan program once a week this semester to work with students on the Vital Signs Maine curriculum sponsored by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Vital Signs team leader Christine Voyer visited Skowhegan in November to deliver iPads for students to use in the field collecting data about native and invasive species. 

Kelley Greenleaf, who directs the after-school program at Skowhegan Middle School expressed her appreciation for Colby’s involvement to Associate Professor of Biology Cathy Bevier, who is the Colby faculty liaison. The 21st Century grant officials “were very impressed with what you all are doing,” she wrote.

The project, launched last winter after a workshop held at the Maine Lakes Resource Center, was further developed by Ruth Hawley ’15 during the summer. “It started with getting underperforming students up to par,” Bevier said, “but it’s turned into a cool thing to do for all kinds of students. It’s been just remarkable.”