Massabesic Middle School Invasive Species Forum

Blog Post For The Invasive Species Forum

The Invasive Species Forum that team Aroostook of Massabesic Middle School hosted was on November 6th, 2014. It was an amazing event that occurred to not only increase awareness about invasive species, but it also attempted to get new citizen scientists signed up into Vital Signs. Each student on our team researched one invasive species in one of the following groups; Invasive insects, marine invasive species, aquatic invasive species in rivers and lakes, and upland invasive plants and animals.
Each group had a hook, or something to draw people in. For example, the invasive aquatic group created a small model of a DASH boat that collected milfoil from a nearby lake. The invasive insect group had costumes for students to wear and guide people towards their section. The marine invasive group had a live crab demonstration. Lastly, the invasive upland species had a "fact tree” and fresh samples of various invasive plants to identify. A large map of the school district was displayed that showed the Maine Fire of 47's burn area. This mapshowed where the native red pine tree could have spread, and this is useful because the newly found invasive species Red pine scale could be in those areas as well. This map will be used to keep track of newly identfied red pine and hemlock in our district towns as new Vital Signs recruits look for red pine scale and hemlock wooly adelgid.
This forum went exceedingly well, and it was all made possible by the grant and support given by the Vital Signs Organization. There were a few scientists who visited our school to teach us about their areas of expertise in preparing for the Forum. There were 14 scientists, specialists and community members who came to our Forum to help students share what they learned with the public. Those helpful scientists, specialists and community members were; Christine Voyer, Caroline Casals, Melissa Brandt, Karen A. Hahnel, Beth Bisson, Karen Coluzzi, Lorraine Taft, Allison Kanoti, Brian Beal, Karen Wilson, Jim Carll, Ken Canfield, Paul Gregory and Lauren Bien. Thank you to all of those people for helping us to pull off the very successful Massabesic Middle School Invasive Species Forum. In summary, this Forum was a great experience for the public, the scientists, and most especially the students.

Produced by:
44bl11h, 44am12s, 74gf67s, 44jf9s, and 64kd51s

Project Information
City or Town: 
E. Waterboro
School or Organization: 
Massabesic Middle School


The Invasive Species was really fun. Highlight of the year. I wish we could do it again.


I loved teaching other people about invasive speices

I think the purple loo strif project we did back in 2013 I believe it was well it was interesting, well anyways I would like to see what els you can find or if there is any left keep up the good work and maybe if you haven't to the New England Cotton Tail.
Is your desk clean yet Mr. Parent?

I liked that I got to teach my parents and grandparents something rather than them teaching me. Also I like that we got to work next to scientists who spend their lives studying invasives.

I think that it was really cool but a lot of people that were there didn't ask any questions so they didn't really learn anything but other wise the forum was interesting experience.

I had fun at the forum, but my favorite part was wearing the waiters. Also I had learning about all the invasive species

It's was fun, and I liked getting to tell people about my species.

The invasive species forum was amazing. I enjoyed teaching and informing citizens about how to prevent invasive species from spreading. Even learning about invasive species was enjoyable. Mr. Parent our science teacher did a good job teaching this topic to us because it is hard to teach and keep the attention of a class of 7th graders. I hope more schools will reach out to their communities and inform them as we did about an important topic: Invasive species.

I think it was fun when a lot of people where signing up for vital signs and that people came to our game that we made and that they had fun and that loved our game we made we had so much fun making our game board.

My favorite part of the invasive species forum was talking to people about crabs and ballast water. I also liked holding the crabs. It was really fun though.

It was really awesome how many people showed up to the forum. It was a very fun activity.

I was in the massabesic middle school and my favorite part was when we introduced people to the mms invasive species forum and the was one of my key moments was teaching people about purple loostrife

This was the best school activity I could ever have the pleasure to participate in. It was very fun and everyone did a fantastic job. I hope next year's 7th grade students have as much fun as we did. Also, thank you to all the scientists and other adults who came to help at the forum. P.S. I worked with the Fire of 47' group and worked with Mr.Carl to show off a very large map to the public. I also worked at the Vital signs sign-up booth.

-7th Grade Massabesic Middle School Student :)

My favorite part of the invasive species forum was learning interesting things about the fire of 47 from Mr.Carl. He knows so much and is very a very interesting person.

The invasive species forum was awesome I loved talking to all the people who decided to come over and talk to me though very few did, and I held a crab.

Check out your awesome handiwork MMS scientists! Thanks again for putting on an amazing event. Everyone from Team Vital Signs is thrilled to have been a part of it :)


I really liked the forum we just did. There were many things to look at like the crabs and branches from trees. I forgot to add the fire of 47 information on my blog post.

I feel like a lot of people learned a lot and had lots of fun and I got to wear the alb suit and I got interviewed by reporters I had lots of fun.

This invasive species forum is something I will never forget. It was exciting, fun, and full of fun facts, information, and people. I had a lot of exciting events happen to me personally. For example, at around the middle of the day, while I was presenting the Fire Of '47 map to some folks that wanted to know more about it, I noticed that my mom was actually there! It was a pleasant surprise to see that my mom cared about this event as well, and thankfully, she seemed happy to be there! I was also happy that I was able to help people at the Vital Signs part of the forum. In my opinion, it was one of the most important roles in the entire forum that I was honored to have, and I was excited to see so many people interested in this exact topic, like I am. Overall, I hope I'm able to participate in an event similar to this soon, because it was, to me, an exciting, once in a lifetime experience.

I was part of the Marine invasive and I enjoyed informing people about ballast water. Me and my partner built a cardboard replica of a oil tanker to show how ballast water gets in and out of the ship. We showed how small animal and plants get transported and become invasive because of ballast water.

I would like to thank all of the professionals, scientists and experts who visited our school and worked with students prior to and during the Invasive Species Forum. Your involvement made the Forum an outstanding authentic learning opportunity for students, teachers and our community. Students were really given an opportunity to make a difference in their community by getting information about invasive species out to the public. We still have lots of work to do. Awesome experience, plus as mentioned, it was a lots of fun.

We loved being part of your forum, and we're excited to get this blog post up on the blog and share with the VS community and beyond!!

Thank you for all your hard work 44bl11h, 44am12s, 74gf67s, 44jf9s, 64kd51s, pparent, and Massabesic Aroostook Team.

~Christine & Caroline, and the rest of the VS and GMRI team

it also was really fun

The invasive species forum was really cool

The invasive species forum was really cool but the best was the aquatic group.