LabVenture is the cornerstone education program of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Since its launch in 2005, LabVenture has delivered immersive, engaging, and interactive scientific learning experiences to over 130,000 Maine middle schoolers in the Cohen Center for Interactive Learning. The program was recently reimagined through our NASA funded project, as part of the Real World Real Science project which included a renovation of the Cohen Center. We continually update and revise the program's content to ensure that the over 10,000 students that visit LabVenture each year, can immerse themselves in a relevant, accessible, and cutting edge learning experience.
LabVenture is available to Maine’s fifth or sixth graders students from all 16 counties free of charge, and includes transportation to our lab. Research shows that middle school students are at a critical stage in their learning, when exposure to authentic STEM explorations can cement their interest and confidence in science.
Our goal is to give the next generation the science and data skills they will need to manage the challenges and opportunities that come with a changing climate. LabVenture is a totally unique science learning experience that places students in the middle of some of the most important questions scientists explore every day.Leigh Peake Chief Education OfficerLeigh Peake Chief Education Officer
The experience combines traditional tools of science with high-tech interactive resources to enable students to explore Gulf of Maine ecosystems. Using NASA satellite data, as well as local fishery data, they investigate how warming ocean temperatures are impacting key species, including lobster and black sea bass. Students also have opportunities to measure live lobsters, observe plankton under microscopes, analyze real sea surface temperature data displayed on interactive touch tables, and conduct an underwater species survey at our Biodiversity Tank. As they work, they build key science skills and develop lifelong skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem solving.
Learning doesn't stop once students leave our interactive learning facility. We've also worked to connect students' LabVenture experience back to the classroom by developing and implementing coordinated curriculum modules in schools, and by giving teachers more professional learning experiences. These teacher professional development opportunities include teacher participation in the LabVenture experience from the student standpoint, where they can also engage in personal and small group reflections, and receive an introduction to classroom activities. Perhaps most importantly, teachers use these opportunities to build a community of peers dedicated to giving students authentic experiences with scientific inquiry.
In addition, students record their notes and thoughts as they move through the LabVenture experience in a digital Field Notebook, which they can bring back to their classrooms and homes.
More recently, in order to continue serving teachers and students during COVID-19 school closures, we created LabVenture Express offered remotely through GMRI Home Delivery.
We provide a variety of opportunities to engage more deeply with LabVenture
Poland Spring is a statewide partner in delivering LabVenture through their Good Neighbor grant program. Poland Spring supports GMRI to help foster the next generation of water stewards.
- Alfred M. Senter Fund
- Bank of America Charitable Foundation
- Bath Iron Works
- Charles C. Butt
- Harry W. Konkel
- Hyman Family Foundation
- Kennebunk Savings Bank
- Old Bug Light Foundation
- Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation
- Harold Dudley Fund of the Maine Community Foundation
- Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation
- Edwin S. Webster Foundation
- Sherman Family Foundation
- Norway Savings Bank
- Cyr Bus Lines
- Elizabeth Ann Leach Charitable Trust
- The Robert & Dorothy Goldberg Charitable Foundation
- Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough
- Bath Savings Institution
- Clark Insurance
- Katahdin Trust Company
- Machias Savings Bank
- Portland Pipe Line
- RBC Wealth Management
- Robert G. & Jane V. Engel Foundation, Inc.
- Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution
- Skowhegan Savings Bank
Three years ago, a team of GMRI staff, project partners, vendors, and advisors began building an unparalleled learning experience for Maine’s middle school students, thanks …
Last year, we launched an all-new LabVenture experience, including updated content and state-of-the-art technology. After a little more than a year and 14,000 students served, …
This spring, our Education team introduced Home Delivery, a menu of online learning experiences adapted from our existing education programs.
In March, our all-new LabVenture program was honored as a finalist for the SXSW EDU Learn by Design competition in Austin, TX. The SXSW EDU® …