Ferry Beach Ecology School  
Teachng the Science of Ecology  
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Science and Ecology: Live & Unplugged! (SELU)

The SELU program (Science and Ecology: Live & Unplugged!) is a multi-year program collaborative that addresses the science and curriculum needs of elementary age students and teachers. SELU focuses on sequential, place-based educational experiences grounded in hands-on, experiential learning, embodying the state's Environmental Literacy Plan guidlines, as adopted by Maine's Department of Education.

Students and teachers work with FBES staff each year, both on- and off-site, to address specific science curriculum goals in addition to integrating learning across the disciplines. The multi-year program culminates with an overnight program at Ferry Beach Ecology School for the oldest students.

The SELU program is completely tailored to fit school and district science curriculum at each grade-level. Meetings with each team of grade-level teachers are conducted at the beginning of the school year to address student learning, teacher resources and curriculum needs. During the SELU program, students and teachers will:

  • Explore amazing ecosystems at Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine — beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, tide pools, ponds, streams, coastal forests and our organic teaching garden, most within walking distance of campus!
  • Discover their own school's playground and nature trails — learning what's outside of school walls.
  • Address important science concepts through hands-on, interactive lessons taught by professional educators.
  • Enjoy visits by FBES naturalists for entertaining and informative classroom and schoolyard visits, as well as assembly programs.
  • Address State Learning Standards — students will meet curricular goals through experiential, entertaining and unique learning opportunities! Please refer to our Alignment documents, which you can download in Word format here: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

    marshies enjoy an outing in the salt marsh
    SELU the Seal, our official program mascot,
    on a visit to Ferry Beach.

Below is an example of a K-5 SELU program progression, from the Maine School Administrative District #60 in Lebanon, Berwick and North Berwick, Maine:
Kindergarten - Sensory Awareness schoolyard programs and Beach field trips
1st Grade - Rocks & Soil field trips and Plants Around Us schoolyard program
2nd grade - Pond Life & Salt Marsh field trip and Watershed classroom program
3rd grade - Water Exploration schoolyard program and Fishing Village field trip
4th grade - Geology & Disturbance field trip and Sustainability classroom program
5th grade - Winter Ecology schoolyard lesson and Residential program at FBES, including food systems education through our Food for Thought curriculum.

Please be in touch with Outreach Director, Meg Edstrom, by calling (207) 283-9951 or emailing her at meg@fbes.org.


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Meg Edstrom
Outreach Director and SELU Coordinator, Meg Edstrom

Impact Study & Evaluation Results
In the fall of 2009 we launched a six-year longitudinal Impact Study to measure the impacts of SELU on students and teachers.  To conduct this study, we contracted with PEER Associates, a respected environmental and place-based educational research organization to design an evaluation system for the SELU program.  Now, headed into the fourth year of the SELU Impact Study, we intend to refine the evaluation tools used and expand the participants surveyed. 
First, we designed a Logic Model for the SELU program.  Logic Models describe the relationships between program inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts, and can help to evaluate the effectiveness of extensive programs like SELU.
Logic Model

The Outline of Preliminary Findings include all results from the student and teacher surveys, student concept maps, student focus groups, and interview sessions with administrators, teachers and parents. 

*NEW* 2012-2013 Outline of Preliminary Findings

2011-2012 Outline of Preliminary Findings

2010-2011 Outline of Preliminary Findings

Utilization Preview

The Executive Summaries condense the information from the Preliminary Findings into a piece that is deliverable to funders and stakeholders.

*NEW* 2012-2013 Executive Summary

*NEW* 2011-2012 Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Executive Summary


Lebanon Schools Lead the Way!

Lebanon and Hanson Elementary Schools broke new ground in Maine in Fall 2007 when they piloted SELU, a sequential, cumulative program that brings hands-on, real-world science education to all of its elementary students. Working with FBES, the Lebanon Schools offered SELU to all Kindergarten through 5th grade students. The Lebanon Schools were the first in New England to participate in the SELU program, and are leading the way in innovative by using the Ecology School's progressive, multidisciplinary approach to education to integrate science throughout their school year curriculum. With the help of grant scholarships, contributions from MSAD #60, the Lebanon P.T.O. and the FBES Program Fund, Lebanon students will be able to participate in this affordable, unique and comprehensive program that addresses district science curriculum needs and state learning goals and supports teachers in delivery methods and curriculum content. This is an exciting opportunity for Lebanon students to further their learning through classroom and schoolyard visits, assembly programs, along with field trips to the Ferry Beach Ecology School campus on Saco Bay, Maine.

Click here for a pdf version of our SELU brochure.