FARMINGTON — Patricia Millette, a science teacher at Mt. Blue High School, has received the Maine Science Teacher’s 2019 Louis P. Lambert Award for Leadership in Science Education.

Science teacher Patricia Millette was surprised with the Maine Science Teacher’s 2019 Louis P. Lambert Award for Leadership in Science Education recently. She is seen holding the award in her classroom at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

Millette said she was given the award during the Maine Science Teachers Association’s annual conference held April 6 in Belfast.

“It came out of the blue. I was really kind of surprised.  I’m not a member,” she said.

Millette said Regional School Unit 9 Curriculum Coordinator Laura Columbia nominated her for the award. Columbia was previously an earth science teacher at MBHS.

“I was Laura’s mentor,” Millette said.

Millette has been teaching 9th grade earth science since 1984. She first taught at Mt. Blue Junior High School and changed schools when freshman classes were moved to the high school.

“My philosophy is to have kids ‘do’ science rather than just learn facts and figures,” she said.

Millette and her students present at the Geological Society of Maine annually. This year they presented at the Geological Society of America.

“The kids did an amazing job. many were surprised to learn they were high school students,” she said.

Millette and her students worked on a project in New Sharon that was part of her doctorate dissertation. Some of her students noticed similar land formations in Chesterville and the project was expanded.

“I’m always looking for new places, projects for the students to study. The last couple of years the kids have suggested places such as the Sandy River floodplain and the Flint Woods. A wider study of the Flint Woods is being done this year,” she said. “If anyone knows of an interesting area to study, let me know.”

This year Millette has added an introduction to oceanography course to her schedule. She is enjoying teaching students a new subject area.

Millette is chair of the science department at MBHS. She is one of four teachers at Mt. Blue who teach secondary science methods at the University of Maine Farmington.

“I mentor a lot of beginning teachers,” she said.

According to the MSTA website, the Louis P. Lambert Award is designed to recognize a public or private school teacher who:

  • inspires student achievement in science in a caring, compassionate manner;
  • shows creative approaches in linking student learning to the Science Content Standards of the Maine State Learning Results and Maine’s Curriculum Framework for Mathematics and Science;
  • makes continuous and enduring contributions to science education by integrating with local and state initiatives, promoting science education, and providing training or resources to other science teachers.

Millette said a similar award is presented for non-traditional classroom science education.

[email protected]