Take education to the next level using community-based projects to start a conversation about climate change and inspire action. Create ownership among youth by connecting climate change across academic subjects and to the places they love.


The Gulf of Maine Field Studies took a local issue that the town was facing with one of its iconic properties and made it a laboratory of discovery for students. The students were tasked with getting Goat Island off the grid. Currently it is powered by an underwater cable that is starting to fail. Could solar, wind or tidal help keep this island going, and prove that sustainability is attainable?


Student Goals

  • Research how to get Goat Island off the grid and conduct experiments with solar, wind, and tidal power
  • Interview stakeholders to grasp the larger picture and all the issues at hand
  • Hold public forums as a way to engage/inform the community as a whole
  • Disseminate information to agencies as well as the community at large to create real change

This class shows how to use practical inexpensive instrumentation to collect data, and how they have used these experiments to connect the community to the issues facing the Gulf of Maine due to climate change. Inspiring new conversations about long-term resilience in their own backyard through empowered youth voices in public forums that invite all to the table and start a real conversation of change.


Quick Facts

  • Collaboration between Kennebunk High School, University of New England, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, and the Gulf of Maine Institute
  • Dual enrollment class offering college science credits to high school students while simultaneously being taught at the university
  • Uses science and technology as well as social science to start meaningful conversations in the community about climate change
  • Gives students a sense of ownership of the problems their town is facing as well as empowers them to take action both individually and as a team
  • Curriculum consultation available by reaching out to our Director of Programs and Outreach, Leia Lowery at leia@theclimateinitiative.org.


Student Testimonials

“We learn about real issues that are affecting us already. So everything we learn directly connects to situations in life outside of class.”

“This class has showed me what it means to be passionate and excited about learning and creating change. I’ve chosen my top career choice because of this class, so I am sincerely thankful for everything this class has taught me”