What Students & Teachers Say

Here is some of the feedback we have received from local students and teachers:

CREA Feedback From High School Students:

“The benefits of attending off-site classes vs. classroom learning are that students get to experience the learning for themselves! It is said that if you hear or see something you may remember it, but once you do it you’ll definitely remember. Going to CREA provided a “do” environment for us, helping us understand our classroom curriculum better and remember it!”

“My partner and I studied how temperature and moisture affected the quantity of dragonflies by the vernal pool and by the Heath Loop Pond. We would go out and take walks around these areas and bring nets to catch dragonflies. I learned to catch and hold dragonflies. I also learned many facts about dragonflies: how to distinguish between male and female, their species, and what areas they like live in. A big Thank You Cheryl for her help and to David Reed for his expertise on dragonflies and his photography skills!”

“The research I did with CREA taught me what real scientists do out in the field, and helped me begin my experiment for the Maine State Science Fair. For my state science fair project I studied pea clams in a vernal pool near my house, and did very well, placing 1st in my category: Animal, Behavioral & Social Sciences. CREA really helped me because CREA is hands-on, and it gives students memorable and fun learning opportunities. I wouldn’t have traded my CREA experience in for any other science class!”

“I do feel more connected to the “natural world” after learning at CREA. Being at CREA allows me to be outside when other classes keep me inside, and it is hard to get outside on my own time with as much as I do between school and work. Although I am not thinking about a career in the outdoors, I feel more likely to be involved with outdoor activities and nature preservation in the future than I would have been if I had not been in the CREA class.”

“Just going to CREA every week and having people there to help teach us about the history of the land, the river and the local area. I can’t think of any individual time, because they were all so memorable in a way that I couldn’t choose just one. I will miss going to CREA when I leave.”

“CREA was a really good experience. I learned a lot, had a lot of fun and explored a whole new place that I had never really been to. CREA was what I looked forward to every week because it was not an in class thing. Now that CREA has ended it’s sad!”

“While working outside I was able to develop leadership skills to get the lab done on time and help focus others so that we finished with everything on time.”

“While working outside, it is mostly all hands-on skills we were learning instead of paper work and essays like in other classes. It was a good change of pace and allowed us to really put our learning to work. Instead of memorizing how animal tracks look; we were able to see them in the field.”

“It’s really great that our whole Honors Biology class from Mt. Ararat High School got to work at CREA this fall to conduct hands-on environmental studies with professional scientists. Lauren and I conducted a Cathance River Fish Study with the help of our mentor, Mike Chelminski from Stantec Environmental Consulting. Mike helped us determine the basis of our study, and even assisted with lesson plans. We used CREA’s underwater camera, waders, and several kinds of nets to count all of the creek chubs we could in order to get a good idea of what abiotic factors had the greatest impact on the creek chub population in the stream. We captured excellent video footage of creek chubs with the underwater camera! Mike was extremely helpful, and conducting this experiment would have been nearly impossible without him. Working with an experienced fish and river scientist was an opportunity we’ll never forget. Thanks for everything, Cheryl! Also, thank you for all the help you gave Lauren and I! That project would have actually been impossible to do in that class without all the help and tools you gave us.”
– Daniel Pelletier, Honors Biology Student, Mt. Ararat High School

CREA Teacher Workshops:

“Thank you Cheryl!! I really enjoyed the teacher workshop on Friday (November 4th). We are interested in using the Geology Learning Kits CREA has developed! Thank you for all of your hard work. I learned a great deal and feel energized as I am gearing up for my geology unit!”
-Kim Spencer – Yarmouth Elementary – Maine “Teacher of the Year” 2010

“I both enjoyed the workshop and learned new information. Thank you also for the many things we took back with us that will be used in our classrooms. I thought the workshop was very well planned and at a pace that kept us interested and curious. It was a great mix of activities and things to do for different learning styles. Please keep me on your mailing list!”
-Carol Taylor – Freeport Mast Landing School Teacher

“Absolutely amazing program! Informative & exciting… I can’t wait to share my new knowledge with my students!”
-Julia Gibson – Topsham Woodside School

CREA “Outdoor Classroom” Field Trips Teacher Comments:

“The learning involved in our trip to CREA targeted our instructional standards. The students had access to hands-on learning – rocks & minerals, plants, soil, clay – and were highly engaged. Sarah & Cheryl have perfected the art of effectively delivering instruction on a third grade level. We love CREA and will support our partnership in any way. Here is to continued involvement and support of CREA programs!”

“My students were thrilled with their learning experience. During lunch one of my students yelled out “This is the best day of my life!” He summed it up for all of us! I really liked the soil activity. It made the whole process real for students. The kids really liked mineral hunt too. Pretty soon there will be no rocks left on our playground!”

“Whatever happens at CREA is way beyond what I am able to provide in the classroom setting. Your enthusiasm for learning/teaching/exploring is beyond measure. Catching aquatic invertebrates is always the favorite! They liked the connection between taking them right from the water and then seeing them under microscopes back at the ecology center. The microscopes were a real hit! And the pro-scope was beyond incredible! The vernal pool is so filled with incredible secrets captivated the kids (and me). Cheryl’s enthusiasm for these tiny bugs blew me away!”

“CREA Rocks! You make learning so much fun they don’t even know it is learning! I would bring my class every week if it were available and feasible! Thanks so much!”

“I have one little child who is very apathetic about his learning and today he was very engaged and asking questions. When we returned he wanted to go to the library and check out a book about rocks.”

“You allowed each student to be a biologist with his/her own equipment. You expected the best from each one. The kids have talked about the trip much more than any other trip we have been on.”

“Students that usually have a difficult time attending and feeling successful in the classroom were engaged in the hands-on lessons at CREA. You could see they felt like they could participate and take risks. Students were smiling, having fun and learning so much!”

“I could go on forever with the advantages to this type of learning… it levels the playing field for students with unique needs. They were able to show their expertise in something other than “school work”. Hands-on learning is where it’s at!”

CREA “Outreach in the Classroom” Teacher Comments:

“Sarah was extremely knowledgeable and presented the classroom outreach lesson in a professional way. She knew how to meet the student’s needs as well as catch their interests. She is a natural!”

“This is an amazing program with some fantastic educators. It would be nice to have an ongoing connection throughout the year. Thank you for you time and knowledge.”

“Sarah does a great job engaging the kids in her presentation. She includes a mix of interesting content information and activities. The kids learn a lot and remember the information because it is presented in a way that makes them participate, laugh, and stretch their thinking.”

“Unfortunately, science content areas are not being taught regularly in my school and having CREA come to share curriculum concepts and extend the thinking of the students is a life-saver!”

CREA Feedback From High School Principal, Teacher, and Mentor:

“CREA’s facilities, personnel, and programming have all impressed me as being of the highest quality, and the organization makes a significant contribution to the community, particularly in the area of academic enrichment. Students regularly state the fieldwork they do with CREA is their favorite part of their academic work.”
– Craig King, Principal, Mt. Ararat High School

“As a science teacher of multiple levels, I can’t express enough how impressed I have been with the professionalism, communication, and high level of science content offered to me and my students through CREA’s programs. I have brought a variety of classes to CREA and all types of learners have flourished there. CREA provides exceptional resources as well as knowledgeable and highly trained personnel.”
– Andrew McCullough, Biology Teacher, Brunswick High School

“CREA’s ability to provide focused, high quality, localized outdoor educational experiences for students with terrestrial and aquatic studies is critical to opening the doors towards a better understanding of the natural world around us, and quite easily play a key foundational role in the development of individual careers.”
– Steve Pelletier, Stantec Environmental Consulting, CWB, Principal Scientist, CREA Program Mentor

CREA Resources and Games Feedback

“I’ve just started looking over the CREA website and am really enjoying it! I’ve even gone to the “Nature Games” section to see what that was all about and actually did quite well matching the correct answers… Thank you, I look forward to returning to your website and learning more about so many things I’m interested in!”

“We wanted to say thank you for your page, https://creamaine.org/school-programs/history-and-geology-resources! I am a Library Specialist out in Massachusetts and my kids have been using your webpage for their fun Geology project. They found your resources to be so helpful!”
– Michelle Green, Lexington Middle School, Massachusetts