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CASTINE, Maine – Dr. William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA,) recently appointed Dr. Paul Wlodkowski, associate professor of engineering at MMA, to serve as the college’s representative to the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Council.
Established last year as emergency legislation in the first regular session of the 125th Maine Legislature, the STEM Council is tasked with developing strategies for enhancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education. The Council is also charged with integrating STEM education into all content areas and submitting an annual report to the Legislature. The first annual report is due out this month.
The 16-member council includes five ex-officio members from the Maine Departments of Education and Labor, the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, and Maine Maritime Academy, along with 11 members appointed by the Governor of Maine from a variety of public and private education agencies.
Wlodkowski, a proponent of integrated engineering education, recently completed a year of sabbatical study serving as a visiting post-doctoral research associate at the University of Maine’s Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE). As part of that effort, Wlodkowski developed a pre-engineering course based on rocket dynamics which he delivered at Ellsworth High School, where he collaborated closely with physical sciences teachers Cindi Heanssler and James Burns. At Camden Hills Regional High School, he introduced this curriculum to physics teacher Lisa Damian, and together they adapted it into a design project for a senior-level, advanced placement (AP) class in physics.
Wlodkowski is also a strong supporter of career and technical education. His continued collaboration with Beth Fisher at the MidCoast School of Technology in Rockland is grounded in the belief that the engineering rigor of the “Project Lead the Way” curriculum is a prospective STEM pathway directly involving Maine’s career and technical education centers (CTEs). Last year while working at the RiSE center, Wlodkowsi presented two colloquia entitled, “Introducing Engineering Design in a 9th Grade Physical Sciences Classroom,” and “A Quantitative Assessment of Pre-College Engineering Studies and Its Implications for Maine’s Schools.”
In addition to his teaching duties at MMA in the department of engineering, Wlodkowsi serves as coordinator of the college’s Marine Systems Engineering (MSE) program. As part of his assignment on the Governor’s STEM Council, Wlodkowski will be working to make MMA’s unique resources and facilities in STEM education, training, and employment available to Maine’s PK-12 and CTE partners. He earned an A.B. at Dartmouth College, an M.S. at the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. Wlodkowski resides in Ellsworth, Maine, with his wife Alexandra and three children.