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Algae Academy held at USM-LAC

Algae on rocks

University of Southern Maine (USM) Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences and President of the Algae Foundation Ike Levine hosted the Algae Academy at USM's Lewiston-Auburn College this past week.

The institute, held July 9-13, was free to both teachers and students and divided the week into two parts. The first half of the week instructed teachers on how to develop algae-based lessons.

This was the first year the program met in person.  

“Normally, we just do webinars and videos and emails, but we found that only to be about 70-75 percent effective. We thought we could push that to the high 90s if we trained the people in person, in advance, so when the kits came to them, they’d be fully cognizant of what was involved,” Levine told the Sun Journal.

During the second half of the week, teachers gave those lessons to fifth- to 10th-grade students.

“They’re going to have to learn how to grow an algae, how to count the algae, how to do some graphing and analysis of growth rates," Levine told the paper.

Levine said he hopes the academy can serve as the first step in a lifelong pursuit of studying algae.

“By 2022, there’s going to be the need for 12,000 algae jobs," he said.