© 2016 by Rural Aspirations Project

Photos taken in Central Maine,  courtesy of Isaiah Soll

MFC 2.0 Collaborative Project Question:
"How can we use natural resources to positively impact local communities?"




October 17th, 2019:  Teacher Workshop

Teachers will prepare for the Unit Two Rapid Prototyping design process.

November 6th, 2019:  MFC Cohort Day #1

In the morning students will present posters depicting local communities.  What makes them special?  What more do we want to investigate?  What challenges do they face?

The afternoon session will kick off Unit Two: Rapid Prototyping Solutions to Community Challenges.  Students will get an introduction to the process and work through a community challenge.



For this project, students will investigate how natural resource use has, is and could positively impact local communities, guided by the overarching question “How can we use natural resources to positively impact local communities?”  

Students will learn about sustainable communities, define their local region and invite community partners to collaboratively explore the history of natural resource use and ownership in their region, investigate current natural resource use, and imagine ways local communities have, are and could use forests to impact financial, social/cultural and environmental dimensions of their regions.  Students will collect qualitative and quantitative data to create a local map, identify challenges within their communities, and develop solutions to these challenges through the rapid prototyping and design process.


In May, students will present solutions to industry professionals and community audiences.



Buckfield Jr./Sr. High School, Buckfield

Environmental Science Class taught by Caleb McNaughton


Forest Hills School, Jackman

English Class taught by Rae Wren


Greenville Consolidated School, Greenville

Environmental Science Class taught by Selena Tardif and Dawna Blackstone

Telstar High School, Bethel

Environmental Science class taught by Elke Blauss



New schools will be accepted in the 2020-2021 school year!

If you are interested, navigate to the contact page




Understanding and defining local communities



Rapid prototyping solutions to community challenges




Rapid prototyping solutions to community challenges



  1. Articulate a personal connection to the local natural resource economy, markets, and ecosystems.

  2. Investigate complex issues facing forests, drawing upon a wide range of community resources both in and out of school.

  3. Investigate emerging industries, technologies, and innovation.

  4. Collaborate with other students, natural resource practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and other community resources to apply available information to their understanding of natural resource management.

  5. Use a design process to create a solution to a challenge in a natural resource context based on application of current, adopted, or new technology.

  6. Understand and analyze the impacts of technology use on both the user and the targeted resource as it relates to the sustainability of both.

  1. Problem solving with a variety of strategies based on information available.

  2. Recognizing and making connections across multiple disciplines and learned information.

  3. Creating and using multiple representations to organize, record, and communicate solutions to complex issues facing natural resources and natural resource economies.

  4. Communicating findings with well developed claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases. (CCSS.ELA - Literacy.W.11 - 12.1.b).

  5. Using real world data to back up claims and counterclaims.

  1. Become a self-directed and lifelong learner who recognizes the need for quality natural resource information and knowledge from many different sources.

  2. Become a responsible and involved citizen who applies leadership skills to contemporary issues facing natural resource industries.

  3. Become a clear and effective communicator who applies advocacy skills, including research, argumentation, and presentation skills.

  4. Become a creative and practical problem solver who applies goal setting and problem-solving skills in novel situations in collaboration with other students, natural resource practitioners, research, policymakers, and other community resources.

  5. Become an integrative and informed thinker who gains and applies knowledge across natural resource disciplines and sources with and without technology.