Tuition-Free STEM University Research, Career Exploration Course Offered to High School Students

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BELFAST — Registration is open for an innovative four-week STEM research course for qualified high school students (grades 11-12) offered by the University of Maine, July 18-August 18. December 11, 2022, at the UMaine Hutchinson Centre, Belfast.

Introduction to Integrated Science and Career Exploration (INT 188) will meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. High school students will earn three college credits upon completion of the course. Sections of this course, on the same dates, are offered on the Orono and Machias campuses.

The first classes of the College are offered tuition-free for qualified high school students. Students who pay to attend a high school in Maine, including international and international students, will be charged a reduced rate for Early College.

This innovative course with a low student-teacher ratio offers a unique summer opportunity for Midcoast Maine students who want to explore STEM-related careers and engage in a research project. Thirty percent of class time will be spent outdoors doing fieldwork, with the remainder spent in class and in the lab at the Hutchinson Center.

INT 188 is designed to introduce high school students to higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The course includes lectures and laboratory courses on data collection and analysis, experimental design, measurement and graphics techniques, scientific writing, and evidence-based thinking.

“I know I wouldn’t have made it this far this year if it wasn’t for the experience I gained in the class. I learned so much about scientific research in a very short time,” Ruth Havener said in a Hutchinson Center press release. Havener graduated INT 188 in 2021 and recently won a full scholarship to UMaine at the Maine State Science Fair for his research on extracting microplastics from blue mussels.

Students will participate in group work, an environmental chemistry or environmental biology research project, a career planning task focused on STEM fields, career exploration experiences, and a final research symposium August 11. In previous years, INT 188 students have used this opportunity to research environmental issues in the Belfast/Midcoast area, such as the impact of the presence of microplastics in the bay.

Course instructors Susan Therio and Dave Thomas are adjunct faculty members at UMaine who teach courses in chemistry and oceanography, respectively. Before coming to UMaine, Therio was an industrial chemist in the fields of environment and hydrocolloids. Thomas, a high school science teacher for more than 18 years, spent four years as a research technician in northern Wisconsin and Michigan studying ecological change.

To register, go to umaine.edu/earlycollege/courses/summer-courses/int188/. For more information on course content, contact Chris Tremblay, 338.8038; [email protected]

About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is a outreach center for the University of Maine at Orono, which serves as an educational and cultural center for the Midcoast region. It is named after University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The Hutchinson Center’s mission is to expand access to University of Maine academic and non-degree programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional and career development experiences using innovative approaches that increase synergy between University of Maine system entities and University of Maine departments. and divisions, and that engage a larger Maine community.

About the University of Maine:

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land, maritime, and space grant university, with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is located in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of education, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the only public research university in the state and one of the most comprehensive institutions of higher education in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students, and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduate students. Our students have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn a master’s, doctoral, or master of professional science, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial campus-wide efforts to save energy, recycle, and meet green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine and UMaine Machias, visit umaine.edu and machias.edu.

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