UMaine Hutchinson Center

STEM research college course offered tuition free to high school students

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 11:00am

BELFAST — An innovative three-week STEM research course for high school students will be offered by the University of Maine June 24 – July 12 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

The tuition-free course, part of the UMaine Aspirations Program, will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:15 a.m. – noon. High school students will earn three college credits upon successful completion of the course.

Introduction to Integrated Science and Career Exploration (INT 188) is an early college lab course designed to introduce high school students to higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The course includes 38 hours of course and lab work in which students undertake a guided research project with peers.

Students also participate in eight hours of job shadowing and career planning with local STEM-related businesses.

There will be two research topics – Environmental chemistry: Wayward molecules in the environment, and Environmental biology: How do organisms respond to their environment? Proposed research experiments include:

1) A predation experiment on soft-shell clams using planting pots buried in sediment in the high intertidal zone of the Belfast estuary.

2) A lab experiment using one-liter containers measuring uptake rates of a marine diatom by blue mussels, both in the presence and absence of plastic microbeads.

3) A lab experiment investigating the effect of CO2 concentration, temperature, and/or salinity on the growth of a marine diatom.

Course instructors Susan Therio and Dave Thomas are UMaine adjunct faculty members teaching chemistry and oceanography courses, respectively.

Prior to coming to UMaine, Therio was an industry chemist in environmental and hydrocolloid fields.

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 changes.

To register, contact Allison Small, 338-8004;

For more information about the course contact Christopher Tremblay 338-8038;