Mainers Celebrate Science March 20-22

Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance was proud to be a part of a big spring science weekend in Maine March 20-22. The first Maine Science Festival included dozens of organizations and brought thousands of people to Bangor for fun, informative, interesting, cool science.

The 69th Annual Maine State Science Fair on Saturday, March 21, featured 112 projects from 15 schools and 2 homeschool students. A wide range of excellent student work was on display. The three top projects will represent Maine at the Intel ISEF Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 10-15. First place went to Demetri Maxim’s “Directed Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into Kidney Cells.” The Gould Academy student was also the 2014 Maine State Science Fair winner. Second place went to Ben Schade and Justin Hamilton, who attend the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, for “Calculating the Horizon with Perspective Projection,” and third place to Paige Brown, from Bangor High School, for “Identifying and Remediating the Sources of Pollution in Impaired Bangor Streams.”

MMSA’s Reach Center project presented an award to a young scientist or engineer who went above and beyond to participate in the Maine State Science Fair. Elliott Ross from Hebron Academy won this award, for using his curiosity, perseverence, and skill to develop his project, “A Test of Optimal Foraging Theory: Prey Handling Time by Crayfish as a Function of Temperature,” and bring it to the 2015 competition. Eighteen other special awards were presented.

Student evaluations of the science fair were collected for the first time, and MMSA staff will tabulate those results and use them to improve the science fair. MMSA co-led the Maine State Science Fair with The Jackson Laboratory. Other sponsors of the Maine State Science Fair are The Betterment Fund, Dorr Foundation, and Jane’s Trust.

MPBN’s solar-powered recording studio, TheBooth, was at the event to collect stories from participants. Two questions, “You can join any research team. What problem would you research and why?” and “You have $1 billion to invest in research in Maine. What types of projects will you support?” were asked during the event. The story will air on MPBN soon.

In the “Cool Science” program on Sunday, MMSA presented a hands-on math activity that our STEM Guides project took to several farmers markets this summer. This Farmers Markets Math drew kids and families, and we also shared information about other upcoming events and how to find more STEM out-of-school activities in our STEM Resource Bank.

MMSA was also a sponsor of the Maine Science Festival.

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