Follow a Researcher®: How Do Scientists Know What to Research?

May 8th, 2018 1:16 PM
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Follow a Researcher®

How Do Scientists Know What to Research?

Throughout our journey, we will be getting more familiar with the things that scientists and engineers do. Not only are these practices central to the life of a scientist but also to your own experiences in the science classroom and beyond. We’ll start by asking questions and defining problems.

Despite the various work settings of science, one thing is certain: no matter where science is happening, questions are trying to be answered. Tyler describes his team’s mission to study the connection between the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) and the “spiny-headed worm” parasite (Profilicollis botulus), but why did they choose to go to the coast of Maine and how do they know what to study?

Building on the Work of Others

Tyler didn’t know what questions he was trying to answer before he started. He did not wake up one day and say, “Hey! I’m going to move from Connecticut to Maine to study parasites!” Instead, his work is in response to the research of other scientists. Likewise, Tyler’s research will inform future studies. Scientists often get ideas from one another, which speaks to the importance of sharing information with other researchers so that someone else might pick up where the previous study left off.

In order to begin research, you need to figure out what interests you! Next, you’ll probably make observations and learn from the knowledge of others. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information is another practice that scientist engage in during their work. These were the steps that Tyler took by talking to others and reading science articles and research papers to develop the questions that still needed to be answered.

Investigating Crabs and Worms

As Tyler discussed in the video, the green crab is invasive to Maine, and many other areas. Additionally, the crab has been found to be infected with the spiny-headed worm parasite. This knowledge led Tyler to the following testable research questions he will be trying to answer:

  1. How many of these crabs are carrying the spiny-headed worm? How does this number change across bioregions or a five-year timescale?;
  2. Does the spiny-headed worm show up in different numbers across different subgroups of green crabs (size, age, sex, color, location, etc.)?;
  3. How can we make sure the information that we are gathering is accurate?

Tyler and his team are using these questions to help them decide what data they will need to collect and how to collect it.

What Do You Think?

Which part of this week’s episode did you find the most interesting?

  • What else would you want to know?
  • What questions would you need to ask to determine the future of green crabs?

Have More Questions?

Join Tyler and other classrooms in the next live Twitter chat on Thursday, May 10 at 1:00 PM (ET) using the hashtag: #umainefar.

Travels with Community Central

May 4th, 2018 11:13 AM
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Over their school break in April, Community Central Teen Leaders took the cities by storm.
The Portland High School 4-H club, including CYFAR Teen Leaders, went to the Big Apple!
ten teens and chaperone group photo at General Assembly at the United Nations

PHS 4-H visits the General Assembly room at the United Nations.

The teens take the trip to visit an urban college and to learn American history and civics. There were eleven juniors and seniors who went on the trip with two adult volunteers. Highlights included a visit to NYU admissions, a touching visit to the 9/11 memorial and a tour of the United Nations. Several students want to study criminal justice and be a police officer so the students asked NYPD officers a lot of questions on the trip.

The teens have been planning the trip since October. The teens had to identify potential colleges and sites to visit, conduct service learning projects, and attend leadership meetings in order to go on the trip. The teens also met with mentors on a weekly basis and maintained their grades and school attendance. Many of the teens loved visiting NYC but most came to the conclusion that they would prefer a college with more green space and less traffic!
A big thanks to volunteers Glenn and Jennifer for chaperoning!

A big thanks to volunteers Glenn and Jennifer for chaperoning!

Teen Leaders from Lewiston and the Androscoggin/Sagadahoc Teen Council went to Boston!

teens group photo outside museum

Teen Leaders from Lewiston and Androscoggin/Sagadahoc Teen Council at the Boston Museum of Science.

Gray rainy days don’t scare away Main-ahs! Teen Leaders from Community Central in Lewiston and members of the Androscoggin/Sagadahoc Teen Council went to the Boston Museum of Science to explore new information, celebrate the work they have done this year, and get ready for summer programming.

This summer teen leaders will be teaching engineering concepts to younger 4-H members. We kicked off their training by visiting the OMNI Theaters presentation of Dream Big: Engineering Our World.

teenager and a 4-H youth at an engineering table at museum

Exploring Engineering concepts and looking forward to summer!

The teens collected a lot of ideas for future sessions with kids and have started sharing all of their new ideas with our 4-H youth. We’re looking forward to summer!

 

You can follow Community Central on our Facebook page and find out more about the program on our website.

This material is based upon the work of 4-H Community Central Maine, a project supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States (U.S.) Department of Agriculture, through a cooperative agreement with The University of Maine under award number 2014-41520-22235
General information about the CYFAR grant program can be accessed online at:
https://nifa.usda.gov/program/children-youth-and-families-risk-cyfar

For further information about the CYFAR-funded project highlighted in this publication, contact:
CYFAR Project Name: 4-H Community Central Maine
Principal Investigator: Kristy L  Ouellette
Email Address: kristy.ouellette@maine.edu

4-H Summer Camp Programs – Register Now!

April 24th, 2018 9:43 AM
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Registration is open for summer programs at the UMaine 4-H Centers at Blueberry Cove, Bryant Pond, and Tanglewood for youth ages 8-17. Camps start up June 24 and run through August 18 with week-long, two-week, and mini-camp sessions to fit your needs. Campers shape their experience through activity choice (STEM, swimming, archery, gardening, watershed and marine ecology, creative arts, boating, drama, group challenge and primitive skills), on adventures and trips, eating delicious home-cooked meals, and in wicked evening programs. Teen Leadership Programs build conscious young adults, through teamwork and community stewardship, and teach canoeing/backpacking skills while exploring Maine’s beautiful woods and waterways. Special scholarships for 4-H youth from the Maine 4-H Foundation and some scholarships for Conservation Education camps through Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at Tanglewood and Bryant Pond. To learn more visit: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/youth/camps/ or contact your local office.

Oxford County 4-H June Jamboree

April 24th, 2018 9:43 AM
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Oxford County 4-H June Jamboree Livestock Clinic, Working Steer and Horse Clinic is being held June 8th through June 10th at the Fryeburg Fair Grounds, 1154 Main Street, Fryeburg Maine. Workshops are designed for youth completing project work in the areas of sheep, swine, working steer and horse. Horseless riders are also welcome. Rabies vaccines will be available. A  Big E Try Out for Working Steer is being held Sunday Morning.

Workshops will include washing, clipping, showmanship, animal handling and learning activities around zoonotic disease.

There is a $20.00 registration fee for everyone attending. Camper space is available and meals will be provided starting with breakfast Saturday morning through lunch on Sunday. Check in begins Friday evening after 5:00P.M. For more information about Oxford County June Jamboree please email maisy.cyr@maine.edu or rebecca.mosley@maine.edu. This event is open to 4-H Families from all counties. Adults and youth must preregister online due to insurance regulations and to help with meal and activity planning.

Check with your county office for the online registration link which will be available soon. Registration deadline is May 25th.

Register Starting June 1st for 2018 Maine 4-H Days

April 24th, 2018 9:41 AM
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Maine 4-H Days will take place July 20 – 22, 2018 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you do not have online access, please contact your local county office for paper copies of the forms. Find information and registration materials at: http://umaine.edu/4h/youth/4-h-events/maine-4-h-days/.

Registration opens on June 1st.  If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact Sarah Sparks at sarah.sparks@maine.edu or 207.353.5550.

Agricultural Labor Field Day

March 30th, 2018 2:29 PM
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In collaboration, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Labor (DOL) and Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) invites you to participate in the Agricultural Labor Field Day, Thursday, May 3rd, 2018, from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PMat KVCC’s Alfond Recreational Center located on KVCC’s Hinckley Campus in Hinckley, Maine.

The Agricultural Labor Field Day aims to connect young adults interested in professional and academic agricultural careers with local jobs in a variety of agriculture fields and/or undergraduate programming in Sustainable Agriculture, Culinary Arts, and Business Administration at KVCC.  This is also an opportunity to meet with workforce training and professional development staff from KVCC and DOL to review your resumes and get job search advice.  In addition, KVCC will also provide tours of their farm during the event.
Schedule of events:

  • 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM– Doors open to the public. Open fair format for participants to visit exhibits and for exhibitors to host interviews
  • 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM– First KVCC Farm Tour leaving the Alfond Rec Center
  • 12:00 PM –  12:30 PM– Last KVCC Farm Tour leaving the Alfond Rec Center


The event is free and open to the public. 
For more information about this event and other agricultural opportunities please visit the Farm Labor Link Network page.  We look forward to seeing you at our Agricultural Labor Field Day 2018. If you have any questions, please contact Yvette Meunier at 207.592.0640 or yvette.meunier@maine.gov.

4-H Market Lamb Intent for Fryeburg Fair

March 30th, 2018 2:25 PM
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Please submit your Intent to Participate Forms for the 4-H Market Lamb classes at Fryeburg Fair by May 2. You can find the form on the 4-H Sheep Project web page: http://umaine.edu/4h/youth/4-h-projects/animal-science-resources/sheep/.

Register now for 2018 4-H@UMaine May 18 – 19!

March 30th, 2018 2:24 PM
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Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a nurse? Or to Mod your Minecraft? Or to learn a hip-hop dance with the UMaine Dance Team? For answers to these questions and more, 4-H@UMaine invites you (6th-10th graders) to participate in our fun interactive overnight on UMaine campus with career role models and kids from across the state on May 18-19!  For more information about 4-H@UMaine, contact Greg Kranich at gregory.kranich@maine.edu or 207.949.3878. Register online http://umaine.edu/4h/youth/4-h-events/4humaine/ – it’s open until April 16th, and space is limited.

March 29th, 2018 11:40 AM
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Last week was the final classroom session of the year for 3rd-graders at McMahon Elementary in Lewiston. The youngest members of 4-H Community Central spent a couple of months learning about Force and Motion through a wide range of fun 4-H projects!

Testing different materials to look at friction and speed.

Testing different materials to learn about speed and friction.

 

Do you think the bump in the road made a difference in the car's speed?

Do you think the bump in the road made a difference in the car’s speed?

 

Testing catapults! Many students were successful in getting their cotton ball to land inside the cup - inside the metal tray!

Testing catapults: Many students were successful in getting their cotton ball to land inside the cup – inside the metal tray!

Fishing With Magnets: What materials will be attracted to the magnet wand?

Fishing With Magnets: What materials will be attracted to the magnet wand?

 

How is the glove 'attracted' to the magnet wand?

How is the glove ‘attracted’ to the magnet wand?

Several 3rd-graders also attend the 21st Century afterschool program at McMahon and will continue STEM exploration with 4-H there – right now they are taking a look at how fragile ecosystems are and how important Alewives are to Maine.

You can follow Community Central on our Facebook page and find out more about the program on our website.

This material is based upon the work of 4-H Community Central Maine, a project supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States (U.S.) Department of Agriculture, through a cooperative agreement with The University of Maine under award number 2014-41520-22235
General information about the CYFAR grant program can be accessed online at:
https://nifa.usda.gov/program/children-youth-and-families-risk-cyfar

For further information about the CYFAR-funded project highlighted in this publication, contact:
CYFAR Project Name: 4-H Community Central Maine
Principal Investigator: Kristy L  Ouellette
Email Address: kristy.ouellette@maine.edu

4-H Science SaturdayRegistration Open – Science of Cheesemaking!

February 27th, 2018 9:32 PM
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Have you ever wondered just how cheese is made? Join us to find out!

Food Science Specialist, Dr. Robson Machado, will show us how to make two different kinds of cheese. While we will not be able to taste-test the ones we create, we will be testing a few different types of cheese and other dairy products as well as discussing the importance of sensory testing food products. You don’t want to miss this!

Date: March 17, 2018
Location: Hitchner Hall, Commercial Kitchen, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm
Cost: $10.00 (includes the price of lunch.)

This program is open to youth grades 6-8. Registration is required and space is limited. Registration deadline is March 9, 2018. No late registrations will be accepted. To register, find more information or learn about upcoming Science Saturday offerings, please visit: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/home/science-saturday/.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Jessica Brainerd at 800.287.0274, or brainerd@maine.edu to discuss needs.