Middle schoolers invited to explore aquaculture during UMaine 4-H Science Saturday

Middle school students are invited to explore aquaculture and marine science research during the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Science Saturday, Jan. 21.

From 10 a.m.–1 p.m. in 101 Libby Hall, youth in grades six through eight will play games and perform experiments similar to those conducted in UMaine research labs. Topics covered will include DNA, the creation of waves and the business of aquaculture.

The $10 fee includes lunch. Registration should be completed online by Jan. 13. The maximum number of participants is 15; minimum is six.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Jessica Brainerd at 581.3877 or jessica.brainerd@maine.edu.

UMaine to host Northern Maine Children’s Water Festival Oct. 11

More than 650 students from 12 middle and elementary schools throughout northern and central Maine will convene at the University of Maine on Tuesday, Oct. 11 for the biennial Northern Maine Children’s Water Festival.

The festival, which will be held from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. in the New Balance Field House, offers an opportunity for students to learn about the value of clean water and healthy habitats, and provides teachers with related educational materials.

Water resource professionals from Maine and other parts of New England will present about water, wetlands, human health and aquatic life. David Sturm, an instructional laboratory and lecture demonstration specialist at UMaine, will perform a physics demonstration focused on water.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a water trivia game show and explore educational exhibits and presentations including, “Sea Farming in Maine,” presented by the UMaine Aquaculture Research Institute; “Vernal Pools: Cycles of Life,” by the Chewonki Foundation; “Bugs Down Under,” by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection; and “Every Drop Counts,” by Project Learning Tree.

The festival is provided at no cost to the participants. Attendance is limited, and schools are selected on a competitive basis.

The Northern Maine Children’s Water Festival is organized by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, UMaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H, Maine Audubon, Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Stillwater Environmental Engineering. Sponsors for the event include Patriot Renewables, IDEXX, ReEnergy Holdings, Brookfield Renewable Energy, the Maine Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Maine Sea Grant, Casella Organics, Northeast Laboratory Services, Norlen’s Water Treatment, Maine Water Utilities Association, and Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.

More information is available online.

Tanglewood 4-H Center to host harvest festival, 5K trail race

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Lincolnville will host a Fall Harvest Festival and a 5K trail race from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8.

Activities include ecology-themed walks in the Tanglewood forest, apple cider pressing, pumpkin painting and archery.

The festival is free; the 5K trail race fee is $20 per person. Register for the trail race and find more information online.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Patti Chapman at 789.5868, patricia.chapman@maine.edu.

UMaine Extension program featured on Science Friday

Science Friday, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the public’s access to science and scientific information, recently posted about a University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H program that connects youth with a graduate student conducting fieldwork in a remote location. This fall, the Follow a Researcher™ program will take place in Antarctica with Lynn Kaluzienski, a Ph.D. student in UMaine’s Department of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute. Kaluzienski will conduct field research and gather data to better understand changes occurring in the Ross Ice Shelf — the largest ice shelf in Antarctica, according to the post. Using data she collects, Kaluzienski will develop a model to make predictions about the future of the Ross Ice Shelf and its effect on sea level rise, Science Friday reported. Using technology and social media, Follow a Researcher™ connects K–12 classrooms with research as it is being conducted around the globe. The program gives students a glimpse into a scientist’s world by providing live expedition updates and facilitating communication between the youth and scientist through weekly Twitter chats and videos. The Maine Department of Education also wrote about the program.

UMaine Extension 4-H connects students with researcher in Antarctica

This fall, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H will again connect youth with a graduate student conducting fieldwork in a remote location as part of its Follow a Researcher™ program.

The program’s third expedition will take place in Antarctica with Lynn Kaluzienski, a Ph.D. student in UMaine’s Department of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute. Kaluzienski will use physics and geology to study ice and glacial movement in the McMurdo shear zone in October and November.

Using technology and social media, Follow a Researcher™ connects K–12 classrooms with research as it is being conducted around the globe. The program gives students a glimpse into a scientist’s world by providing live expedition updates and facilitating communication between the youth and scientist through weekly Twitter chats and videos describing the research aligned with Next Generation Science Standards Practices.

The program also provides recommendations for educators on related demonstrations and experiential learning activities.

Including this year’s participants, the program has reached more than 150 classrooms, engaging more than 3,000 youth in 12 states.

Additional information about the program, including how to sign up to receive updates, is online.

UMaine Extension 4-H seeks volunteers for Union Fair

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H seeks volunteers to teach children about the importance of farming at the 4-H Farm-to-Fair interactive exhibit at the Union Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 20–27. Volunteers will be given an orientation about the exhibit, which includes farming facts to share during the three-hour shift. To sign up to volunteer, get more information or request a disability accommodation, contact Cindy Rogers, 832.0343, cynthia.rogers@maine.edu

Research: Shifting ecosystems in the Falkland Islands

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University of Maine researchers, including Kit Hamley, explore how extinct and introduced animals affect the Falkland Islands and seek to help farmers, sheep, tussock grass, tourists and penguins coexist in light of competing interests, sea-level rise and erosion.

Hamley helped develop the 4-H Follow A ResearcherTM program at UMaine, which connects K–12 students with graduate research.

A news release on her trip to the Falkland Islands is online.

Maine 4-H Foundation Partners with Paris Hill Country Club

The Maine 4-H Foundation is partnering with the Paris Hill Country Club to provide a summer of golf on the historic Paris Hill greens and a summer of chances to enter to win $10,000!  Buy a Maine 4-H Foundation raffle ticket for $26 and receive an 18 hole rounf of golf.

In addition, the Paris Hill Country Club will submit each player’s name into a raffle to win $10,000 to be drawn at the end of August. Come celebrate this wonderful cause, enjoy summer in Maine and Take a Chance on Paris Hill…..Fore the Love of Money! Offers begins on June 10th and runs through August 31st.

UMaine Extension to host National 4-H Shooting Sports instructor training

University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond has been selected to host the 2016 National 4-H Shooting Sports instructor training this summer at 17 Conservation Lane, Bryant Pond.

This is the first time Maine has been selected to host the event, which will be held Monday through Friday, June 6–10.

The 4-H instructor training, held in one or two locations each year, attracts participants from around the country. Open to Level I instructors, the training includes youth development, risk management and safety, and opportunities to share knowledge and ideas.

Upon successful completion, participants become certified as a Level II instructor trainer, which allows them to train instructors in their home state in one of several shooting sports disciplines, including archery, rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader and pistol.

The $300 registration fee includes meals and lodging. Financial assistance is available for Maine instructors on a first-come, first-served basis. The training is sponsored by Cabela’s.

Level I instructor training also will be held April 15–17 at Bryant Pond. Level I certification is required to teach shooting sports to youth under 18.

Registration and more information are online.

For more information, to register for the Level II training in June, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Ron Fournier, 207.665.2068, ronald.fournier@maine.edu.

Explore the outdoors at UMaine Extension 4-H vacation camps

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Camps and Learning Centers will host April vacation day camps in Lincolnville and Tenants Harbor from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19 through Friday, April 22.

Campers at Tanglewood in Lincolnville, which is open to youth ages 4–12, take part in ecology-themed outdoor activities in the forest. Attendees at Blueberry Cove in Tenants Harbor, which is for children ages 8–12, explore the seashore and do team-building activities.

Cost is $155 per child. Register online by April 8. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Patti Chapman, 789.5868, patricia.chapman@maine.edu.