Events and Challenges

The events and challenges listed below are either hosted by or occur on the University of Maine campus. Many are not directly affiliated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension or 4-H; contact information for more information is provided for each event.

Events and Challenges


Youth ages 12-17 can join the fun of becoming familiar with campus and what it has to offer. The youth will stay in dorm rooms overnight, eat at the dining halls, and attend workshops presented by UMaine professors to get a real feel of what college is like. We hope to see you all there! This event takes place in the spring, a fee is charged for this experience. Contact Jessy at to receive notification when registration opens for 4-H@UMaine.

Invention Convention

For information on how to participate, contact Homeschooled youth and 4-H clubs/groups are encouraged to participate. The organizers will arrange a series of webinars/training opportunities for parents/leaders who are interested in participating. Preparation for this event begins in the fall, and the State Competition occurs on the University of Maine campus in the spring.

The Invention Convention takes the place of a traditional middle school science fair and allows students to channel their inner innovator. From the fall to the spring, students work with their teachers in all subjects to develop a “meaningfully unique” invention. We are currently looking for interested schools to participate next school year! More information at Maine Science Festival.

Engineering EXPO

The 2014 Engineering Expo is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, 2014. The event provides young people with a first-rate event that shows them all the exciting places that their math and science skills can take them. Maine’s top engineering firms, engineering schools, educators, government agencies, industry, and engineering societies will provide hands-on activities and exhibits throughout the field house.  The fun, dynamic, and positive environment will help encourage youth to pursue careers in engineering and provide a diverse and vigorous workforce for the future.  The EXPO is brought to you by the Maine Engineering Promotional Council to celebrate Maine Engineers Week. For more information visit Maine Engineering Promotional Council.

WindBlade Challenge

Wind Blade Challenge is an event that brings science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education into the hands of high school students.

The program is a collaborative effort where educators, industry, and students come together to design and manufacture wind blades using composite materials. On Wind Blade Challenge competition day students travel from all over the state to present their design process and test their blades.

Using kits provided by Maine Composites Alliance, students follow a STEM education curriculum to design wind blades; teams are then paired with a composite business or educational institution to manufacture their blades.

The kits include 3 blocks of foam, one sheet of fiberglass, and the competition guidelines. Students then take this material and work with their teachers to design and shape their blades. Once shaped the teams are matched up with a composite partner to manufacture their blade in preparation for competition day.

The final Wind Blade Challenge day on the University of Maine campus is held each spring.

For more information, visit Maine Wind Blade Challenge or contact

WindStorm Challenge

The Windstorm Challenge asks teams of middle and high school students to design and construct a floating platform for a scale model wind turbine, and then deliver a business plan and sales pitch to a panel of expert judges. By critiquing inventions on technical feasibility as well as aesthetic design and the sales pitch, the Windstorm Challenge uses an interdisciplinary approach necessary to solve large problems.

Through Windstorm Challenge, students will be able to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. This process will give students hands-on experience in STEM, business, and new media disciplines, in turn helping these students make some difficult decisions as they move on to selecting their future college programs.

The event is designed for student teams with a diverse range of experience. Middle and high school aged youth are encouraged to participate. Teams are not required to be created from a specific school or classroom, and home school students are welcome.

Youth are encouraged to create a multi-talented team and participate in the challenge with an adult advisor. The final competition on the University of Maine campus is held in the spring.

For more information, including the complete guidebook, see or contact or call 207.581.2117.