UMaine On-campus (Orono) STEM Opportunities for Youth

Most opportunities listed below are offered at no cost to the participant. If there is a known fee associated with an event or opportunity, we will try to share that information. Contact Laura Wilson at 207.581.2971 or to discuss your needs or for more information.


Admissions – University of Maine

The University of Maine Admissions office offers Open Houses, Saturday Information sessions, and Walking Tours regularly throughout the year. Registration is required. Visit the website directly for more information and to register:

Advanced Structures and Composites Center (suitable for all ages)

The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center evaluates materials and structures — from nano- to full-scale — and is dedicated to the development of novel advanced composite materials and technologies. They offer tours of their nearly 100,000 square foot laboratory. Tours are normally one hour in length; visitors are asked to wear closed-toe footwear and will be provided hardhats and safety glasses. Maximum group size is 20; if a larger group would like to attend, they will be divided into smaller groups. Learn more at

For this experience, Contact Laura Wilson at 207.581.2971 or to discuss your needs (recommended), or arrange directly with UMaine Composites Center staff member Kimberly Mentus at 207.581.2123.

Animal and Veterinary Sciences

At this time the department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences is unable to offer individual tours and workshops. However, they will offer a “UMaine 4-H Science Saturday” on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Registration information will be available in September 2013. To receive this information directly, contact Jessy at or 207.581.3877. There will be a minimal fee associated with the UMaine 4-H Science Saturday program.

Aquaculture Research Institute (suitable for all ages)

The Aquaculture Research Institute offers tours for youth of all ages. Come learn about aquaculture in Maine and how it affects all of our lives daily! The Aquaculture Research Center also has a touch tank and offers youth activities. A tour of this research center usually takes an hour. Contact Laura Wilson at 581-2971 or to discuss your needs.

The Aquaculture Research Institute has also been working on developing curricula. For more information, contact Dr. Anne Langston at

Climate Change Institute (suitable for high school aged youth)

The Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine offers tours/interactions with graduate student researchers each spring. The tour dates are usually announced in January. Contact Jessy at or 207.581.3877 to be notified when the tour date is announced and reservations are being accepted.



There are a variety of free tours of the College of Engineering at the University of Maine. UMaine engineering tours are led by trained student guides and faculty who are knowledgeable about the research, the facilities and student life at UMaine Engineering.

Can’t make it to Orono for an engineering tour? Let them come to you. Representatives from UMaine Engineering can visit your school to share engineering information with you and your students.

For Girls:

Girls Engineer Maine (GEM) is a statewide educational outreach program designed to increase the number of women studying engineering in Maine. To promote girls in engineering, GEM aims at:

  • Helping high school and middle school girls to understand better what engineers do
  • Encouraging girls to explore how to prepare for an engineering career

Gem outreach activities include:

  • Engineering Awareness days when girls from middle school and high school girls in small group spend a day at the University of Maine exploring engineering and doing hands-on projects in different engineering labs with the faculty and their graduate and undergraduate students
  • Visit to their alma mater schools by the current female engineering students
  • School visits by the university faculty to talk to the students in middle schools and high schools
  • Workshops for teachers and guidance counselors

For engineering experiences, you can contact Laura Wilson at 207.581.2971 or, or contact Sheila Pendse in the College of Engineering Dean’s office at 207.581.2225 or

Food Science and Human Nutrition (suitable for all ages)

The staff at the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition have limited capacity to offer workshops to youth, but will do tours and experiences specifically for 4-H once or twice a year. If you have a group interested in food science, please contact Laura Wilson directly at 207.581.2971 or to see if this experience is available.

In 2014, we will offer a “UMaine 4-H Science Saturday” focused on Food Science and Human Nutrition! This program will be open to middle school (6th – 9th grade) aged youth. Registration will be announced in fall 2014 for this unique event. To be notified when registration is open, contact Jessy at or 207.581.3877. There will be a minimal fee associated with the “UMaine 4-H Science Saturday” program.


The University of Maine School of Forest Resources is willing to share their expertise/provide experiences for 4-H both on campus, or at your location, up to an event per month. These experiences can range from an on-campus field experience, to activities from Project Learning Tree, an international environmental education program. For an on-campus forestry experience, or to have Forestry department staff or graduate students work with youth at your location, contact Laura Wilson at 207.581.2971 or to discuss your needs.

Foster Center for Student Innovation

The Foster Center for Student Innovation offers a number of youth experiences, including the Invention Convention and Summer Camps. On-campus individualized workshops and afterschool programs may also be available. Contact Laura Wilson at 207.581.2971 or to discuss your needs.

Marine and Ocean Sciences

Contact Laura Wilson to discuss possible interactions with Marine/Ocean Science staff. Possibilities include workshops, tours/visits, or online interactions. Faculty and staff participate in providing outreach opportunities ranging from high school internships to teacher workshops. Currently, we are planning to offer a “UMaine 4-H Science Saturday” in 2014 focused on Ocean Science. To be alerted when information on that event becomes available, please contact Jessy at or 207.581.3877.

Pests (Bugs!)

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Pest Management Unit welcomes visitors! Come see the live bugs! Groups should be limited in size to avoid crowding. This experience includes talking about basic entomology and visiting/touching some live bugs, spiders, and vertebrates. Groups are split into smaller sessions so that each youth can get the full experience. The whole tour can take an hour with three mini-talks taking 20 minutes each. Contact Laura Wilson at 207.581.2971 or to discuss your needs.