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2024

March 20 -24

FREE! | All ages

• forums

• hands-on workshops

• games

• something for everyone

• 70+ activities & events

Science is Everywhere

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Free to attend, not free to produce

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MSF Trivia - News  & Brews Takeover

Wednesday, March 20th | 6:30pm-8:00pm

Seasons - 427 Main Street

Join fellow trivia players for a night of science trivia created especially for the Maine Science Festival! And special for this year we are teaming up with our sponsor, Maine Public, and their News & Brews trivia team! This is a don't-miss night of fun!

Event type: trivia

Moderator: John Thompson

Recommended Audience: high school and up

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Science on Tap presents: Senses

Thursday, March 23rd | 6:30pm-8:00pm

Mason's Brewing Company, 15 Hardy Street, Brewer

 

Sometimes the best learning takes place in a bar. Relaxed atmospheres…..big science….  

 

Join us this year for a glimpse of the science of the senses. Nimesha Ranasinghe

will be doing a live demonstration, presentation, and a discussion around computing + flavor, and VEMI Lab representatives will talking about touch and their haptic research!

Event type: Forum

Presenters: Nimesha Ranasinghe, Assistant Professor of Spatial Computing & MIM Lab and guests from VEMI Lab.

​Sponsor: Jackson Laboratory

Moderator: Jacqui White PhD,Director, Center for Biometric Analysis, Deputy Director, Scientific Services JAX MG, The Jackson Laboratory

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Field Trip Day

Friday, March 22nd | 9:45am-12:30pm

Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

 

Our Field Trip Day is for 7th & 8th grade students from schools in Maine, with the day’s programming specifically designed for this age group.

 

These events are limited to those schools that sign up in the preceding months. If you are interested in learning more about the 2025 Maine Science Festival Field Trip Day or would like to be notified when sign-ups are open, please send an email to schools@mainesciencefestival.org. The Field Trip Day is provided free of charge to the schools that attend.

2024 FTD is FULL.

Field Trip Day is sponsored by the Maine Discovery Museum

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Teen Tech Night

 

Friday, March 22nd | 4:30 pm-7:00pm

Maine Discovery Museum, 74 Main Street, Bangor

Hey students in grades 6-10 - are you ready to explore the exciting world of computers and information technology? Join us for Teen Tech Night, where you can learn, share, collaborate, and delve into cutting-edge software and web-based tools.

This year's workshops will feature a range of captivating sessions designed to spark your curiosity and creativity like robotics, cyber security and more!

Participants, please remember to bring your own laptop to this event. If you do not have access to a laptop, please email Shelby Bryant at shelby@educatemaine.org.

Teen Tech Night is a drop-off event, and a delicious pizza dinner will be provided at 6 pm for all participants. Don't miss out on this opportunity for maximum engagement and hands-on learning!

Register for Teen Tech Night

 

Event type: Middle school workshops, hands-on activities, sessions

Audience: middle and high schoolers

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Exploration Stations

Saturday, March 23rd | 9am - 4pm

Cross Insurance Center Ballroom, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Roll up your sleeves and learn through various hands-on activities from scientists and practitioners around the state. Make sure to stop in and visit each activity and discover that science is everywhere!


Activities include:

Video Games Teach History: Playing Europa Universalis IV  •  University of Maine

Introduction to Textiles  •  UMaine ASCC

Exploring Creative Technologies: Learning by Doing  •  Bangor Makerspace

Skins, skulls, and fishy fun  •  USGS Maine Cooperative Research Unit / Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology University of Maine

Bridge Building  •  TIDC at the University of Maine

E&I w/U and Me  •  Bangor Makerspace

Composting  •  1 Earth Composting 

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Pioneers  •  Owls Head Transportation Museum 

LEGO SPIKE Coding  •  University of Southern Maine - STEM Outreach

Power Town Demonstrator  •  Versant Power 

The Importance of Water Quality: Citizen Science Project  •  Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, Katahdin Learning Project

Explore UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center  •  Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center

Ticks of Maine  •  MaineHealth Institute for Research- Vector-borne Disease Lab

Safe Solar Viewing & Eclipse Watching  •  Versant Power Astronomy Center

Marble Run  •  Girl Scouts of Maine

The Science of Pharmacy  •  Rho Chi Society Chapter - Husson University 

Stormwater Pollution Watershed Model  •  Bangor Area Stormwater Group (BASWG)

Hands-on activity  •  Challenger Learning Center of Maine

Guts!  How we digest our food  •  Southern Maine Community College

Stream Smart Demo  •  NOAA Fisheries

How 2 internet: A live demo of web development, and cyber security  •  Maine Hacker Club

Tree Identification and Mystery box  •  Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust

Event type: Hands-on

Recommended Audience: all ages

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VEMI Lab - QR Quest

Saturday, March 23rd | 10am-2pm

Meeting Rooms A&B, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

 

Embark on a QR Quest at the Maine Science Festival! Scan QR codes, play mini-games, and unlock virtual goodies showcasing research projects from the VEMI Lab and the Howell Lab. Explore how we use autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, rainbows, and slippery surfaces to make the world a more inclusive and safer place to live. Can you unlock the ultimate secret reward? Plus, lucky winners snag exciting prizes along the way!

Event type: hands-on

Presenters: VEMI Lab

​Recommended Audience: middle school and up

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Ham Radio: Explore a Fun Communications Hobby

Saturday, March 23rd | 10:00am-11:00am

Meeting Room C, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Join us for a fun exploration of ham radio by the Pine State Amateur Radio Club here in Bangor. There will be a presentation with video, live demonstrations, and displays describing the fun and challenging hobby of amateur radio! We want to make it an enjoyable, immersive experience for people of all ages!

Event type: Panel

Presenter: Ed Paradis, President, Pine State Amateur Radio Club; Gerald B. Burns, K1GUP, PSARC Newsletter Editor/PSARC Director

​Recommended Audience: all ages

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Terraforming Mars In Minecraft

Saturday, March 23rd | 10:00am-11:00am

Meeting Room D, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Come explore a Minecraft simulation of Mars! Created by the “What-If Hypothetical Simulations in Minecraft” Project, you will be teleported to Mars, where there are a handful of existing structures. Collect data about how life on Mars would look; what is the gravity like? Is there harmful radiation? Is the surface a habitable temperature? What are the available materials? Then, from an inventory of materials both collected on Mars and shipped in from Earth, you can create your own Mars base!

 

Limited to the first 16 attendees.

Event type: Workshop

Presenter: Brooke Bolduc, University of Southern Maine STEM Outreach

​Recommended Audience: middle school and up

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The Power of Wind Turbines

Saturday, March 23rd | 10 AM - 11 AM

Meeting Room 5, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Young engineers will use our wind turbine kits to cover topics such as:

• How a wind turbine works to generate electricity.

• How to measure power output (voltage & amperage).

• How to store potential energy.

• Optimal blade design and testing.

 

Students will work with their own small wind turbine, multimeter, and more! Participation limited to the first 30 students.

Event type: Workshop

Moderator: Sarah Raymond-Boyan, Challenger Learning Center of Maine; Kirsten Hibbard, Challenger Learning Center of Maine

Recommended Audience: all ages

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Maine Invention Convention

Saturday, March 23rd | 10 AM - 2 PM

Prefunction Area, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

The MIC Awards Ceremony will take place in Meeting Room 3&4 at 1:45pm

The Maine Invention Convention (a program of the Maine Discovery Museum) is a statewide competition that promotes innovative problem-solving and inventing by Maine middle school students. Students work with their peers and teachers to identify and solve problems using the Innovation Engineering process. At this event, students from each participating school compete for the top invention awards.

Event type: Poster Session

Moderator: Anna Martin, Maine Discovery Museum

Recommended Audience: all ages

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Maine’s Forest at the ForeFront: Emerging Tools, Technology, and Products for the Forest Sector

Saturday, March 23rd | 10:00am-11:00 am 

Meeting Rooms 3&4, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

This one-hour session will highlight recent advances that will help transform Maine’s forest sector. Although often overshadowed by more iconic Maine products like lobsters and blueberries, Maine remains the most forested state in the US (89%) and an economy most dependent on the resource (5% of GDP, highest in US). The sector has seen major shifts in the last decade (e.g. mill closures, Covid disruptions, workforce challenge), but offers numerous strategic opportunities to achieve the state’s economic, sustainability, and climate action priorities. This session will cross-sector experts to discuss new tools, technology, and products that could help Maine become a national leader in digital forestry that supports the production and utilization of renewable biomaterials for a variety of potential applications. A particular focus will be on the use of Big Data, AI, and remote sensing to better monitor the forest itself, while the science and technology for future applications of Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) will also be highlighted.

Event type: Panel

Presenters: Dr. Aaron Weiskittel, University of Maine Center for Research on Sustainable Forests; Ian Prior, Seven Islands Land Company; Dr. Mehdi Tajvidi, University of Maine

Moderator: Kate Dickerson, Maine Discovery Museum

​Recommended Audience: All ages

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Music & Sound: Instruments, Timbre, Harmonics, & Distortion

Saturday, March 23rd | 11:15am - 12:15pm 

Meeting Room D, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

In this presentation, the concept of timbre will be introduced, and the physics behind how various musical instruments create their unique harmonic makeups will be investigated. Multiple forms of sound synthesis will be demonstrated, and a discussion of harmonic distortion will explore the defining sonic signature of the electric guitar.

Event type: Talk

Presenter:  Eric Ferguson, Husson University

Moderator: MacKenzie R. Stetzer Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Maine

Recommended Audience: high school and up

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Total Solar Eclipse - April 8th of 2024

Saturday, March 23rd | 11:15am - 12:15pm 

Meeting Rooms 1&2, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Shawn Laatsch, John Meader, and Larry Berz will share how to prepare for the upcoming solar eclipses visible in Maine, including the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024! The workshop will include how eclipses work, how to see them, and some simple ways to construct pinhole projectors for safe viewing.

Event type: Talk

Presenters: Shawn Laatsch, Versant Power Astronomy Center; John Meader, Northern Stars Planetarium; Larry Berz, Lee Academy; Nikita Saini, University of Maine

Moderator: Marissa Minor, Versant Power

Sponsor: Versant Power

Recommended Audience: all ages

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Do Chatbots Write About Electric Sheep?: AI Literacy

Saturday, March 23rd | 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Meeting Rooms 1&2, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

This session by librarians Christopher Clark and Heather Perrone will cover the basics of AI literacy--what to know about AI tools, how to use them meaningfully, and how to evaluate tools and AI-generated content. We want to promote the useful aspects of AI while providing resources and skills for navigating it safely and effectively.

Event type: Presentation

Presenters: Christopher Clark, Fogler Library; Heather Perrone, Fogler Library

Recommended Audience: all ages

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The Science of Nutrition

Saturday, March 23rd | 12:30-1:30pm 

Meeting Rooms 3&4, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

An introduction to nutrition, including the major nutrients and what comprises a healthy diet.

Event type: Panel

Presenters: Julia Sabet, PhD, nutrition scientist; Mona Therrien-Genest DCN, Faculty University of Maine

Recommended Audience: middle school and up

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The Fundamentals of Cheesemaking

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS HELD AT CENTRAL STREET FARMHOUSE

Saturday, March 23rd | 1:00pm - 2:00pm 

Central Street Farmhouse, 30 Central Street, Bangor

Josh Parda, owner of CSF, will demonstrate how to make a simple and quick batch of fresh cheese, while sampling out cheese (or cheeses) made earlier in the day and discussing the science behind all kinds of cheeses.

Event type: Presentation

Presenter: Josh Parda, Central Street Farmhouse

Recommended Audience: all ages

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Video Games Teach History

Saturday, March 23rd | 1:45pm-2:45pm 

Meeting Rooms 1&2, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

The interactive and immersive quality of video games has helped make them wildly popular and profitable entertainment media. This session will explore how the ability of gamers to relive, alter, and explore a game world has implications on how we understand fundamental aspects of the human experience. For example, history-based video games raise rich questions about "agency," the degree to which individuals shape their own future, in contrast with systematic trends. We will explore with the audience how video games might help us to think differently about the human experience.

Event type: Presentation

Presenters: Chapman Hall, University of Maine (Undergraduate Student), Liam Riordan, University of Maine

Moderator: Liam Riordan, University of Maine

Recommended Audience: middle school and up

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Gulf of Maine Ocean Science Mini-Docuseries

Saturday, March 23rd | 2:45pm-3:45pm

Meeting Room D, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

In 2021, a team of ocean scientists went on a research expedition across the Gulf of Maine to learn more about this dynamic region. Join us for a series of documentary videos filmed and created by University of Maine students accompanied by live Q&A sessions with ocean scientists who were on the research cruise and are still working to understand how the ocean and climate have changed here, from the last ice age to the present day. Each video lasts between 3 and 8 minutes and features a different aspect of ocean research. Together, the video series will take participants on a journey of discovery guided by the scientists who are working to uncover how our environment can change in the past, present, and future. Hands-on activities will also be occurring during the docuseries, including a dig-for-fossils sand pit, microscope station with real specimens on display, and a game table featuring enlarged, 3D-printed microfossils.

Event type: Workshop/Presentation

Presenters may include: Katherine Allen, Jillian Herlinger, Madelyn Woods, Tommy Young, Devin Coffey, Lilly Braun, David Jakacky, School of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Maine

Audience: all ages

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Future Driven: A Youth Climate Story

Saturday, March 23rd | 2:45pm-3:45pm

Meeting Room C, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Future Driven: A Youth Climate Story, brought opportunity for high school students in Maine to tell climate stories in their communities. Join Maine Public at 2:45pm for the awards to the student finalists for Future Driven: A Youth Climate Story.

Presenters: Cory Morrissey & Sophia Wood, Maine Public Broadcasting

Moderator: Kim Stewart, Maine Discovery Museum

Audience: all ages 

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5 Minute Genius - 2024 MSF Headliner

Saturday, March 23rd | 7:00pm

Penobscot Theater Company, 131 Main Street, Bangor

 

5 Minute Genius™ features short, sharp talks by some of Maine’s finest scientists with 5 minutes per talk, plus 5 minutes for questions. Presenting a sprint through some of the most remarkable, cutting-edge science in Maine - you will feel like a genius in no time!  Want more? Stick around for a reception after the event at The Stage Door.

Presenters: 

Kendra Balchelder, WAVED Medical

Eva Balog, University of New England

Patrick Breeding,  Marin Skincare

Greg Gavelis, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Danielle Levesque, University of Maine

Anastasia Paulmann,  MDI BioLab

Karyn Sporer, University of Maine

Basile Tarchini, Jackson Laboratory

Lindsay Ware, Science Dogs of New England

Check out our 2023 geniuses!

Event type: Presentation

Moderator: Kate Dickerson, Maine Discovery Museum

​Sponsor: Maine Technology Institute

Recommended Audience: high school and up

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Downtown Bangor Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, March 24th | 10am-1pm

HQ - Briar Patch, 27 Main Street, Bangor

A downtown science scavenger hunt! Pick up your sheet/ information at the Briar Patch, and go find the science the clues lead you to. Once done, return your signed slip to the Briar Patch. The top finisher receives a prize, and all who finish will be entered into a drawing for a goodie bag. The hunt has to be completed between 10 am -1 pm.

Audience: all ages

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PFAS and Agriculture

Sunday, March 24th | 1:00pm-2:00pm

BOOKspace, 48 Columbia St., Bangor

In this session, we will give an introduction to PFAS and how it came to be introduced in some agricultural soils in Maine. We will also share the results of a recent research project where we worked with a commercial farm that had contaminated soils to test PFAS uptake into vegetables. Co-presenters will include UMaine researchers, graduate students, and farmers.

Event type: Panel 

Presenter: Rachel Schattman, University of Maine; Alexandra Scearce, University of Maine; Susan Hunter, Hunter Farm, Unity

Recommended Audience: high school and up

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Unveiling Invisible Ocean Life at Bigelow Laboratory

Sunday, March 24th | 10:30am

Chimera Coffee, 24 Broad Street, Bangor

The ocean is filled with microscopic organisms (a.k.a. microbes). From the oxygen we breathe to the quality of our seafood, we can’t ignore the importance of microbes. There is still so much we don’t understand about these tiny powerhouses and their impact on the planet. Because we can’t see them, scientists have to get creative with how they study microbes. At Bigelow Laboratory we use a range of technology to help us see the invisible. Come explore this blue microscopic realm through our scientists’ eyes. Join us at 10:30 for a chance to ask questions to hear from the artists at Bigelow!

EXHIBIT WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT CHIMERA COFFEE THROUGH THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL.

Event type: Art exhibit

Presenters: Alaina Weinheimer, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

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Free to attend, not free to produce

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