STEM college research and career exploration course offered tuition-free to high school students at the UMaine Hutchinson Center – Natural Self Esteem

BELFAST, Maine – Registration is open for an innovative four-week college STEM research course for qualifying high school students (grades 11-12 upwards) offered by the University of Maine July 18-August 8. 11, at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

Introduction to Integrated Science and Career Exploration (INT 188) takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. High school students receive three college credits upon completion of the course. Portions of this course will be offered on the same dates on the Orono and Machias campuses.

Early College classes are offered free of charge to qualifying high school students. Students who pay to attend Maine high school, including foreign and international students, are charged a reduced Early College rate.

This innovative course with a low student-to-teacher ratio offers a unique summer opportunity for Midcoast Maine students interested in exploring STEM-related careers and engaging in a research project. Thirty percent of class time is spent outdoors doing field research, with the remainder being spent in the Hutchinson Center classroom and laboratory.

INT 188 was designed to introduce high school students to higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The course includes lectures and laboratory classes in data acquisition and analysis, experimental design, measurement and graphing techniques, scientific writing and evidence-based thinking.

“I know I wouldn’t have made it this far this year if I hadn’t had the experience I got in class. I’ve learned so much about scientific research in a very short amount of time,” says Ruth Havener, who took INT 188 in 2021 and recently received a full UMaine scholarship at the Maine State Science Fair for her research on the extraction of microplastics from mussels,

Students will participate in group work, a research project in environmental chemistry or environmental biology, a career planning assignment focusing on STEM subjects, career exploration experiences, and a final research symposium on August 11. In recent years, INT 188 students have taken this opportunity to research environmental issues in the Belfast/Midcoast region, such as: B. the impact of the presence of microplastics in the bay.

Instructors Susan Therio and Dave Thomas are associate faculty members at UMaine and teach chemistry and oceanography courses, respectively. Before coming to UMaine, Therio was an industrial chemist specializing in environmental and hydrocolloids. Thomas, a high school science teacher for over 18 years, spent four years as a research engineer in northern Wisconsin and Michigan studying ecological change.

To sign up, visit For more information on course content, please contact Chris Tremblay, 338.8038;

About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is an advisory center for the University of Maine at Orono that serves as the educational and cultural center for the Midcoast region. It is named for University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The Hutchinson Center’s mission is to expand access to University of Maine academic and undergraduate programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and career and professional development experiences through the use of innovative approaches that enhance synergy between the units of the Systems of the University of Maine and the University of Maine departments and divisions, and that engage a broader Maine community.

About the University of Maine:

Founded in 1865 in Orono, the University of Maine is the state’s land, sea, and space grant university with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As the flagship Maine public university, UMaine has a statewide mission in teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state’s only public research university and is one of the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduate students. Our students have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scientists. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master’s, doctoral, or master’s degrees in disciplines, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental protection and makes significant efforts throughout campus to conserve energy, recycle and comply with green building standards in new construction. For more information on UMaine and UMaine Machias, see and

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