Maine middle-school students will reach for the stars at engineering challenge
ORONO, Maine — While many Maine middle-schoolers will be playing sports, studying, doing chores or reading April 30, about 150 of them will be immersed in intergalactic space travel.
Youth in grades 6–9 from around the state will gather at the University of Maine to take part in an engineering design challenge to transport a life-form to explore a planet in another solar system.
Teams of students will explore ideas and collaborate on design solutions to accomplish the feat at the 2016 Student Summit, which is hosted by the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education at the University of Maine (RiSE Center).
Each team will complete, test and refine their respective designs. To promote collaboration between teams, students will be able to patent ideas before sharing them with others.
This allows teams to incorporate and adapt plans, while still giving credit to the original team’s design, says Jenn Dunham of Orono, a master’s degree student in teaching at UMaine who helped coordinate the summit.