UNE faculty and students help make the first annual Maine Science Festival a success

March 26, 2015

Young girl using a foldescope at the UNE microscopy table
Young girl using a foldescope at the UNE microscopy table

A group of UNE faculty and students participated in the first annual Maine Science Festival at the Cross Center on March 21, 2015 in Bangor, Maine. 

Participating faculty included: James Sulikowski, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Marine Sciences; James Vesenka, Ph.D., professor of physics, director of the Microscopy Core Facility; Marilyn Gugliucci, Ph.D., professor and director for Geriatrics Education and Research; Alex Deal, B.S., outreach staff coordinator; and Michael Burman, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and director of Neuroscience Outreach. 

Using poster presentations and hands-on demonstrations, the microscopy group presented conceptual models for how atomic force microscopes work and explained scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy imaging. Attendees also had the opportunity to use and build foldescopes, as well as observe images of histology samples through a digital microscope. In addition, faculty offered an infrared camera to demonstrate low-resolution thermal imaging.

The Marine Science Center presented on a variety of marine organisms important to Maine and captured attention with a variety of hands-on activities. Assisting in the presentation were Marine Science students Brenda Rudnicky, Julia Reynolds and Cameron Hodgdon. Sulikowski also participated in an ocean research panel discussing the use of technology to study shark ecology in Maine.

The Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences discussed brain safety topics as part of Brain Awareness Week and provided helmet safety demonstrations. Faculty and students also engaged more than 200 attendees with hands-on sheep brain dissections and demonstrations of the sensory and motor systems.

UNE’s participation in this event was organized with the help of the Office of Research and Scholarship, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Admissions Office.

The Maine Science Festival aims to stimulate interest in science among the general population, to heighten awareness of the impact of science on everyday life, and to demonstrate the diversity of scientific enterprise in Maine. It was estimated that over 10,000 people participated in the weekend activities.

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