Posts Tagged ‘4-H@UMaine’

UMaine, 4-H Youth to Connect on Campus

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
4-Her at 4-H@UMaineThe University of Maine will host more than 100 Maine 4-H youth this weekend at the annual 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids to Campus.

Youth 12 to 17 years old will stay overnight on the UMaine campus, explore careers, and take part in experiential learning during a variety of workshops offered by UMaine faculty and graduate students. The event will be held from 3:00 p.m. Friday, May 16 until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17.

Workshop topics include composite materials, embryology, fundamentals of acting, aquaculture, high-altitude ballooning, dance, field skills for the forest, ecology, waves in the ocean, veterinary medicine, permaculture, chemical engineering, CSI-geology, nanotechnology, and nutrition and health.

Some 4-H members will also judge the Maine Invention Convention state competition from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday at UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. During this collaboration between UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, Cooperative Extension, and the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, students from around the state will showcase their respective inventions to solve real-world problems.

More information about 4-H — the youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension — is available online at, or by contacting Karen Hatch Gagne at 207.592.6980 or Barbara Baker at 207.212.8397.

Seven Years of 4-H@UMaine and Loving Every Second of It

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Newsletter written by 4-H youths, Mason and Laurel

In May, 74 kids ages of 12 to 18 came to the University of Maine in Orono to spend the weekend taking classes to help figure out what they would like to major in when the day comes to send out their applications to the many colleges that would be lucky to have them.

The most popular weekend activities occurred at the New Balance Student Recreation Center, where kids got the chance to either swim or play a friendly game of kickball. Workshops focused on such topics as composites and nanotechnology, dance team, GIS, kinesiology, aquaculture, field skills in forestry, chemical engineering, water and watersheds, starting a business that pops, astronomy — bright stars and black holes, food science, assistive technology and agriculture, and news reporting. 4-H@UMaine ran concurrently with another youth program on campus, the Maine Invention Convention.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Staff Members, Mitch Mason, Debra Kantor and Debbie Lancaster

UMaine Cooperative Extension Staff Members, Mitch Mason, Debra Kantor and Debbie Lancaster, photo by Mason

The UMaine 4-H weekend gives kids the opportunity to explore a college campus and their future options. Mitch Mason, a UMaine Extension staff member from Cumberland County, says 4-H@ UMaine is about “young people exploring universities for their future.” Debbie Lancaster from Hancock County, a mother of two 4-H weekend participants and a volunteer for the event, says, “It is a fantastic weekend and it has inspired my daughter to look at amazing colleges that might suit her.”

For the past three years, Time Warner Cable has provided grants for 4-H@UMaine. Because the grants were only given for a limited time, 4-H@UMaine is now looking for new sponsors. Budget cuts have resulted in the UMaine weekend being reduced from two overnight stays to one night. “We’re trying not to raise entry fees for participants,” says Mason, talking about ongoing fundraising efforts. Debra Kantor from Somerset County, coordinator of the weekend, agrees that the 4-H program is a good way for kids to branch out. “There are so many things to learn that you just weren’t aware of,” she says.

Meet the writing team

The 2013 4-H@UMaine weekend featured a News Writing 101 workshop in which six talented young writers spent the morning interviewing and writing stories for this newsletter, as well as composing letters to the editor for their hometown papers, reflecting on the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Maine this year.


Laurel, 4-H@UMaine 2013 Writing Team

Laurel lives with her parents, three sisters and a cat. The high school student likes to read, write and blog. In her high school band, she plays flute and piccolo. Her hero is her Aunt Jessica because she went to Auburn University and worked for Disney. Most of the people in Laurel’s family are lawyers and she admires her aunt’s ambition to be different. Laurel hopes to go to Auburn to study journalism and photography.   By Dillon



Dillon, 4-H@UMaine 2013 Writing Team

Dillon attends middle school. When he’s not busy participating in 4-H activities or competing with the math team, he is planning a community garden and working on his family’s garden. He says a community garden would help to bring everyone together. Dillon says his inspiration comes from his mother. He enjoys shows like NCIS and would like to become a crime scene investigator. He plans to attend UMaine or Colby College.  By Laurel



Bronwyn, 4-H@UMaine 2013 Writing Team

Bronwyn is homeschooled. She has three siblings, likes to cook, play piano and go horseback riding. Since Bronwyn is graduating two years early, she is planning on taking speed reading, critical reasoning and business classes to become an event planner or a chef. She has come to 4-H@UMaine for a fifth year to learn more about leadership. She has recently started playing piano.     By Traci



Riley, 4-H@UMaine 2013 Writing Team

Riley is a 6th grader on the honor roll who likes singing and swimming. Some day, she would like to attend Maine Maritime Academy in hopes of being a kindergarten teacher somewhere in the world she has never been. She has always enjoyed young children and loves to travel. Riley is inspired by many people, including her father and Michael, her favorite author. In her spare time, she loves to listen to music and hang out with friends.  By Mason



Mason, 4-H@UMaine 2013 Writing Team

Mason is homeschooled. Her favorite sport is archery. She has an older sister and a younger brother. She also has a dog. In her spare time, she plays piano and soccer. When Mason graduates, she wants to go to Harvard University to become an environmental lawyer. Her source of inspiration is her grandfather. What really makes her happy is riding her horse, Zippiwood (Mia). Her favorite place is in the woods, going hunting.   By Riley



Traci, 4-H@UMaine 2013 Writing Team

Traci attends middle school. Her favorite subject is math and she has been in 4-H for three years. She likes to play the trumpet and piano, and sing. When she grows up, she wants to be in the food industry or food business. She has always wanted to go to Harvard or continue the family tradition of going to Princeton. This is Traci’s second year coming to 4-H@UMaine, which she says is a good opportunity to learn leadership.  By Bronwyn

Middle School Students to Attend Invention Convention, 4-H@UMaine

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

More than 100 middle school students from across the state will be at the University of Maine this weekend taking part in the Maine Invention Convention state competition and 4-H@UMaine event.

The Maine Invention Convention is a statewide competition promoting important life and work skills for Maine middle school students, according to the competition’s website.

“The competition challenges students to identify real-world problems they can solve by inventing,” says Angela Marcolini, innovation engineering outreach coordinator and instructor at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. “Students are encouraged to focus on the innovation process more than the final product.”

The event is open to any Maine student in grades six through eight and takes the place of a traditional science fair. Throughout the school year, students identify and solve problems by using a four-step, systematic approach to innovation, the website states.

The students compete at a local level to determine who will attend the state competition at UMaine where they will be judged on categories related to innovation engineering, Marcolini says.

Around 80 students from 11 schools, as well as a few who are home-schooled, are expected to arrive at the New Balance Student Recreation Center starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 18.

The students will display their projects from 9 a.m. to noon and will be judged during that time. In the afternoon, the students, along with family and friends, will have the opportunity to attend 4-H@UMaine workshops and take a campus tour before the 4 p.m. awards ceremony.

The top three students in each grade will be awarded a medallion, the top winner in each grade will receive a $50 savings certificate from Bangor Savings Bank, and the overall winner will receive an additional savings certificate and two tickets to TEDxDirigo GENERATE, a conference that aims to celebrate innovation and creativity in Maine.

A people’s choice and 4-H choice award will also be given.

The Maine Invention Convention competition is a collaboration between the Foster Center for Student Innovation, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and an Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Grant from the National Science Foundation through Bruce Segee, UMaine associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The event has existed for more than 20 years and was previously run by school departments, Marcolini says. This is the first year UMaine is running the program.

For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Marcolini, 207.408.1993. Information is also available online.

The 4-H@UMaine event is open to students age 12–17 and offers a chance for them to become familiar with college life and what UMaine has to offer. Around 75 students from around the state are expected to attend this year’s event.

Students, who will come to campus at 3 p.m. Friday, May 17, will stay in dorm rooms, eat at dining halls and attend workshops by UMaine professors in a variety of subjects before leaving at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18.

4-H@UMaine began in 2007 and is sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with additional funding from the Maine 4-H Foundation and Bangor Savings Bank, according to Debra Kantor, UMaine Cooperative Extension educator.

“We’re very excited about partnering with the Foster Center for Student Innovation this year,” Kantor says.

For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Kantor, 207.474.9622. Information is also available online.