Each summer students work in groups of approximately 6 students, led by a Group Facilitator. They get the chance to take part in either a Group Research Project or a Group Design Project, depending on the summer.
UBMS Student Groups Brainstorm Invention/Innovation Designs
Based on Problems Presented to them by SSI Faculty and Graduate Students,
Foster Center for Student Innovation, 2013
The Group Research Project allows student groups to immerse themselves in scientific experimentation. Students collect, analyze and interpret data related to a interdisciplinary research project, in which students are free to discuss new ideas and carry out group-designed experiments. The integrated model feeds from student curiosity, often has a real-world basis, and is led by a UMaine faculty member or expert in the field of study. Previously professors have kept the data collected by students and analyzed it as part of their own research.
Students and staff during the 2012 Group Project at Orono Bog
The Group Design Project involves innovative invention-based inquiry and group work grounded in real scientific problems. Students take part in a scientific field experience or lecture with a professors or graduate students to learn the scope of their research, along with problems or issues they have encountered in their work. Students take this information to the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovations, where they work through the process of choosing the most important, viable problems to tackle and then generate ideas for possible solutions to these problems. Student groups then work with Group Facilitators to develop a “works like” or “looks like” model of the invention that they are the most excited about developing. Frequent group presentations to the Innovations Center are part of the design project. The end results of this project are a collaboratively written group paper and a group video that is presented to the entire UMBS population. Group papers are published in A Journal of Explorations, the UBMS in-house publication! Grad students and professors have been able to build upon the students’ models to develop something useful for solving problems related to their research.
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