SMART (Stormwater Management Research Team) – Track 3

The SMART (Stormwater Management Research Team) project is slated to involve approximately 180 Maine high school students and 45 teachers in hands-on projects led by science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals in areas such as engineering design, science, computer modeling, and information technology.

Students will be mentored in research internships that can make a real difference in their local communities, as well as helping them to gain valuable knowledge and skills.  This project has a particular interest in encouraging girls and those from underrepresented groups to apply, as these students are often not well-represented in engineering fields.

The program kicks off with a week-long summer institute at the University of Maine for both students and their teachers or community leaders. During the five days on the UMaine campus, while students learn skills such as how to utilize sensors to gather data, the educators will be trained in new scientific equipment and discover new ways to engage students in hands-on research in the classroom.

SMART was designed as a yearlong program that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards. During the academic year, the teachers and their students will work with local officials, professional engineers, and the UMaine faculty and students to gather and analyze data, create online tools, and educate others about storm water and pollution.

“Bringing together a diverse community of high school and middle school students, teachers, local and regional water authorities, environmental protection groups and tribal communities with university scientists and students, this project has the potential to make significant improvements in water quality across the state while engaging participants in STEM education.

The project’s principal investigator is Mohamad Musavi, UMaine Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  According to him, “Using the tools of engineering technology, real-time data management and web-based digital mapping, students will be directly involved in every project stage — from the design of water-quality sensing units to the implementation of community outreach programs about storm water pollution issues.”

Students are selected each year through a competitive application process.