STEM college research and career exploration course offered to high school students at UMaine Orono tuition free

Registration is open for an innovative four-week college STEM research course for qualified high school students (rising 11th–12th grade) offered by the University of Maine, July 18–August 11 in Orono. Sections of this course are offered at the UMaine Hutchinson Center and UMaine Machias on the same dates.

Introduction to Integrated Science and Career Exploration (INT 188) will meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. High school students will earn three college credits upon completion of the course.

Early College is a partnership between the University of Maine System and the Maine Department of Education, supported by the Legislature. Early College classes are offered tuition free for qualified high school students. Students who pay to attend high school in Maine, including out-of-state and international students, will be charged a reduced Early College rate. 

This innovative course with a low student-teacher ratio provides a unique summer opportunity for students in midcoast Maine who are interested in exploring STEM-related careers and engaging in a research project. Thirty percent of class time will be spent outdoors doing fieldwork, with the remainder spent in the classroom and lab.

INT 188 is designed to introduce high school students to higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The course includes lecture and laboratory instruction in data collection and analysis, experimental design, measuring and graphic techniques, scientific writing and evidence-based thinking.

“I know I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did this year if it weren’t for the experience I received in the class. I learned so much about scientific research in a very short period of time,” says Ruth Havener, who took INT 188 in 2021 and recently won a full tuition scholarship to UMaine at the Maine State Science Fair for her research on extracting microplastics from blue mussels.

Students will participate in group work, a research project in environmental biology, a career-planning assignment focusing on STEM fields, career exploration experiences and a final research symposium on August 11. In previous years, INT 188 students have used this opportunity to research local environmental issues, such as the impact of the presence of microplastics in the bay.

Instructor Torey Bowser works with early undergraduate students in the Marine Science department at UMaine. Her classes focus on data literacy and fundamental research skills. Boswer holds a Masters of Marine Biology from the University of Maine’s School of Marine Science. Her research was focused on heavy metal impacts on fish behavior. Outside of teaching, she endeavors to bring together art and science, working with groups on campus to design creative logos for labs, projects and symposiums.

To register, visit For more information about the course content contact Chris Tremblay, 338.8038;