Research Learning Experiences return to UMaine this fall

The University of Maine is once again offering Research Learning Experiences — courses that allow first- and second-year students to engage in research and other forms of hands-on learning at the start of their college careers — this fall. 

About 400 students signed up to participate in UMaine’s 24 distinct RLEs, 21 for first-year students and three for sophomores. This year’s course lineup includes a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course for health care professionals, understanding the chemistry behind inventing new foods, an Intro to Blockchain class and a rafting trip that explores the science behind land-sea connections. 

First-year students are kicking off their RLEs with a Bridge Week that began Aug. 22. They have been working on research and other hands-on learning for their courses independently and with their instructors and classmates throughout the week. They will showcase what they have learned during an academic poster presentation from 11–11:30 a.m. Friday at the Collins Center of the Arts. 

UMaine and its regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias, piloted RLEs for the University of Maine System in fall 2021, during which 250 students participated. The RLE initiative is supported by a generous donation from the Harold Alfond Foundation as part of UMS TRANSFORMS, as well as a $50,000 grant from the Coalition of Life Transformative Education (CLTE). 

This year, more public universities across the state are offering their own RLEs. Read the UMS story about the effort to learn more. 

Contact: Marcus Wolf, 207.581.3721;