Courses

Supported by a generous donation from the Harold Alfond Foundation as part of UMS TRANSFORMS.

Print in 3D

RLE 01: 3D Printing: What Can You Do?

Updated course description

For one half of the semester, students will, through hands-on activities, apply engineering principles to 3D printing, which is transforming manufacturing, infrastructure and more. Make shapes that subtractive methods cannot, such as insect wings. Design and build a structure on a smaller 3D printer. Compare a 3D-printed I beam or box beam to an optimized bridge. Design and build a small structure on a large 3D printer.

For the other half of the semester, students will learn about the history, policy context, markets, technological approaches and economic and climate change impacts from experts involved in developing floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. Participate in site visits to key support infrastructure in Maine, and get involved in research focused on new and innovative approaches to advancing this industry in the Gulf of Maine, one of the highest-quality wind resources in the United States.

MaineStreet Designator: GEE 105 (Course #11764)

A woman looks at a 3D printer

Map history

RLE 02: A Rambler’s History of UMaine: Mapping People and Places From Then and Now

Use skills as researchers and communicators to develop geospatially guided walk(s) on campus. Carry out original research on important landmarks and moments in UMaine and Orono history, or focus on natural history and lore to geolocate places and plants of note in the university’s natural areas. This is an exercise in communicating/translating scientific and naturalistic information and making further meaning as writers. Discoveries will enhance the guided walk experience.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11755)

A forest path at UMaine

Blow up art

RLE 03: Blow Up

Work collaboratively in this studio-based course to design and fabricate inflatable sculptures. From ideation to patterning to material experimentation, develop verbal, written and formal design vocabulary throughout the semester. Use demonstrations, readings, presentations and conversation to actively explore the design process through the research and creation of nonrigid, plastic constructions.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11751)


Harvest timber

RLE 04: Building Forestry Work Experience and Professional Connections

Gain hands-on work experience in the University Forest working alongside upper-class students and Maine licensed foresters involved in forest inventory, boundary line maintenance, precommercial thinning, timber harvest layout and more. This work experience provides preparation for forest industry summer internships and future jobs. Join University Forest Office foresters in local professional meetings to build professional connections essential for a forestry career in Maine.

Forestry majors only

MaineStreet Designator: SFR 397 (Course #11781 and #11780)

A woman measures a tree

Make friends and build community

RLE 05: Community Building and Engagement

Start your academic journey on an island off the coast of Maine with classmates from different majors and colleges alongside faculty and peer facilitators. Here you will explore beautiful Hurricane Island’s natural landscape and cultural history, forge friendships as you hike and build rafts, have moments for quiet reflection and others for robust discussion as we begin the course, Community Building and Engagement (HON 175).  This course examines what it means to be part of a community and our roles and expectations as members.
You will find more information on the experience and the course attached or you can visit the website.

Honors students only.  To apply for this RLE, please complete a separate  application: HON 175 Application Deadline to apply for this RLE: Friday, June 18, 2021 by 5 p.m. EST

MaineStreet Designator: HON 175 (Course #9458)

Course filled -- Three students at Hurricane Island

Build for a community

RLE 06: Construction Service Learning

Every fall, construction engineering technology students and faculty members plan, manage and build service learning projects for local nonprofits, such as Habitat for Humanity, Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, and the Maine Forest and Logging Museum — from building homes and trails to installing cedar shingle roofs. These experiential learning opportunities develop professional skills while contributing to the community.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11749)

A man works on a construction project

Inspire Earth’s future with design

RLE 08: Design Challenges

Learn to think critically and creatively, and to work across artificial boundaries between disciplines to build connections with colleagues with complementary skills. In collaboration with peers in Earth and climate science, computer science, new media, engineering and art, utilize current research questions in Earth and climate science to design solutions using emerging technologies.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11754)

A woman points at a dry erase board

Innovate

RLE 09: Experiences in Innovation

Learn about the Innovation Engineering process, which focuses on how to rapidly solve problems, develop creative solutions, articulate ideas to a variety of stakeholders and reduce risk of idea failure through cycles of learning and testing. Use Innovation skills to rapidly and systematically Innovate in any field of study to solve real-world problems that matter.

MaineStreet Designator: INV 101 (Course #11784)

Students in an innovation engineering class

Track animal DNA

RLE 10: Explorations in Maine-eDNA

Learn how to “Maine-eDNA,” taking DNA analysis on collected samples through a molecular ecology pipeline that characterizes species diversity and maps that diversity in service to a partner organization. Gain understanding of sampling and genetic molecular methods, such as next-generation sequencing, data science and bioinformatics concepts related to big data. Develop presentations of data and learn the role of a land grant university in serving wide interests.

Mainestreet designator: RLE 150 (course #11795)

A view of the Maine coast and fishing boats

Explore insta-Extension

RLE 11: Extending Your Learning Through Cooperative Extension

How do you get to the point of taking great pictures of nature, plants, food, animals, fun, youth, families, etc.? It’s through the work of Cooperative Extension who is teaching people how to be healthy, make their communities healthy and make the world a better place. There will be opportunities to engage in meaningful hands-on applied research and education experiences with Cooperative Extension faculty and staff throughout the state of Maine.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11744)

People gardening

Research wind power

RLE 12: Forging Maine’s Future in Offshore Wind

Updated course description

For one half of the semester, students will learn about the history, policy context, markets, technological approaches and economic and climate change impacts from experts involved in developing floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. Participate in site visits to key support infrastructure in Maine, and get involved in research focused on new and innovative approaches to advancing this industry in the Gulf of Maine, one of the highest-quality wind resources in the United States.

For the other half of the semester, students will, through hands-on activities, apply engineering principles to 3D printing, which is transforming manufacturing, infrastructure and more. Make shapes that subtractive methods cannot, such as insect wings. Design and build a structure on a smaller 3D printer. Compare a 3D-printed I beam or box beam to an optimized bridge. Design and build a small structure on a large 3D printer.

MaineStreet Designator: GEE 105 (Course #11764)

Offshore wind turbine

Experience engineering

RLE 13: Getting Smart with Student Research

Learn how engineering and technology can improve the well-being of humanity and solve industrial and environmental problems. Become familiar with disciplines such as biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, computer and mechanical engineering by engaging in experiential learning and research. Collaborate with faculty and graduate/undergraduate students for success in your engineering major.

Engineering majors only

MaineStreet Designator: GEE 105 (Course #11762)

Students participate in an engineering project

Make a better farm

RLE 14: Greener Pastures: Practice, Policy and Perception in Animal Agriculture

Explore questions related to improving agricultural production, animal welfare and minimizing environmental impact, and legislative, regulatory and ethical considerations of animal agriculture. What is the human experience of animal agriculture, and how might it be expressed, explored or engaged through the arts or personal reflection?

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11743)

A woman knees next to a cow

Solve environmental problems

RLE 15: iEGarage: Innovation in the Earth Garage

Learn a 21st-century problem-solving approach to help solve urgent environmental challenges. Immerse in an Earth science innovation curriculum with a set of compelling research problems formulated and presented by UMaine faculty members and an Innovation Engineering process to solve them. Select one semester-long topic and navigate a world of interdisciplinary challenges, in consultation with a campuswide framework of faculty researchers and facilities.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11763)

A view of Earth from space

Play with electricity

RLE 16: Lights and Buzzers and Motors, Oh My!

Learn the many uses of electricity by working with devices that convert electrical energy into devices that blink, make noise and move machinery.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11748)

Students examine a circuit

Explore Maine, Sea to Summit

RLE 17: Maine Coast-to-Katahdin Geoscience Experience

Visit three iconic locations in Maine — Acadia National Park, the Penobscot River, and Baxter State Park — to explore a range of Earth observations and work as part of a team to generate new knowledge. Learn how Maine’s landscape provides vivid examples of the forces that shape our planet and influence society.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11757)

A professor teaches students on Maine's coast

Map marijuana sales

RLE 18: Maine’s Legal MJ MarketPlace

Help map the towns and location where the new recreational marijuana is being grown, processed and sold.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11766)

Map with location pin

Garden like a medieval monk

RLE 19: Making the Medieval Garden

Conduct hands-on literary/historical research about medieval methods of gardening and understanding horticulture. Apply discoveries and research to planting a cruciform medieval kitchen garden in the heritage garden, including markings of the plantings and garden architecture with expository information to guide visitors and educate about premodern ways of knowing, herbology, allegory and spatial aesthetics.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11756)

A shovel in garden soil

Track the shifting seasons

RLE 20: Measuring the Seasons on UMaine’s Campus

What are the signs of fall on UMaine’s campus, and are they shifting with climate change? Students will take a whirlwind tour of field research—from developing hypotheses and designing methods, to collecting field data and analyzing results. Students will answer these questions using UMaine‘s campus as our living laboratory.

EES majors take in conjunction with EES 397

Mainestreet designator: RLE 150 (course #11798)

Students and instructor in the woods

Energize a mechanical system

RLE 21: Mechanize, Energize and Materialize in MEE

As members of the Research and Discovery team in MEE 101 and guided by faculty, students will have an opportunity to explore major research areas in mechanical engineering, such as nanomaterials, energy harvesting, assistive robotics, smart manufacturing, and computer simulation. By the end of this program, students will learn how to conduct a scientific experiment, collect and evaluate data, determine inner workings of a mechanical system, and develop a better appreciation for mechanical engineering.

First-year, mechanical engineering majors only

MaineStreet Designator: MEE 101 (Course #11783)


Make a unique logo

RLE 22: Modern Creative Practice Utilizing Technology

Engage with high-performance laser cutting and engraving equipment, rapid prototyping, design thinking processes and other ideation concepts to develop and memorably communicate a unique persona or brand identity. Develop ideas through digital means for real-world applications. Solve complex challenges that benefit from a creative and innovative approach through immersing oneself in an interdisciplinary and experience-driven environment.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11746)

Laser cutting in wood

Perform music

RLE 23: Musicians and the Performance Experience: Strategies for Success

Explore strategies for successful musical performances, including practice routines, managing stage fright, and mental and physical preparation. Perform for peers in Minsky Recital Hall and receive positive feedback. Collaborate with School of Performing Arts faculty and upper-class students.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11759)

Musician playing a French horn

Make friends with Jack Kerouac

RLE 24: On the Road at UMaine

Collaborate on current faculty research on Jack Kerouac, an American novelist and poet most famous for “On the Road,” a book with broad cultural influence. Help find, digitize and process Kerouac-related items in the Franco American Centre archive and Fogler Library Special Collections.

Must be taken in conjunction with FAS 170, a course about Jack Kerouac

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11758)

Pencil drawn itinerary on notebook paper

Explore the outdoors

RLE 25: Outdoor Adventure and Stewardship

Engage in outdoor activities such as canoeing and hiking with University of Maine at Machias faculty and student leaders. Explore local outdoor recreation environments, and learn skills and methods for monitoring and managing outdoor recreation resources for recreational activities. Apply the stewardship experience skills to local conservation efforts right on the UMM campus.

University of Maine at Machias students only

MaineStreet Designator: Machias: FYS 101 (Course #11839)

A canoe on a lake with mountains in the distance

Hunt for viruses

RLE 26: Rage of Phage: How Viral Genomes Affect Bacterial Disease

Learn about the structure of DNA in genomes, with a particular focus on the role of viral genomes and their role in bacterial virulence. Develop skills in the extraction of nucleic acids from bacterial cultures and sequencing isolated DNA. Assemble bacterial genomes and hunt for viral/phage genomes that potentially contribute to bacterial pathogenesis. These bioinformatic analyses will be conducted in HON 155/BMB 155.

Microbiology, molecular and cellular biology, and biochemistry majors only

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11745)

A woman in a lab setting

Succeed in college

RLE 27: Full STEM Ahead: Preparing for College Success and Research Experiences

Designed for first-generation students in selected majors in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Connect with peers in similar majors as you learn biology, chemistry and math skills through hands-on research and strategies for success. Peer mentor and program staff support continues through the academic year.

Limited to selected NSFA/CLAS students

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11765)

Michael Kienzler, Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry, with his students in his LASST laboratory.

Experience art and culture

RLE 28: Seeing it Real: Art and Material Culture

Experience the power of studying artworks and material culture firsthand through visits to several museums in Maine. Connect to the makers and cultures of these primary research resources to gain greater understanding of visual and material thinking.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11752)

Two people look at artwork on in a gallery

Interpret geologic history

RLE 29: Sharing Geoscience on Maine’s Public Lands

Generate original observations and measurements to make first-order interpretations of the geologic history of selected public lands. Participate in field trips and collaborate with the land stewards to produce public-facing material to aid visitors’ appreciation of the natural history of Maine’s publicly accessible lands.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11753)

Rocks on Maine's coast

Develop sustainable solutions

RLE 30: Sustainability Science: Engaging the Community to Manage Change

Engage in a significant project that helps make our communities more sustainable with respect to resource and energy use. Learn about sustainability from a cross-disciplinary perspective, develop skills in working with community partners, environmental ethics, and explore the core principles of knowledge-to-action research. Make connections with ongoing research efforts in sustainability at UMaine.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11750)

A plant sprouting out of the ground surrounded by a lightbulb illustration

(Don’t) sponsor an athlete

RLE 31: Unnecessary Brand Sponsorships of Sports

Learn about incongruous brand sponsorships of sports and what the effects — potential benefits and drawbacks — these sponsorships have on the consumer and the brands themselves.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11769)

A soccer ball on grass

Reason why?

RLE 32: How Do We Know What We Know?

“To divide fractions you just invert and multiply!”  “I can’t learn mathematics – I don’t have the aptitude for it!” Heard claims like these? Interested in knowing why mathematical claims and statements about mathematics learning are true or false, and who decides? Learn how claims are supported — by “reasoning why” — in mathematics, working together on mathematical tasks that are accessible to all. Gather and use data to develop and test claims about how people learn mathematics. Engage in processes used in research in mathematics and in education.

MaineStreet Designator: RLE 150 (Course #11747)

A woman writes on a dry erase board


Measure a forest

RLE 33: Field Research in Forestry: The University Forest Edition

Join us Friday afternoons in the University Forest for field research. Senior forestry majors will share their knowledge and skills. The research will involve field-based forest inventory data collection and resource assessment, growth and yield computer modeling using specialized software, and the creation of data summary charts in Microsoft Excel — all advanced skills normally introduced later in your college career, giving you a leg up for summer internships.

Forestry majors only

MaineStreet Designator: SFR 397 (Course #11782)

Three students walk in the woods



Cruise a river

RLE 34: Get Wet, Get Data

Spend time on the coast of Maine at the university’s Darling Marine Center. Collect data from the 42-foot research vessel, the Ira C, in the Damariscotta River estuary. The data will be analyzed during the fall 2021 semester. Enrollment for this course is linked to the School of Marine Science’s Boot Camp.

MaineStreet Designator:
RLE 150 (Course #11741) — all students welcome
RLE 150 (Course #11740) — first-year marine science majors only

Boats on the ocean off the coast of Maine