The 2019 Maine Science Festival will be held from March 13-17 and will offer several events to the public to expand knowledge about science. Kate Dickerson, the founder and director of the Maine Science Festival (MSF), was also the person to go before the Orono Town Council last year to request nominating March as Science Month in Orono.
On Jan. 14 of this year, the Orono Town Council approved this decision again and will be participating in the MSF as part of their Stormwater Education and Outreach program through the Bangor Area Stormwater Group.
“The Maine Science Festival has really allowed the Town of Orono and the Bangor Area Stormwater Group to meet eager, young learners and their parents to talk about the science behind stormwater,” Belle Ryder, the assistant town manager of Orono and manager of the stormwater program, said.
In the past, the program has offered interactive experiments that engage both kids and adults to learn important messages about the science behind stormwater and have fun doing it.
This year, the Bangor Area Stormwater Group will be participating again, and the Maine Science Festival will offer new events. This year’s headliner is Science vs. UFOs, an event from the team that produces the “Science Vs” podcast series that will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m at the Gracie Theater in Bangor.
“‘Science Vs’ takes on fads, trends, and the internet mob to find out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between,” according to the MSF event website. “Tackling everything from detox teas, to gun control, the ketogenic diet, to nuclear war – ‘Science Vs’ is your team of friendly fact checkers that will blow up your firmly held opinions and replace them with science.”
The University of Maine is one of many sponsors for the Maine Science Festival.
“Given that UMaine is the most diverse research organization in the state and among the most important, I think it’s critical that the MSF puts a spotlight on the work that is being done daily at UMaine,” Dickerson said.
The MSF has had presenters from Orono and UMaine in the past. Although the official program will not be available to the public until the end of January, Dickerson stated that there will be events directed towards different age groups including a “Teen Tech Night” and “Science on Tap” which is held at a local pub and is a 21+ event.
This year, there will be events occurring for five days starting with a brand new event called MSF Trivia night. Partners and organizers all over Maine will participate.
“It will be the first MSF event to happen in all different parts of the state on the same day,” Dickerson said.
Other recurring events are on schedule, including the Friday Field Trip Day program which offers students from around the state of Maine the opportunity to participate in the MSF and their events and activities. A particularly important demographic for the MSF is students in middle school and high school.
“There are a lot of different opportunities for Mainers of all ages to be involved with science in Maine, including careers,” Dickerson said. “Unfortunately, many people think you have to leave the state to have those chances. We’re trying to change both of those perceptions with the MSF.”
To find more information on the Maine Science Festival and to get involved you can go to mainesciencefestival.org.