2024 Maine Science Festival

Presented by Maine Discovery Museum
Mar 22 Friday
9:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Mar 23 Saturday
9:00 AM

The Maine Science Festival is the first and only science festival in Maine. The MSF launched in 2015 and is a celebration of the national and world-leading science by the Mainers who do it.


Open to all, no tickets required.

March 22nd – Field Trip Day

2024 FTD is FULL.​

Friday, March 22nd | 9:45am-12:30pm

Our Field Trip Day is for 7th & 8th grade students from schools in Maine, with the day’s programming specifically designed for this age group.

These events are limited to those schools that sign up in the preceding months. If you are interested in learning more about the 2025 Maine Science Festival Field Trip Day or would like to be notified when sign-ups are open, please send an email to schools@mainesciencefestival.org. The Field Trip Day is provided free of charge to the schools that attend.

March 23rd – Exploration Stations

Saturday, March 23rd | 9am – 4pm

Roll up your sleeves and learn through various hands-on activities from scientists and practitioners around the state. Make sure to stop in and visit each activity and discover that science is everywhere!

Activities include:

Video Games Teach History: Playing Europa Universalis IV  •  University of Maine

Introduction to Textiles  •  UMaine ASCC

Exploring Creative Technologies: Learning by Doing  •  Bangor Makerspace

Skins, skulls, and fishy fun  •  USGS Maine Cooperative Research Unit / Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology University of Maine

Bridge Building  •  TIDC at the University of Maine

E&I w/U and Me  •  Bangor Makerspace

Composting  •  1 Earth Composting 

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Pioneers  •  Owls Head Transportation Museum 

LEGO SPIKE Coding  •  University of Southern Maine – STEM Outreach

Power Town Demonstrator  •  Versant Power 

The Importance of Water Quality: Citizen Science Project  •  Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, Katahdin Learning Project

Explore UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center  •  Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center

Ticks of Maine  •  MaineHealth Institute for Research- Vector-borne Disease Lab

Safe Solar Viewing & Eclipse Watching  •  Versant Power Astronomy Center

Marble Run  •  Girl Scouts of Maine

The Science of Pharmacy  •  Rho Chi Society Chapter – Husson University 

Stormwater Pollution Watershed Model  •  Bangor Area Stormwater Group (BASWG)

Hands-on activity  •  Challenger Learning Center of Maine

Guts!  How we digest our food  •  Southern Maine Community College

Stream Smart Demo  •  NOAA Fisheries

How 2 internet: A live demo of web development, and cyber security  •  Maine Hacker Club

Tree Identification and Mystery box  •  Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust

Event type: Hands-on

Recommended Audience: all ages

March 23rd – VEMI Lab – QR Quest

Saturday, March 23rd | 10am-2pm

Meeting Rooms A&B, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Embark on a QR Quest at the Maine Science Festival! Scan QR codes, play mini-games, and unlock virtual goodies showcasing research projects from the VEMI Lab and the Howell Lab. Explore how we use autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, rainbows, and slippery surfaces to make the world a more inclusive and safer place to live. Can you unlock the ultimate secret reward? Plus, lucky winners snag exciting prizes along the way!

Event type: hands-on

Presenters: VEMI Lab

​Recommended Audience: middle school and up

March 23rd – Ham Radio: Explore a Fun Communications Hobby

Saturday, March 23rd | 10:00am-11:00am

Meeting Room C, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Join us for a fun exploration of ham radio by the Pine State Amateur Radio Club here in Bangor. There will be a presentation with video, live demonstrations, and displays describing the fun and challenging hobby of amateur radio! We want to make it an enjoyable, immersive experience for people of all ages!

Event type: Panel

Presenter: Ed Paradis, President, Pine State Amateur Radio Club; Gerald B. Burns, K1GUP, PSARC Newsletter Editor/PSARC Director

​Recommended Audience: all ages

March 23rd – Terraforming Mars In Minecraft

Saturday, March 23rd | 10:00am-11:00am

Meeting Room D, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Come explore a Minecraft simulation of Mars! Created by the “What-If Hypothetical Simulations in Minecraft” Project, you will be teleported to Mars, where there are a handful of existing structures. Collect data about how life on Mars would look; what is the gravity like? Is there harmful radiation? Is the surface a habitable temperature? What are the available materials? Then, from an inventory of materials both collected on Mars and shipped in from Earth, you can create your own Mars base!

Limited to the first 16 attendees.

Event type: Workshop

Presenter: Brooke Bolduc, University of Southern Maine STEM Outreach

​Recommended Audience: middle school and up

March 23rd – Maine’s Forest at the ForeFront: Emerging Tools, Technology, and Products for the Forest Sector

Saturday, March 23rd | 10:00am-11:00 am 

Meeting Rooms 3&4, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

This one-hour session will highlight recent advances that will help transform Maine’s forest sector. Although often overshadowed by more iconic Maine products like lobsters and blueberries, Maine remains the most forested state in the US (89%) and an economy most dependent on the resource (5% of GDP, highest in US). The sector has seen major shifts in the last decade (e.g. mill closures, Covid disruptions, workforce challenge), but offers numerous strategic opportunities to achieve the state’s economic, sustainability, and climate action priorities. This session will cross-sector experts to discuss new tools, technology, and products that could help Maine become a national leader in digital forestry that supports the production and utilization of renewable biomaterials for a variety of potential applications. A particular focus will be on the use of Big Data, AI, and remote sensing to better monitor the forest itself, while the science and technology for future applications of Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) will also be highlighted.

Event type: Panel

Presenters: Dr. Aaron Weiskittel, University of Maine Center for Research on Sustainable Forests; Ian Prior, Seven Islands Land Company; Dr. Mehdi Tajvidi, University of Maine

Moderator: Kate Dickerson, Maine Discovery Museum

​Recommended Audience: All ages

March 23rd – The Power of Wind Turbines

Saturday, March 23rd | 10 AM – 11 AM

Meeting Room 5, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

Young engineers will use our wind turbine kits to cover topics such as:

• How a wind turbine works to generate electricity.

• How to measure power output (voltage & amperage).

• How to store potential energy.

• Optimal blade design and testing.

Students will work with their own small wind turbine, multimeter, and more! Participation limited to the first 30 students.

Event type: Workshop

Moderator: Sarah Raymond-Boyan, Challenger Learning Center of Maine; Kirsten Hibbard, Challenger Learning Center of Maine

Recommended Audience: all ages

March 23rd – Maine Invention Convention

Saturday, March 23rd | 10 AM – 2 PM

Prefunction Area, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

The MIC Awards Ceremony will take place in Meeting Room 3&4 at 1:45pm

The Maine Invention Convention (a program of the Maine Discovery Museum) is a statewide competition that promotes innovative problem-solving and inventing by Maine middle school students. Students work with their peers and teachers to identify and solve problems using the Innovation Engineering process. At this event, students from each participating school compete for the top invention awards.

Event type: Poster Session

Moderator: Anna Martin, Maine Discovery Museum

Recommended Audience: all ages

March 23rd – Music & Sound: Instruments, Timbre, Harmonics, & Distortion

Saturday, March 23rd | 11:15am – 12:15pm 

Meeting Room D, Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main Street, Bangor

In this presentation, the concept of timbre will be introduced, and the physics behind how various musical instruments create their unique harmonic makeups will be investigated. Multiple forms of sound synthesis will be demonstrated, and a discussion of harmonic distortion will explore the defining sonic signature of the electric guitar.

Event type: Talk

Presenter:  Eric Ferguson, Husson University

Moderator: MacKenzie R. Stetzer Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Maine

Recommended Audience: high school and up

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