A special highlight of the Maine Migrant Education Program’s educational services provided to older youth during the 2013 wild blueberry harvest was the overnight college exploratory visit to the University of Maine at Machias. Building on the success of last year’s day trip to UMM, this year’s program was facilitated Jenny Robish, the University’s Youth Outreach Coordinator, and offered the students more opportunity to explore the University’s programs, as well as a chance to stay in a residence hall and sample the school’s food service. The visiting students also enjoyed the pool in the University Fitness Center and relaxed in the game room and screened a movie in the student lounge.
Most important, of course, was the chance to explore a few of the University’s many programs. Dr. Ellen Hostert conducted a lab where the students extracted samples of their own DNA. Dan Qualls led the students through an exercise recording notes and drawings describing artifacts found during an archeological dig. Gene Nichols put the students on the air, broadcasting musical selections from the University’s on-campus radio station. Duane Ingalls conducted a musical improvisation workshop where several of the students not only shared their talents but picked up new tunings and scales for the blues. Tora Johnson demonstrated computer programs used in the University’s GIS (Geographic Information Science) laboratory to map the region and build computer models for various weather related scenarios such as a category 3 hurricane arriving on shore at high tide.
We are grateful to UMM for hosting the visit and providing students with an opportunity to learn more about higher education and the University’s programs.