BELFAST — Registration is open for an innovative four-week college STEM research course for qualified high school students (rising 11th and 12th graders) offered by the University of Maine, July 18 to Aug. 11, at the UMaine Hutchinson Center.

Introduction to Integrated Science and Career Exploration (INT 188) will meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. High school students will earn three college credits upon completion of the course. Sections of this course, on the same dates, are offered at the Orono and Machias campuses.

Early College classes are offered tuition-free for qualified high school students. Students who pay to attend high school in Maine, including out-of-state and international students, will be charged a reduced Early College rate.

This innovative course with a low student-teacher ratio provides a unique summer opportunity for students in Midcoast Maine who are interested in exploring STEM-related careers and engaging in a research project. Thirty percent of class time will be spent outdoors doing fieldwork, with the remainder spent in the classroom and lab at the Hutchinson Center.

INT 188 is designed to introduce high school students to higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The course includes lecture and laboratory instruction in data collection and analysis, experimental design, measuring and graphic techniques, scientific writing and evidence-based thinking.

Students will participate in group work, a research project in environmental chemistry or environmental biology, a career-planning assignment focusing on STEM fields, career exploration experiences and a final research symposium on Aug. 11. In previous years, INT 188 students have used this opportunity to research environmental issues in the Belfast/Midcoast area, such as the impact of the presence of microplastics in the bay.

Course instructors Susan Therio and Dave Thomas are UMaine adjunct faculty members teaching chemistry and oceanography courses, respectively. Prior to coming to UMaine, Therio was an industry chemist in environmental and hydrocolloid fields. Thomas, a high school science teacher for over 18 years, spent four years as a research technician in northern Wisconsin and Michigan studying ecological changes.

To register, visit umaine.edu/earlycollege/courses/summer-courses/int188/. For more information about the course content, contact Chris Tremblay, 338-8038 or christopher.james.tremblay@maine.edu.