Service projects, parade to highlight Maine Day

Posted April 27, 2010, at 11:50 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — University of Maine classes will be suspended today for the annual Maine Day celebration as students, faculty, staff and alumni pitch in to spruce up the campus.

The day — traditionally held on the Wednesday of the last week of classes during the spring semester — kicks off with a campus parade, followed by service projects, a barbecue, and a mud volleyball tournament known as the ooze ball championship.

The events start at 8:30 a.m. when the parade leaves from the Hill Top area of campus. There will be a light breakfast at 9 a.m. on the library steps on the Mall during registration for service projects.

Students and others will work on projects including cleaning up around the exterior and interior of campus buildings, picking up trash, assembling bike racks and benches, remulching areas and planting grass, and organizing storage areas.

College of Engineering students will participate in a design competition from 8:30 to 11:40 a.m. at Cloke Plaza. The design challenge for mechanical engineering students was to build low-cost adaptive vehicles for people in Mozambique who have lost their legs in land mine explosions.

The design requirements included that the vehicle be hand-powered, wheelchair-accessible, stable on rough desert terrain, have cargo-carrying capability, low material cost (less than $200), and be simple enough so that it can be manufactured by people in Mozambique.

Service projects are to be wrapped up by noon, followed by a campuswide barbecue in the steam plant parking lot. The ooze ball championship also will be held near the steam plant.

There will be another event from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lord Hall as 35 new media students present their capstone projects in “Open Your Eyes,” a showcase of projects related to the senses of sight, sound and taste.

Many of the projects are startup businesses grounded in local economies and ecologies, while other projects are a twist on items that people use daily. Musical innovation is also a theme of some capstone projects, as is a computer game that generates a labyrinth as it is played.

For more information, go to www.umaine.edu/studentaffairs/maineday/

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