BANGOR, Maine — The Challenger Learning Center of Maine celebrated Space Day on May 4 with an open house at 30 Venture Way.
Activities included a presentation by aerospace expert Brian Ewenson. Guests also participated in a “launch” in the CLC shuttle and took part in paper rocket and engineering projects. Peter Lord, from the Island Astronomy Institute and the Starlight Festival, presented his “Hands in Space” glove project.
Students from the University of Maine College of Engineering gave a demonstration of wireless sensor robotics. Paul Bussiere displayed his R2D2 PC-powered robot that looks and acts similar to the one seen in “Star Wars.”
CLC Executive Director Susan Jonason welcomed participants, and the center launched its new website, http://www.astronaut.org.
BANGOR, Maine — The Challenger Learning Center of Maine will celebrate “Connecting Climate to Curriculum,” three years of connecting with colleagues and scientists to improve science curriculum and pedagogy in the teaching and learning of climate and earth science, at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, at 30 Venture Way.
Activities will include student project presentations, “Real Students, Real Data, Real Science;” a talk on “Connecting on the Tara Expedition” by guest speaker Dr. Lee Karp-Boss, University of Maine; and refreshments.
The event will culminate a three-year partnership among the Challenger Learning Center, the University of Maine School of Marine Science, the UM Climate Change Institute, the UM Center for Science and Math Education Research, four regional school districts and United Technologies Center of Bangor.
Admission is free, but preregistration is appreciated at 990-2900, Ext. 3.
PTC’s ‘The Hobbit’
BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot Theatre’s Youth Theatre presented a popular adaptation of “The Hobbit,” Tolkien’s classic tale of dwarfs, magicians and dragons in Middle Earth, featuring a cast
of local actors ages 4–14 last weekend at the Bangor Opera House.
The young actors portrayed the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit with a love for rousing adventure stories.
PTC’s Youth Theatre actors featured in The Hobbit included Will Morrison, Eddington; Will Airey, Hampden; Ian Buck, Erica Hall, Brooke Jones, Mackie Doore, Sophia Mullins, Leo Spinney, Bangor; Lana Sabbagh, Rebekah Friedman, Brewer; Lillian Costello, Milo;; Elsa Louise Jolliffe, Noam Osher, Zivi Osher, Matthew Tozer, Zachary Welch-Enman, Orono; Cole May, Old Town; Jonah Roberts, Newburgh.
PTC’s Little Ones included Ethan Demerchant, Old Town; Mia Khavari, Ellie Levy, Quiten Gabe, Emma McDonald-Darby, Lilie Sites, Zachary Streng, Sophia Upton, Bangor; Brier Jandreau, Glenburn; Zoe Morehead, Orono; Asa Roberts, Newburgh.
“The Hobbit” was supported by a grant from Eastern Maine Healthcare Services.
Spring concerts at BCS
BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Christian Schools invite the public to its spring concerts in the auditorium at Bangor Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. at 1476 Broadway:
• Thursday, May 12: Elementary concert and band.
• Tuesday, May 24: Chorus, ensemble, middle school and high school bands.
• Tuesday, June 7: Music recitals.
Admission is free to each event, organizers said, but donations to the Azure Dillon Music Scholarship Fund will be gratefully received.
Planting apple trees
HAMPDEN, Maine — The mission of the SAD 22 Apple Orchard and School Garden Project is to plant apple trees and grow organic vegetables to supplement the school lunch program, encourage healthful snack choices and help students develop a love of gardening through an educational experience they always will treasure.
On Friday, May 6, students will plant 21 apple trees near the schools in Hampden and Winterport. This summer will see the construction of an 18-foot-by-24-foot greenhouse near Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden and the building of compost bins. The hoop house greenhouse will have raised beds with a drip irrigation system. Future programs will include an after-school garden club and summer day camps. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-2006.
Eastern Maine Community College
BANGOR, Maine — Two students from Eastern Maine Community College — Helen Chamberland from Hampden and Alexander Wallace from Bangor — were selected for the Maine All-Academic Team and presented their awards by Gov. Paul LePage in Augusta.
Shauna Strattonmeier from Old Town has been selected Student of the Year for 2010-2011. As student of the year, she will be the student speaker at graduation. Strattonmeier has been accepted to attend Mount Holyoke College.
Thirty-five students were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the largest honor society in American higher education.
Ten technology students earned gold or silver medals in the statewide Post-Secondary VICA Competition. Several will travel to Kansas in June for the national competitions.
Seven student leaders from EMCC participated in a Service Learning trip to Washington, D.C., during spring break.
The Medical Assisting Program, under the direction of Sally Hall, earned national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Helping the poor in India
ORONO, Maine — University of Maine business and economics student Rachel Hathaway, who spent a summer internship in 2009 helping impoverished people in Bangladesh gain access to small-business loans, will return to the country to continue her work after graduation in May as a master’s student and Fulbright scholar.
The Millinocket native will spend three months in intensive study in Bangladesh for her thesis. In February 2012, she will return under the Fulbright Program to continue microfinance research with the Grameen Bank and BRAC microfinance institution in Bangladesh, and work to help street children and orphans in the city of Dhaka in Bangladesh for a year and a half.
Hathaway studies the phenomenon of entrepreneurial microloans from microfinance institutions as a way to extend business opportunities to millions of people who lack access to traditional financial markets, “thus allowing them to rise above the cycle of abject poverty,” she said.
Microfinance institutions are providing a new business structure which takes the standard for-profit model and marries it with agendas for societal betterment according to Hathaway. Microloans are empowerment tools that help poor people start small businesses, operating on the assumption that lack of opportunity is the main barrier to creating a better and solvent life, she said.
In Bangladesh, where nearly half the population of 160 million live in poverty, microfinance institutions, specifically the Grameen Trust bank, have provided microloans to more than 8.3 million people, the vast majority of them women. The bank was started in Bangladesh by Muhammad Yunus, considered the founder of the microfinance movement. Yunus is a 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and in 2009 received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Hathaway’s academic research will include an in-depth study of three established microfinance institutions — Grameen, BRAC and ASA — to see what underlying drivers are most successful in terms of borrower outreach. Then, through qualitative analysis and econometric modeling, she aims to create an MFI hybrid model that incorporates the best mix of financial and social intermediation principles.
During her first visit to Dhaka, the ninth-largest city in the world with 12 million residents, Hathaway and a companion provided food, education and doctor visits for impoverished children in the slums and on the streets. In continuation of these efforts, she has founded a nonprofit consulting firm, Seeds of Change, whose mission is to generate social change though education, empowerment and economic development.
“Our aim is to extend opportunities to at-risk street children and women in the developing world so that they might overcome the barriers created by poverty and oppression,” said Hathaway, who learned this month about her Fulbright scholarship.