August 24, 2019
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MDI Biological Laboratory to hold Family Science Night

Community Author: Stefanie Matteson
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MDI Biological Laboratory | Contributed
MDI Biological Laboratory | Contributed

BAR HARBOR — The MDI Biological Laboratory will hold a Family Science Night 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at 159 Old Bar Harbor Road.

Family Science Night provides a fun setting and structure in which families can explore, experiment and talk about science. Activities will include more than a dozen hands-on science stations guided by students and scientists. The program is developed and produced by student summer fellows under the direction of faculty mentors.

The festive outdoor event is a favorite among residents of and visitors to the Mount Desert Island region and has become a summer tradition for many.

MDI Biological Laboratory summer visiting scientist Robert L. Morris, Ph.D., who leads the Family Science Night program, is an example of the interest in science the event can inspire. He owes his career in science to an MDI Biological Laboratory family science night he attended as a 12-year-old in 1976 — 43 years ago.

“My mother could see how excited I was by it,” he says. He recalls her telling him, in a statement that would prove prescient: “‘You know Bobby, if you like it here maybe you could become a scientist here some day.’”

The revelation that it was possible to make a career out of examining life in tide pools — Morris’ favorite summertime activity — eventually led him to pursue a doctorate in biology at Harvard University. In addition to his MDI Biological Laboratory-related activities, he is a biology professor at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.

Family Science Night is also an important part of the curriculum for the 23 high school and undergraduate participants in MDI Biological Laboratory summer fellowship programs. Participation enhances their ability to communicate and present scientific ideas and helps them gain a greater appreciation for the value of building scientific literacy.

The festive outdoor event is a favorite among residents of and visitors to the Mount Desert Island region and has become a summer tradition for many. More than 200 participants typically engage in the science activities on the laboratory’s lower campus, which is set against the spectacular backdrop of Frenchman Bay.

“Science education is often criticized for its failure to make science interesting and relevant,” said Jane E. Disney, Ph.D., senior staff scientist and director of education. “Family Science Night is an important part of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to promote scientific literacy and generate excitement in science by bringing it to life.”

Please pre-register at  fsn2019.eventbrite.com. Healthy snacks will be available and there is no admission charge.

About the MDI Biological Laboratory

Our scientists are pioneering new approaches to regenerative medicine focused on drugs that activate our natural ability to heal, and that slow age-related degenerative changes. Our unique approach has identified new drugs with the potential to treat major diseases, demonstrating that regeneration could be as simple as taking a pill. As innovators and entrepreneurs, we also teach what we know. Our Maine Center for Biomedical Innovation prepares students for 21st century careers and equips entrepreneurs with the skills and resources to turn great ideas into successful products. For more information, please visit mdibl.org.