February 19, 2019
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Staged crime scene among draws to Maine Science Festival

BANGOR, Maine — Hawa Hassan leaned over the yellow crime scene tape and peered at the body on the floor. It was a male with a bullet hole in one side of his head.

The 13-year-old Lewiston Middle School student pointed to shell casings on the floor and then began counting holes in the wall above the body.

“One, two, three,” she said. “It looks like he had a fight, but someone missed a couple of times.”

Hassan was one of about 1,000 people expected to attend the Maine Science Festival held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11 locations in Bangor. Most activities, including the annual state science fair, were held at the Cross Insurance Center.

Tony DeRose, a senior scientist research group lead at Pixar Animation Studios, delivered the keynote address to discuss “Science on Screen and Behind the Scene.”

The session Hassan and other students involved in the 21st Century Program at her school attended was titled “Crime Scene Investigation.” It was run by Alicia Wilcox and the students in the forensic science program at Husson University.

Students examined the evidence, which included a bloody shoeprint and a sneaker with a red-brown stain on its sole. Participants also were able to examine under a microscope, a hair found at the scene.

“It’s fun to try to figure this out,” Hassan said of the crime scene as she and about a dozen other students headed for another exhibit with their teacher Jenn Carter. “Science is one of my favorite subjects.”

The festival was designed to appeal to people of all ages, according to information posted on its website.

“The mission of the festival is to stimulate interest in science among the general population, to heighten awareness of the impact of science on everyday life, and to demonstrate the diversity of scientific enterprise in Maine,” according to the website.

The festival included the 2015 Maine State Science Fair.

Demitri Maxim of Gould Academy, was the top winner for his research project, “Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into kidney cells.” Last year, he tied for first place.

Second place went to Ben Schade and Justin Hamilton of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics for their project, “Calculating the horizon with perspective projection.”

Third place went to Paige Brown of Bangor High School for her research in “Identifying and remediating the sources of pollution in impaired Bangor streams.”

The 2015 Maine State Science Fair was organized by The Jackson Laboratory and the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. Since 2012, winners of the Maine State Science Fair have been eligible to qualify for the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest science fair. The top three winners of the 2015 Maine Fair and their mentors will travel to Pittsburgh in May for this year’s INTEL event.

For information, visit mainesciencefestival.org.

 

 



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