Middle School Girls Get Real-World Engineering Lesson 

Some middle school girls from Bucksport just may be the engineers of tomorrow.

The University of Maine is running a program called Sustainable Energy Leaders of the Future…or SELF…which looks to pique girls’ interest in science and technology at a young age.

Today 20 students spent the morning in a lab, where they focused on renewable energy.

They saw firsthand a cutting-edge process that turns wood into a form of crude oil.

This afternoon they traveled into the woods to learn about forest resources such as maple sugar.

“The idea is to get them aware of what their opportunities are and what exciting things are being done in science-related fields today,” said UMaine Technology Research Center Manager Amy Luce.

“Like in school we don’t really see this kind of stuff, so coming out today it’s different and I liked it,” said Cheyanne Laythe, a seventh grader.

“It’s pretty cool knowing you’re doing stuff that will help people and animals in the future,” said Alia Parsons.

“We want the new generation to know that there are more things with forests than just paper mills and wood logging,” said Sheila Panase, Program Development Associate with UMaine’s College of Engineering.

The initiative is led by UMaine’s Forest Biproducts Research Institute and the College of Engineering.