PORTLAND – Thirty-five fifth-graders from Walton Elementary School in Auburn traveled on April 1 to Portland’s waterfront to participate in the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s LabVenture! program.

From the moment the marine-themed bus arrived at their school, students were immersed in science. The program, titled “Lobster: Untold Tales,” provided students with a unique opportunity to take on the role of scientist as they experience life at a working marine research facility. Hands-on activities are modeled on actual scientific research being conducted by marine scientists at work along the coast of Maine.

Students handled live lobsters and worked in student-led teams studying adaptations, diet, habitat, behavior and economics. They also learned how inland watersheds are connected to the Gulf of Maine.

With schools facing tight budgets, the local corporate and philanthropic community has come together to enable students to participate free of charge. Thanks to lead corporate partner Poland Spring, as well as many other sponsors, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute provides LabVenture! at no cost to schools or families, including transportation.

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