Solve It! Challenge

SolveIt! Challenge

Andrew Pershing, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, welcomes participants to the Maine State Science Fair SolveIt! Challenge program.

Take the Solve It! Challenge

Ecosystems in Maine are changing, and will be far different in 50 years. These changes will have financial impacts, some of which have already affected Maine's economy. In some intertidal communities, for example, invasive green crabs are decimating the mussel population. Big databases from NOAA suggest that the Gulf of Maine is getting too warm for certain species, while other species are moving in. This will impact the economies of fisheries. Similar changes are happening inland: species are changing over time and this will affect those involved in forestry and agriculture.

Challenge: Choose an ecosystem (such as intertidal, forest, Gulf of Maine) and provide evidence to show what changes are happening. Demonstrate how the economy depends on the health of this particular ecosystem. Your Science Fair project should address a problem facing your chosen ecosystem, but it’s up to you to decide how you will do this!

For example, you could:

  • Mine large datasets to study current trends and predict how an ecosystem will change in the coming years;
  • Collect your own data about how a local ecosystem is changing;
  • Engineer a solution to monitor, prevent, or adapt to changes in an important ecosystem; or anything else you can think of to address this challenge!

Challenge Rules

All Maine State Science Fair rules apply to students entering the Solve It! Challenge. In order to be considered for the Solve It! Challenge, you must also:

  1. Register for MSSF by January 5, 2018. Your teacher will provide the registration link;
  2. Select “Solve It! Challenge” as your category when setting up your project in Scienteer;
  3. Receive teacher approval (Step 11 in Scienteer) by January 26, 2018;
  4. Submit your complete project abstract (Step 18 in Scienteer) by March 2, 2017

Abstracts must include the following information:

  • The ecosystem and its economic importance;
  • A description of the how the ecosystem is changing;
  • How the project addresses the problem.

We have a limited number of slots available for students to take the Solve It! Challenge. We will accept projects on a first come, first served basis. Regardless of whether you make the cut-off, all projects that meet the deadlines will still be considered for awards within their subject area, the special awards, and scholarships. Submitting your project early will increase your chances of being considered for the Solve It! Challenge.