An MDI Biological Laboratory intern leads youngsters in an interactive project at a Family Science Night event. The next one is planned for July 11. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI BIO LAB

Family science night planned

BAR HARBOR — A Family Science Night will be held at the MDI Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) on Thursday, July 11, from 5-7 p.m.

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.

MDIBL summer visiting scientist Robert L. Morris, who leads the Family Science Night program, said he owes his career in science to an MDI Biological Laboratory family science night he attended as a 12 year-old in 1976.

“My mother could see how excited I was by it,” he said. 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.’”

Family Science Night is also an important part of the curriculum for the 23 high school and undergraduate participants in MDIBL 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. More than 200 visitors and local residents 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, 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.”

The event is free and snacks are provided. Pre-registration is available at

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