UMPI Highlights Maine Solar System Model with Grants



The University of Maine at Presque Isle has found new ways to highlight the model of the Maine solar system. Brian Bouchard of NewsSource8 has more.

“I think we have to remember that for as long as there has been humanity, we have looked at the skies,” says Dr. Kevin McCartney – Founder, Maine Solar System Model

Stretching nearly 100 “statute miles” from one dwarf planet in Madawaska to another dwarf planet in Topsfield, the Maine Solar System Model has been part of Aroostook County Highway 1 for nearly 20 years. Part scientific exhibition, part tourist destination, the different planets and other celestial bodies of the model were unveiled for the first time in 2003.

Now, thanks to a $ 7,500 grant from the Maine Office of Tourism, the University of Maine at Presque Isle has developed new brochures, an interactive website and a video to help draw visitors to the system’s largest mockup. solar power in the Western Hemisphere.

“We thought it was time to bring it to campus for the sake of sustainability, so that someone would always maintain it, update it, provide the information, create wonderful brochures and information, for the tourism, for science, for fun and for the family. “says Dr Deborah J. Roark – Executive Director for Academic Advancement and External Affairs, UMPI

The website features interactive maps showing where to find each model, the brochure features science facts about the planets, and the university-released video highlights the fun, adventurous, and educational benefits that visitors to the model can experience.

“Your car becomes your personal spaceship as you travel at the speed of light through the model of the main solar system along Highway 1 in Aroostook County”

The university says its next project will be to update the signage at each of the sites, which is expected to begin this fall. But with the launch of a new website incorporating Google Maps integration, scientific facts, model history and much more. The University hopes that sending these materials into the universe will take visitors and members of the community on an “out of this world” adventure.

To learn more about the Maine solar system model, please visit

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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