UMPI Highlights Maine Solar System Model With Grant Money

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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The University of Maine at Presque Isle has found new ways to highlight the Maine Solar system Model . NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has more.

“I think we need to remind ourselves, that for as long as there has been humanity, we have been looking at the heavens” says Dr. Kevin McCartney – Founder, Maine Solar System Model

Stretching nearly 100 “earth miles” from a dwarf planet in Madawaska to another Dwarf Planet in Topsfield, the Maine Solar System Model has been a fixture of Route 1 in Aroostook County for nearly 20 years. Part science exhibit, part tourism destination, the various planets and other celestial bodies of the model were first unveiled in 2003.

Now through a 7500 dollar 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 largest scale model of the solar system in the western hemisphere.

“We felt it was time to bring it to the campus for sustainability purposes, so that someone would always be maintaining it, updating it, providing the information, creating wonderful brochures, and information, for tourism, for science, for fun and for family.” says Dr. Deborah J. Roark – Executive Director for University Advancement and External Affairs, UMPI

The website includes interactive maps on where to find each model, the brochure features science facts about the planets and the video launched by the university highlights the fun, adventure, and educational benefits visitors to the model can experience.

“Your car becomes your personal spaceship as you travel at the speed of light through the maine solar system model along us route 1 in Aroostook county”

The university says that it’s next project will be to update the signage at each of the sites, which should begin this fall. But with the launch of a new website that has google maps integration, science facts, history of the model and much more. The University hopes that sending these materials out into the universe, will lead visitors, and members of the community alike, on a adventure that’s “out of this world”

To find out more about the Maine Solar System Model, please visit

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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