You will find something more in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which can never learn from masters." - St. Bernard.
Using acres of organic farmland, natural forest, and wilderness as our primary classroom, the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences faculty and staff have designed an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages students in all required subjects (math, writing, art, social studies etc.) All work is assigned with the Common Core Standards and Maine Learning Results.
Personal Learning Plan
Each student has a personalized learning plan that guides their progress through the curriculum. Areas of strength and challenge are identified. The Personal Learning Plan is a student-directed tool that customizes the student's learning opportunities, broadens his or her perspectives and supports attainment of goals through discovery, exploration and reflection in personal, academic, career and social areas. Career and college exploration are key areas of a student’s PLP.
Project-Based Learning - Group and Individual Projects
Students engage in hands-on, group projects such as: designing and creating learning trails, environmental monitoring of forest plots, growing crops in a greenhouse during the winter.
Classwork includes laboratory work in earth sciences, wildlife and environmental science, plant and soil science, and aqua science. Students learn about and actively support local food systems, raising food for our cafeteria and residences, and, eventually, the broader community. Students work on learning gaps in areas they need to build skills in as dictated by their Personal Learning Plans. MeANS uses a national online program to help students with direct instruction in needed areas.
Internships and Work Placements
Internships and work placements also represent a significant part of the MeANS experience. We assist students in identifying specific areas of academic and career interest and seek placements with local organizations and businesses to provide students with tangible experiences that will help them hone their future plans—and make them more attractive to future employers.
Within 50 miles of our campus are key agricultural enterprises, including the Maine Grain Alliance, Johnny’s Seeds, Backyard Farms, Caverly’s Farm, Flood’s Farm, Grassland Farms, MOFGA, and FEDCO Seeds. MeANS faculty is committed to finding other suitable and willing employers to partner with our students.
Community College Connection
While attending MeANS every student will have the opportunity to take courses at Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) and/or other community colleges in Maine at no expense to begin the process of academic and social familiarization with college while still in high school.