Molly Ockett MESA is a school that shines

DIGITAL CAMERABy Emily Butterfield

Contributing Writer

FRYEBURG — The Maine Environmental Science Academy (MESA) at Molly Ockett Middle School was presented with the “Schools that Shine” award from Norway Savings Bank this past Monday. Schools that Shine is a grant award presented to one school or program each academic month of the year. Schools that are nominated are chosen based on their creativity and innovation in educating students and youth.

MESA, a specialized program which focuses heavily on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) studies enrolls roughly 27 students from grades six through eight at Molly Ockett.

“The objective of the program is to give students the opportunity to learn about their surrounding environments; to be introduced to the state curriculum standards through authentic experiences that bring standards to life; and to provide personal growth opportunities, creating a culture of leadership and teamwork,” said MESA teacher Jotham Oliver.

MESA hopes to use some of the grant money to buy better used bicycles. For the past three years, the students and teachers have used donated bikes, of which, despite best efforts, many are starting to fall into disrepair. “A huge component to our program is using bicycles as a means of alternative transportation to many of our field trips in the spring and fall,” said Oliver, who also hopes to be able to buy new sets of snowshoes for winter field trips as well.

Oliver says he was excited to hear of the program being awarded and hopeful that perhaps one day the program can be recognized on a national level as well. “It’s great to get recognition. We all want our program to grow and flourish, and spread out into the larger school community.”

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