The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) opened in September 2011 as Maine’s first high school to focus on the natural sciences. MeANS includes day students from the local region and boarding students from across the state. MeANS is an educational program of Good Will-Hinckley, our parent organization named for founder George Walter Hinckley, who first founded The Good Will Home for Boys and Girls in 1889.
MeANS has a contemporary mission focused on today’s learner and recognizes both the interpersonal and academic skills he or she needs in order to succeed in today’s workforce—and in life. What has not changed since 1889 is our commitment to meaningful student-teacher relationships, real-world learning experiences, and our ties to the land.
MeANS is located in central Maine on several hundred acres of wilderness, organic farmland and river frontage. We tailor our program to a student’s specific interests, introducing them to careers in farming, forestry, sustainability, alternative energy and other related fields. Students gain knowledge and skills through hands-on projects, internships with local businesses, running our organic food farm stand and maple sugar shack, targeted curriculum, and joint coursework with the local community college.
Most important are the connections students make with our teachers and staff who are able to connect with students from a diversity of backgrounds. They serve as healthy adult role models who have high expectations for students and help them develop personalized plans for their time at MeANS and their future plans.
Our goal is for every MeANS student to become an engaged, reflective, and self-directed learner. We help students develop habits of heart and mind that lead them to take responsibility for their own actions, as well as for the welfare of other students, their community and their environment. Students will grow as critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. They will complete their education more hopeful and healthy than when they enrolled, and they will have a plan for their next steps as young adults including further education, training, adventure, civic engagement and work.