Aroostook County, Maine, is home to the largest 3D model of the solar system in the Western Hemisphere

Aroostook County, Maine, is home to the largest 3D model of the solar system in the Western Hemisphere

US News and World Report recently named Aroostook’s Maine School of Science and Mathematics one of the best high schools in the country and if this has your inner science nerd excited, watch a local scientist lead us on a tour of the solar system.


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MATHEMATICS HELPS IT SHINE. >> MORE FROM THE JUST HOW FAR IS IT FILE. FOLKS LIVING IN PRESQUE ISLE, AROOSTOOK’S BIGGEST TOWN, ARE FARTHER NORTH THAN HALF OF ALL CANADIANS, THE MAJORITY OF WHOM LIVE ALONG CANADA’S SOUTHERN BORDER. A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SEEM AN UNLIKELY CANDIDATE FOR NATIONAL ACCLAIM. MAIN SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS. RANKED THE SECOND BEST PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY BY U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT. >> YOU’VE GOT TO BE DEDICATED AND MOTIVATED AND YOU’VE GOT TO BE FOCUSED. IT IS A SCHOOL THAT FOCUSES ON ACADEMICS. >> DAVID PEARSON IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THIS SCHOOL. TUITION IS FREE TO MAINE RESIDENTS. ROOM AND BOARD FOR THE STUDENTS, MODESTLY PRICED. >> IT IS AFFORDABLE TO THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE STATE. YOU ARE GOING TO GET A DIFFERENT CLIENTELE HERE THAN YOU WOULD IN A NORMAL BOARDING SCHOOL. >> STUDENTS LIKE A 11TH GRADER CHANDLER PIKE FROM THE PAPER MILL TOWN, NATIONALLY RANKED ON THE RUBIK’S CUBE, HE SHOWS OFF HIS ONE-HANDED SKILLS, IN UNDER 30 SECONDS. >> COMPETITION IS FIERCE TO GET IN AND EXPECTATIONS HIGH. NOT THAT WE SEE ANYONE SWEATING IT. >> OUR STUDENTS, THEY JOKE ABOUT IT, BUT THEY PRACTICALLY DO HOMEWORK FOR FUN. THEY ASK FOR MORE COURSES BECAUSE THEY ARE CURIOUS. >> STILL, MSSM CAN BE A BIT OF AN ADJUSTMENT. >> I WAS ALWAYS ONE OF THE MORE ADVANCED KIDS. IT FELT GOOD. IT WAS LIKE, YEAH. >> SHE WAS USED TO BEING A STAR BACK AT HER OLD SCHOOL IN BELGRADE. >> I KNEW I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO WORK, BUT I’M REALLY HUMBLED, BECAUSE THERE ARE SOME VERY SMART PEOPLE HERE. VERY SMART. >> BUT AS IMPORTANT AS ACADEMICS ARE HERE, SO IS STUDENT LIFE. AND SOCIAL LIFE IS CONCENTRATED IN THE DORMS. >> LIVING IN THE DORMS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE DRAWS FOR ME. >> ETHAN HAD HIS EYE ON MSSM SINCE FIFTH GRADE. >> A VERY TIGHT COMMUNITY. >> BACK IN CLASS, STUDENTS HAVE TO BRING THEIR A GAME. MOST OF THE CLASSES ARE TAUGHT AT A COLLEGE LEVEL. >> WE HAVE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SYSTEM. WE OFFER COURSES THAT THEY DON’T. THEY ARE MORE ADVANCED. >> SCIENCE AND AROOSTOOK COUNTY. IT SEEMS THE PLANETS HAVE ALIGNED. FOLKS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY COME TO AROOSTOOK TO TRAVEL THE SOLAR SYSTEM. >> YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION OR TWO BY THE TIME WE GET TO JUPITER. >> KEVIN MCCARTNEY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE AT PRESQUE ISLE IS THE FORCE BEHIND AROOSTOOK’S SCALE MODEL OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. THE LARGEST 3D MODEL IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, STRETCHING 40 MILES ALONG ROUTE ONE, FROM PLUTO TO THE SUN. >> IT BOGGLES PEOPLE’S MINDS WHEN THEY DRIVE THROUGH AND THEY GET A FULL-SCALE IDEA OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. >> THE CONSTRUCTION, INSTALLATION, AND MAINTENANCE ALL DONE BY LOCAL VOLUNTEERS. THE EARTH IS AT A CAR DEALERSHIP. NEPTUNE BY A FUNNY LOOKING FARM. ALL ARE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY THROUGH HANDSHAKE AGREEMENTS. SUCH INFORMALITIES, TYPICAL OF HOW THINGS GET DONE IN THE COUNTY. >> I NEVER BOTHERED TO CHASE DOWN THE NEW LANDOWNER AND THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO CHASE DOWN ME. THIS LAND COMES WITH THE PLANET JUPITER. OK, YEAH. >> THE PLANETS HAVE BECOME LOCAL LANDMARKS. >> IT IS THE SECOND HOUSE PAST SATURN OR THE FARM JUST SOUTH OF SATURN. >> BUT THERE IS A BIT OF CONTROVERSY. TO COMPETING PLUTO’S SEVEN MILES APART. ONE IN LITTLETON SIGNIFYING PLUTO’S CURRENT DISTANCE FROM THE EARTH AND THE ORIGINAL AT THE HOLTON VISITOR CENTER, MARKING PLUTO’S AVERAGE DISTANCE FROM EARTH. FOLKS LIKE LEE CUMMINGS ARE A BIT PEEVED AT THE IDEA OF THEIR PLUTO BEING ECLIPSED. >> THUS THE PSEUDO-PLUTO OR THE SECOND PLUTO. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS IS PLUTO. >> BACK TO THE MAIN SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS. LIKE MANY SCHOOLS, THEY OPENED THIS FALL ON A HYBRID MODEL. HALF THE STUDENTS RETURNED TO THE DORMS WHILE THE REST RETURNED TO SCHOOL REMOTELY. THE SCHOOL WAS FOUNDED WHEN THE OLD AIR FORCE BASE IN MAINE CLOSED IN 1994. IT IS CHARTERED AND FUNDED BY THE MAINE LEGISLATURE.

Aroostook County, Maine, is home to the largest 3D model of the solar system in the Western Hemisphere

US News and World Report recently named Aroostook’s Maine School of Science and Mathematics one of the best high schools in the country and if this has your inner science nerd excited, watch a local scientist lead us on a tour of the solar system.


The Maine School of Science and Mathematics was ranked second in American public high schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.Is Aroostook County that far out? Find out by traveling the Maine Solar System Model, the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

The Maine School of Science and Mathematics was ranked second in American public high schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Is Aroostook County that far out? Find out by traveling the Maine Solar System Model, the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

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