STEM Education

Launch your learning. STEM classes prepare Thornton Academy students for a changing world.

Our world is changing rapidly. Careers in technology are increasing at a very fast rate. Thornton Academy's mission is to prepare students for a changing world, and our classes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics get students ready to pursue additional studies in these fields. We offer a rigorous and broad-based STEM program, one that is among the most advanced in New England. 

STEM classes at Thornton Academy focus on experimentation. We believe that by doing, students learn more. Thornton Academy students build, grow, test, dissect, and sometimes even destroy to learn the principles in their STEM classes. It is not rare to see students all over campus doing experiments to cement their understanding. 

Thornton Academy's STEM facilities are at the apex of technology with the recent establishment of an engineering laboratory on campus where students pursue inquiry-based design skills in a hands-on  environment. A $2 million STEM Center opened in 2015, including four modern laboratory classrooms, four brand-new mathematics classrooms, and a renovated engineering and robotics lab. 

Our students need to be prepared to tackle complex problems and create unique solutions, while working in a team. A strong background and experience in STEM will foster these important skills.

Headmaster Rene M. Menard '88

Partnership with College of Engineering at University of Maine

In 2013, Thornton Academy launched a first-in-the-state partnership with the University of Maine College of Engineering, a curricular initiative that enables qualified Thornton Academy students to complete their entire first year of engineering courses by the time they graduate high school. Alumni from this partnership gain automatic admission to UMaine College of Engineering and enter as sophomores.

University of Maine Dean of the College of Engineering Dana Humphrey said, “This is a new and exciting path for students to begin studying engineering while students are still in high school. The key to this is that students will begin taking Advanced Placement courses in science, engineering, and mathematics course here at Thornton Academy. What is unique about this partnership is the breadth and quality of Advanced Placement classes that Thornton Academy offers.” 

Caleb Bailey '17, one of the first students to take advantage of this offering shares, "Bypassing a year of college is such a good deal that I could not miss out on it. UMaine had the program I wanted and apparent connections with NASA, who I hope to be able to work with.”

three students pose in chemistry class