WHAT'S IN A NYM?
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Woodlands Country Club
39 Woods Road Falmouth, ME 04105
Due to weather we will postpone this event for a later date
Stay tuned for more information
Okay - an ACRO nym. When you think about it, there's a whole lot in some acronyms. Think AM, PM, EST, DST, FBI, CIA... And MIT, among zillions of others. Our January 27th luncheon will introduce an informal acronym that may be new right now, but could be ubiquitous in the near future. It's BATS (which stands for Baxter Academy for Technology and Science) and we'll be hosting two of the school's founding members, who'll update us on the philosophy, practice and progress of this dynamic new addition to Maine's roster of public high schools.
The Academy is located at 54 York Street in Portland, and is one of five charter schools currently operating in the state, and first opened its doors in September 2013 with a cohort of 130 freshmen and sophomores, hailing from 20+ Maine localities. By all accounts, it's been a successful startup; the Portland Press Herald carried a very complimentary article last summer: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/06/30/first-year-may-chart-course-baxter-academy/ and things have gone steadily uphill since then. The school has a growing wait list. It also has well-developed plans for plant expansion and faculty recruitment to help sustain its enviable 16:1 student/teacher ratio (soon to span Grades 9 - 12). Perhaps most important, students, parents, faculty and administrators seem to be unanimously enthusiastic about "their" school.
What's of special interest to members of Maine's technical community (hence MIT) is the fact that BATS is unabashedly a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) - centered high school, while also offering excellence in Arts and Humanities. All of these arenas (and more) are visited in depth in the first four days of a typical school week, but then comes "Flex Friday", which is when the students work, usually in teams, on independent projects - which can range from creating aeronautical and oceanic research equipment to developing hybrid USB/Bluetooth hardware for mobile devices to building canoes, painting murals, writing poetry, acting, learning Mandarin, and a whole lot more. And at Baxter they start doing this as freshmen, rather than having to wait until junior and senior years to try their wings.
It all sounds very reminiscent of a certain other educational institution with an acronym for a name.... Which brings us full circle: BATS has the potential to be a significant contributor to Maine's pool of STEM - savvy kids. STEM is in MIT's DNA. TECH - ies - take note!
Finally, please also note the “elementary” visual pun that's been gleefully incorporated into the school's logo:
And please join us to hear personally from a couple of Baxter's resident gurus. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. on January 27, 2015, at the Woodlands Country Club in Falmouth.
We hope you can be there!
Bill Bisson '60
President, MIT Club of Maine
P.S. As a further acronymic enticement, here's the URL for BATS. Be sure to watch the embedded TEDx talk by Jon Amory, who'll be one of our presenters on the 27th:http://baxter-academy.org/