BETHEL — The Telstar Freshmen Academy, in partnership with the 4-H Cooperative Extension, will take an overnight trip to the University of Maine in Orono on Dec. 8 to learn more about school programs offered and what it’s like to be a student there. 

Norm Greenberg, 4-H professional educator and social studies teacher at the University of Maine 4-H Camp & Learning Center, said the goal of the trip is to encourage students to “believe they can actually do the things they are learning about, (and) to be empowered about their education (and) their lives.”

About 45 Telstar freshmen are to go on the trip, accompanied by Greenberg, Telstar Regional High School teachers Kelly Dole and Doug Bennett, and 4-H professional educator Tara Pocock. The group will stay at the Black Bear Inn, the cost of which is covered by the 4-H Cooperative Extension through the National Mentoring Program (Tech Wizards) grant.

SAD 44 will provide the transportation. Greenberg said no fundraising was necessary for the trip. 

While in Orono, the group will eat at University of Maine dining halls, meet with Telstar alumni to learn about their experience at the university, and have the opportunity to ask questions about motivations for college, to learn about the programs offered by the university and to get an overall feel for the campus.

The group will tour the Emera Astronomy Center to see a planetarium show, and visit the Advanced Structures and Composites Center, where they can become familiar with the field of material science at the world-renowned Signature Research Area of the university.


The freshmen will also have the opportunity to visit the Innovative Media Research & Commercialization Center on campus, where they can experience the prototyping facilities, audio and video production spaces and the resource library. They’ll also tour the Foster Center for Student Innovation, where Greenberg said he hopes the students will “get excited about possibilities for business innovation and innovation engineering at the new business incubation program.”

“The Telstar Freshman Academy believes in bringing education to life,” Greenberg said.

The academy believes in the value of getting students out of school to travel and see new places for themselves, as opposed to sitting in their seats, book-learning, he said. 

“Going to UMaine, seeing real knowledge being created and learned, meeting THS alumni with whom they can identify, who were in their very shoes only a few years ago, are great ways to achieve the goals of the TFA,” Greenberg said. 

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