International students learn about Maine’s coastline, wind turbines

Orono High School international students visit the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center at the University of Maine.
Orono High School’s 14 international students from China visit the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center at the University of Maine.

International students engaged in interactive learning last week to better understand Maine’s effort to utilize its coastline.

Orono High School’s 14 international students from China took a field trip to the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center (AEWC) at the University of Maine. AEWC employees explained the current research and development of off-shore wind turbines and wood composites.

The high school established its international program three years ago.

Most of Orono’s international students come from its sister school, the high school attached to Hunan Normal University, located in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. Two teachers from Hunan Normal are teaching at Orono this year, with the goals of exchanging educational ideas and deepening the relationship between the two schools. Program Coordinator MacKenzie Grobmyer actively fosters this relationship and seeks new educational connections abroad.

Orono’s program aims to prepare students for college in the United States, which is where they intend to study. This is the second year in which students have lived in University of Maine dormitories, providing them with an early college experience.

Local Orono students have learned a great deal from their international friends, as has the entire community. This weekend, friends of the international program (families and classmates) will accompany the international students to apple picking before joining them for a celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.