Over the past decade, Bangor High School students have come to dominate Maine’s science competitions. They’ve won the state Stockholm Junior Water Prize for nine consecutive years and the Maine Science Bowl three out of the past four years, including at the 2018 event held March 3. Last week they won 22 out of 39 categories at the Maine State Science Fair. Five of those Bangor High students were awarded full scholarships to the University of Maine.
What’s one thing all those students have in common? Chemistry teacher Cary James.
But James, 66, who is also the chair of the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy, downplays his influence on his students. He says he’s simply opening the door. They have to walk through it.
“I think going to school and playing the game of ‘What does the teacher know?’ is not a good way to learn,” said James. “I’m just here to make the student realize that he or she can figure it out on their own. It’s not about me. It’s about them. They’re way smarter than I am.”
Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.
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