Waldorf, MD – Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot toured the new St. Charles High School Wednesday, Oct. 8 and he was certainly impressed.

“This school is the talk of the town,” Franchot said Wednesday.

A 269,000-square-feet vertical school that features four floors and 72 teaching stations, it is a lot to take in. The school has geo-thermal heating and a green roof which drains into two 50,000 gallon cisterns which are filtered and reused to water the athletic fields.

“I can see from the outset, if we can learn from your example, that would be great,” Franchot said.

St. Charles Principal Richard Conley explained that unlike most schools, teachers do not work from a specific classroom, but rotate.

Franchot was then taken for a tour of the school’s “theater in the round” at the James E. Richmond Science Center, where viewers got a stunning view of the total eclipse of the moon which occurred that very morning.

The comptroller was then treated to a display chronicling John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech at Rice University, where he promised to put a man on the moon, and evolved into a presentation about NASA’s newest project, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is the precursor to a planned colony in the not-too-distant future.

“Imagine how that will turn a kid onto science,” said Charles County Superintendent of Schools Kim Hill.

Science on a Sphere was up next and the comptroller was shown the many features of the sphere, from storm patterns to air traffic across the world.

The sphere is only one of 101 such projects in the country and the only one in a public school in the United States.

Franchot was clearly impressed. “The state is very proud of this,” he said.

Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@yahoo.com