6th Grade Mountain Academy of Arts & Sciences

Welcome to 6th Grade Mountain Academy of Arts & Sciences (MAAS)

"Email [email protected] or [email protected] to be added to our mailing list or check back in late-November 2023 for information about applying to the Mountain Academy for the 2024-2025 school year. Mountain Academy applications typically open in January with a February deadline."



"In 2022, the Mountain Academy of Arts & Sciences became the only school and one of only nine programs to earn Leave No Trace Youth Program Accreditation!"

The Mountain Academy for Arts and Sciences is a full-day, sixth grade experience at Ute Pass Elementary School located in Chipita Park, Colorado. Our unique size and setting allows our class to learn and experience a variety of topics throughout the school year. 2021-2022 will be the 8th year that Manitou Springs School District 14 has offered this program!

Throughout the year we focus on developing skills and techniques in leadership, science, STEAM, integrated units, and music skills in an intimate and elementary school setting. The Mountain Academy of Arts and Sciences attracts children from Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Teller County. The year provides unique preparation for students who yearn for a smaller, more intense, science and hands-on experience prior to entering our outstanding 7th and 8th grade experiences at the Manitou Springs Middle School. Please note that students in the Mountain Academy can participate fully in a variety of Manitou Springs Middle School activities including sports, robotics team, dances, after-school activities and more.

Some highlights from the recent years:
-Year-round water science and ecology studies. This includes trips to a fish hatchery, work with Trout Unlimited to learn about the Greenback Cutthroat trout, tie flies, learn how to fly-fish, raise trout from eggs to fingerlings before releasing them in the spring, monitor the health of the Fountain Creek Watershed, visit Colorado Springs Utilities water treatment facilities and much more.

-Multiple Camping Experiences where students learn backcountry basics, Leave No Trace principles, menu planning, budgeting, shopping, and cooking skills in the Colorado Wilderness.

-Citizen Science projects where students investigate, create, and contribute to science while birdwatching, bird banding, and more.

-Photography studies where we learn the basics of photography and build, shoot, and develop photographs using our self-built pinhole cameras.

-All students participate in band and receive weekly small group lessons as well as combined rehearsals. Instruments are provided for the year by the school at no cost!

-A study into design and engineering concepts including studies of flight principles, architecture, 3D design and printing which including an interactive visit to the WWII Aviation Museum and where students design a scaled model of their own tiny home.

-Many other experiences including caving, mountain biking, wetlands studies, and much much more!

Email the Mountain Academy of Arts & Science instructors with any questions.
Melanie Riffle [email protected]
Miles Groth at [email protected]

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Slideshow from the Parent Presentation

Frequently asked Questions

Gazette Article
Ute Pass Elementary students release dozens of trout into the wild as part of national conservation program
Mountain Academy of Arts & Sciences Leave No Trace Statement:

Over the past nine years, sixth grade students in the Mountain Academy have explored and learned in the outdoors with the goal of empowering students to connect with the natural world and to become stewards for the environment. Along the way, we have used Leave No Trace and its 7 principles to minimize impacts as a guiding approach.

The Mountain Academy of Arts & Sciences strongly believes that students learn in many different ways and often learn best by doing and experiencing. By incorporating the 7 Leave No Trace principles into our science, math, and English/Language Arts curriculum students develop a strong sense of environmental stewardship through cross-curriculum learning. We then take this learning into the field for scientific explorations or adventures directly connected to our learning where students learn by doing.

Students who are curious about the natural world around them strengthen their desire to take care of it and gain the concrete skills and demonstrate respect through Leave No Trace to be leaders and teachers to others in the school, community, and beyond.

With pioneering science, hands-on training, and simple guidelines, Leave No Trace helps you explore the outdoors sustainably every time you get outside. Find out more at www.lnt.org

Leave No Trace Site Specific 7 Principles for the Mountain Academy of Arts & Science