With all systems go, 80 young math and science whizzes are headed to West Virginia University this July for the launch of the Governors School for Math and Science. Their mission? To create a space station simulator capable of housing astronauts and collecting data for experiments.

In its third season, the popular summer program draws talented teenagers from nearly every county of the state. Students entering eighth grade in the fall will attend the first session July 5-14; students starting ninth grade will participate in a second session July 18-31.

Working with faculty and student mentors from WVU and other state schools, participants will get a taste of what its like to work for NASA as they use their math and science skills to study space, weather and other dynamics, said GSMS Director Eric Pyle.

By the end of the program, students will have explored all aspects of a space station simulator, including the planning, development and operation, he added, while another key component of the program is teamwork.

While individual effort and interest with respect to mathematics and science is a prerequisite, the fact that most working scientists and mathematicians work in research teams must be driven home to the students if they are to adopt the appropriate mindset to succeed in a scientific or technical career,said Pyle.With students assigned in a research team, each member must not only be able to carry out his or her component of the research project, but also effectively communicate findings and needs to the remainder of the group.

Opening ceremonies will be at 3 p.m. Monday, July 5 (first session), in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. Then the work begins as students take part in 8:45-11:15 a.m. and 12:45-3:15 p.m. sessions and 3:30-5 p.m. activity time.

WebCT training, team building, evening science talks, field trips and social activities, such as a pool party at Morgantowns Marilla Park, are also part of the agenda.

The school concludes with student teams presenting their projects at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 14, at the Stalnaker Dining Annex.

A collaborative effort of education, business/industry and government, the West Virginia Governor’s Schools provide an opportunity to develop the potential of future leaders of West Virginia. Support for GSMS comes from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the WVU provosts office.

For more information, contact Pyle at 304-293-3441 ext. 1310 or 216-1115. On the Net:http://www.wvgovschools.org/mands/


*Rising 8th Graders:

Barbour: Jonathan Gregg, Moatsville

Berkeley: Rebecca Posa, Kearneysville

Braxton: Tara Itofe, Gassaway

Fayette: Anthony Shillingburg, Fayetteville; Jennifer Williams, Oak Hill; Tyler Zimm, Fayetteville

Gilmer: Brittany Ellyson, Coxs Mill; Shae Gainer, Burnt House

Hampshire: Timothy Allen, Romney; Julia Barry, Romney

Hancock: John Alatis, Weirton; Corey Keller, Newell; George Magnone, Weirton

Harrison: Thomas Loder, Clarksburg

Jackson: Henry Carpenter, Evans; Nathaniel Robinson, Ripley

Lewis: Allison Hefner, Weston

Lincoln: Nicholas Porter, Branchland

Marion: Seth Bratcher, Monongah; Erin Cunningham, Fairmont

Marshall: Brittany Szafran, Moundsville

Mason: Jamie Bush, Gallipolis Ferry; Kalah Perry, Milton

Mercer: Scott Ferris, Bluefield

Mingo: Timothy Ball, Rawl; Chelsea Phillips, Williamson

Monongalia: Alex Abrahams, Morgantown; Anna Alappat, Morgantown; Jeffery Atkinson, Morgantown; Emily Ngan, Morgantown

Pocahontas: Seth Mitchell, Marlinton

Raleigh: James Duncan, Sophia; Salena Lucus, Beckley

Randolph: Katelyn Demyan, Huttonsville

Tucker: Anna Patrick, Davis

Wayne: Brittany Messer, Prichard

Wetzel: Cassandra Crihfield, Metz; Rachel Hoffman, New Martinsville

Wood: Lucas Pennock, Mineral Wells; Benjamin Province, Mineral Wells

Rising 9th Graders:

Barbour: Jacob Steele, Volga

Berkeley: Lilian Liu, Martinsburg

Boone: Caraline Griffith, Peytona

Braxton: Truman Means, Frametown

Cabell: Ryan Warner, Milton

Calhoun: Beth Richards, Orma

Clay: Christina Tanner, Nebo

Gilmer: Rachel Ramezan, Glenville

Grant: Emily Carver, Scherr

Greenbrier: Jessica Lynch, Lewisburg

Harrison: Alexander Hoskinson, Clarksburg

Jackson: Dennis David, Sherman

Jefferson: Michael Citro, Harpers Ferry

Kanawha: Catherine Briggs, Charleston; Justin Wymer, St. Albans

Lewis: David Smith, Weston

Lincoln: Philip Kirk, Ferrellsburg

Logan: Krysti Sumpter, Chapmanville

Marion: James Haldeman, Baxter

Mason: Shane Huffman, Apple Grove

McDowell: Tiffany Eller, Iaeger

Mineral: Jessica Liller, Keyser

Mingo: Olivia Workman, Delbarton

Monongalia: Adly Noore, Morgantown

Morgan: Michael Roach, Berkeley Springs

Nicholas: Kayla Phillips, Nettie

Ohio: Daniel Turner, Wheeling

Pendleton: Elizabeth Warner, Franklin

Pleasants: Danielle Cox, St. Marys

Putnam: Christopher Lipinski, Hurricane

Raleigh: Catherine Deck, Crab Orchard; Christopher Prelaz, Beckley

Randolph: Holly E. Smith, Valley Bend

Ritchie: James Yost, Harrisville

Summers: Alicia Petrarca, Sandstone

Taylor: Adrienne Duckworth, Grafton

Upshur: Bryce OLoughlin, Buckhannon

Wetzel: Garrett Robinson, New Martinsville

Wirt: Zachary Chancey, Elizabeth

Wood: Alexander Lee, Parkersburg

Wyoming: Jodi Cook, Pineville