School may be out for the summer, but try telling that to the 60 or so students headed to the Governors School for Math and Science in July at West Virginia University.

Think of it as a serious educational experience with a fun summer camp twist.

Students from nearly every county in the state will immerse themselves in classes and hands-on learning opportunitiesall while living on campus, going on field trips and joining in social and recreational activities.

The WVU Honors College offers two campus sessions: July 5-14 for rising eighth-graders and July 16-28 for rising ninth-graders. A third session will take place July 30-Aug. 12 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

This years theme isBuilding an Amusement Park,said Keith Garbutt, dean of the Honors College. Students who attend the on-campus sessions will work in teams to plan a large park, applying what theyve learned in school.

Along the way, they will explore the elements of math and physics necessary for designing rides, learn principles of food safety, design a plan to move people through lines efficiently and study the environmental impact such a park might have on a community.

Its a great program,said Rose Simis, a graduate assistant at the Honors College.It encourages students who are gifted in math and science to never stop learning.

Students who opt for one of the campus sessions get to experience dorm-style living while they stay in WVU s Stalnaker Hall on the Downtown Campus. Six WVU resident advisers will live and work side-by-side with the students, helping them adjust to their weeklong stay and aiding them on their projects.

By having such a small group of students, it was really possible to get to know each student, which was something that I really enjoyed,said chemical engineering major Brent Hardman, a former RA for the Governors School.

When participants first arrive, the RAs and volunteers put on a ceremony and skit on the Mountainlair plaza to help combat possible homesickness, Simis said. They act almost as camp counselors, coordinating activities, playing games and working alongside a particular teacher and group of students throughout the week.

The program is vigorous, demanding and requires absolute dedication and hard work, she added. Students work on different math and science projects and present them at the programs closing ceremony.

Like traditional summer camps, there is plenty of time for fun, too. Evenings are devoted to activities at the WVU Student Recreation Center and Mountainlair and games involving science. For example,Fun with Scienceevents (racing vinegar and baking soda cars and constructing newspaper bridges) will take place July 6 and 19 on theLair plaza, and students will enjoy cookouts and swimming at Marilla pool.

Other activities include science lectures by WVU faculty, Quiz Bowl and field trips to the Carnegie Science Center (July 9 and 23) and Kennywood Park (July 10 and 24).

Students have fun competing, and I enjoyed watching their creativity in action,said WVU chemistry major Matt Schessler, who worked alongside Garbutt last year when students designed a sports complex.They see that science is based upon data from multiple experiments.

2006 GSMS PARTICIPANTS (Reporters, please note the student from your hometown area.)

Rising eighth graders (first session):

  • Dilum Aluthge, Huntington, Cabell County
  • Michael Amos, Kenova, Wayne County
  • Tyler Bonnett, Crab Orchard, Raleigh County
  • Adam Burky, Elkins, Randolph County
  • AshleyCalhoun, Ripley, Jackson County
  • Ethan Carter, Shepherdstown, Jefferson County
  • AmberDrake, Looneyville, Roane County
  • Cody Eddy, Paden City, Tyler County
  • Miriam Gordon, West Columbia, Mason County
  • Alicia Greenwalt, Moorefield, Hardy County
  • Audreanna Haines, Capon Bridge, Hampshire County
  • Zachary Hanshaw, Chloe, Calhoun County
  • Eric Isabell, Craigsville, Nicholas County
  • Kristina Lipscomb, Hinton, Summers County
  • Brian Logsdon, Ridgeley, Mineral County
  • Thomas Lusk, Princeton, Mercer County
  • Amber McCoy, Matewan, Mingo County
  • Tessa Mitchell, Wheeling, Ohio County
  • Garrett Muckleroy, Fayetteville, Fayette County
  • LaurenNorris, Philippi, Barbour County
  • Ciera Pennington, Tucker County
  • Sean Pike, Martinsburg, Berkeley County
  • Conor Pyles, Chapmanville, Logan County
  • Elise Shen, Charleston, Kanawha County
  • Emily Skidmore, Valley Bend, Randolph County
  • Eve Stoffel, Moundsville, Marshall County
  • JoshuaSuess, Terra Alta, Preston County
  • Deanna Taylor, Clay County
  • Deirdre Tobin, Fairmont, Marion County
  • Andrew Warner, Morgantown, Monongalia County

    Rising ninth graders (second session):

  • Ian Anderson, Wheeling, Ohio County
  • Kayley Babbs, Ritchie County
  • StevenBrandt, Arbovale, Pocahontas County
  • Christian Cummings, Fairmont, Marion County
  • Shane Daly, Hurricane, Putnam County
  • RachelDineen, Morgantown, Monongalia County
  • Tyler Green, Hinton, Summers County
  • Heather Gregory, Crawford, Upshur County
  • Brianna Hickman, Shinnston, Taylor County
  • Andrew Hill, Jesse, Wyoming County
  • Noah Kinder, Glenville, Gilmer County
  • RachelLavigne, Ravenswood, Jackson County
  • Jared Leggett, West Union, Doddridge County
  • Chris Mallow, Pendleton County
  • Sarah Miller, Anawalt, McDowell County
  • Nainika Nanda, Daniels, Raleigh County
  • Breanna Nolan, Jacksonburg, Wetzel County
  • EmmaPlatt, Weirton, Hancock County
  • Paige Rabatin, Parkersburg, Wood County
  • Sarah Salsberry, Bridgeport, Harrison County
  • Erin Senter, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
  • SidneySisson, Sissonville, Kanawha County
  • Wade Thrash, Parkersburg, Wood County
  • Madeline Vandevender, Alderson, Greenbrier County
  • JoshuaWard, Wolfcreek, Monroe County
  • JosephWilliams, Charleston, Kanawha County
  • Shelley Yang, Charleston, Kanawha County
  • Sharif Youssef, Wellsburg, Brooke County
  • Javier Zacarias, St. Mary’s, Pleasants County