While many youngsters spend their summer near a pool, students attending the West Virginia Governors School for Mathematics and Science (GSMS) will be exploring museums in Washington, D.C., and navigating their way through the stars in an indoor planetarium.

Students from across the state will be attending GSMS at West Virginia University next month. More than 70 academically talented students will be attending classes, working on research projects and gaining hands-on experience.

This years theme isVoyage to Outer Space: Mission to Mars,which will include a field trip to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and an indoor planetarium that will be set up in Stalnaker Hall.

The session for students who recently finished seventh graderising eighth-gradersis July 9-18. Rising ninth-graders will attend their own session at WVU July 20-Aug. 1. Students in this age group also have the opportunity to attend a session at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank Aug. 3-16.

An opening ceremony for families will be held on the first day of each session. Families and friends can also keep up to date with the studentsactivities by looking at pictures and podcasts on the GSMS home page ( www.honors.wvu.edu/GSMS ). The site will be updated every other day.

Students will get a glimpse of college life by staying in Stalnaker Hall. They will be mentored by resident advisers WVU studentswho will also work alongside teachers and students throughout the week, helping participants with their projects.

During a typical day, students attend class or work on research projects in the morning and have activity time by midafternoon. Activities range from a trip to Coopers Rock State Forest to just playing board games inside.

Research groups consisting of six students, a mentor and an instructor will learn math and physics necessary for their research project.

The trick with any subject is losing the jargon and having good teachers,said Keith Garbutt, dean of the WVU Honors College and director of GSMS at WVU .

We always try to pick a theme big enough,he added.With the new probe on Mars, students will be able to understand concepts just by using practical applications. Students have the math skills to get them to practical terms of calculus, without using the actual label of �€~calculus.

GSMS plays an important role in maintaining studentsinterest in science for the future, Garbutt noted.

Over 40 percent of all the active scientists in the U.S. were not born here,he said.Its crucial that we get young people interested in science here.

In the age group were dealing with, students are still full of excitement about learning,he added.If we can trigger that, we can keep them interested in high school and hopefully at the university level.

Other GSMS activities include a Quiz Bowl, lectures by WVU faculty, a dance and field trips.

2008 GSMS PARTICIPANTS *

*Rising eighth-graders (first session):

  • Michaela Beron, Sand Fork, Gilmer
  • Sequoya Bua-Iam, Scott Depot, Putnam
  • Joshua Buckland, Beaver, Raleigh
  • Michael Buonaiuto, Fairmont, Marion
  • Isabella Bushman, Martinsburg, Berkeley
  • Tyler Butt, Bluefield, Mercer
  • Alicia Cadrette, Green Bank, Pocahontas
  • Alexis Cayton, West Union, Doddridge
  • Rishi Chandrasekhar, Wheeling, Ohio
  • Sydney Chapman, Williamson, Mingo
  • Peter Chen, Morgantown, Monongalia
  • Rebecca Cokeley, Harrisville, Ritchie
  • Jacob Coleman, Belington, Barbour
  • Jonathan Collins, Arnoldsburg, Calhoun
  • Logan Cox, Mineral Wells, Wood
  • James Crake, Parkersburg, Wood
  • Lexis Deming, Ripley, Jackson
  • Chelsey Dobbs, Jolo, McDowell
  • Amber Eddy, Paden City, Wetzel/Tyler
  • Steven Emyan, Huttonsville, Randolph
  • Faith Galford, Lewisburg, Greenbrier
  • Hannah Gilbert, Moorefield, Hardy
  • Allison Hatcher, Fairdale, Raleigh
  • April Highlander, Lindside, Monroe
  • Jacob Houdyschell, Kenova, Wayne
  • Jacob Ivey, Oak Hill, Fayette
  • Candace Kesselring, Moundsville, Marshall
  • Loran Margevich, Falling Waters, Berkeley
  • Michael McGraw, Fayetteville, Fayette
  • Benjamin Morris, Milton, Cabell
  • Satyanarayana Nelanuthala, Bridgeport, Harrison
  • Adam Richardson, Charleston, Kanawha
  • Sarah Shadle, Middleway, Jefferson
  • Bradley Shaffer, Parsons, Tucker
  • Samuel Spickler, Shepherdstown, Jefferson
  • Brittany Tennant, Arthurdale, Preston
  • Sarah Trocke, Fort Ashby, Mineral
  • Benjamin Upton, Charleston, Kanawha
  • Diana Ventura, Huntington, Cabell
  • Trevor Williams, Buckhannon, Upshur
  • Jennifer Yu, Morgantown, Monongalia
  • Sylvia Zhang, Hurricane, Putnam

Rising ninth-graders (second session):

  • Jacob Allen, Mill Creek, Randolph
  • Cheyenne Arbogast, West Union, Doddridge
  • Elaine Ashman, Looneyville, Roane
  • Hannah Bartlett, Oak Hill, Fayette
  • Sophia Bennett, Brandywine, Pendleton
  • Catherine Blackwood, Charleston, Kanawha
  • Amber Bradley, Thornton, Taylor
  • John Bryant, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson
  • Christopher Cawthon, Moundsville, Marshall
  • Whitney Chafin, Pineville, Wyoming
  • Savannah Chandler, St. Marys, Ritchie
  • Margot Cumming, Morgantown, Monongalia
  • Carl Evans, St. Marys, Pleasants
  • Charles Gary, Sissonville, Kanawha
  • Christopher Gates, Bridgeport, Harrison
  • Hunter Greenwalt, Moorefield, Hardy
  • Charles Hannah, Hinton, Summers
  • Nathan Hannum, Pleasant, Mason
  • John Hawkins II, Philippi, Barbour
  • Xiaofeng Jie, Huntington, Cabell
  • Lucas Kimerer, Parkersburg, Wood
  • Eric Kinney, Bridgeport, Harrison
  • Michael Mastromichalis, Weirton, Hancock/Brooke
  • Mary OMalley, Maysville, Grant
  • Zachary Paitsel, Danville, Boone
  • Sarah Phillips, Beaver, Raleigh
  • Melissa Sayer, Burton, Wetzel
  • Savannah Sims, Fairmont, Marion
  • Hayley Snoberger, Fort Ashby, Mineral
  • Kelsey Weimer, Berkeley Springs, Morgan

More on the Net: www.honors.wvu.edu/GSMS