Several eighth and ninth graders from around the state will be doing more than riding roller coasters this summerthey will be studying them.

Over 40 students who recently finished seventh graderising eighth-gradersand over 35 rising ninth-graders will come to West Virginia Universitys main campus in July to enrich their minds at the Governors School for Math and Science .

The academically talented students will participate in a variety of research projects designed around this years themeAmusement Parks.Session one, for the rising eighth-graders, will be held from July 8-17; session two, for the rising ninth-graders, will be held from July 19-31. The ninth-graders also have the opportunity to attend a session at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank Aug. 2-15.

We are trying to identify talented young people, who are already interested in mathematics and science and are doing well, and encourage them to continue and go on in these careers,said Keith Garbutt, dean of students for the Governors School for Math and Science program.Research suggests that many will move away from these careers because they are not �€~cool,and we want them to understand it is a great career.

The students will stay in Stalnaker Hall on WVU s downtown campus, where they will be mentored by resident advisors. The advisors WVU studentswill also work alongside the participants to assist with their research projects.

Program participants will work with classmates to solve real-world scenarios. The E-Mission scenarios will be presented through live video feed with a flight director at mission control from the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University.

However, the students will do more than study in the classroom.

They will apply their science and math skills while riding rides at Kennywood Amusement Park, exploring the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo.

They will be measuring the acceleration of the roller coasters, looking at safety and food service and a lot of other things you dont normally think about when you are at an amusement park. It will be fun and educational at the same time,Garbutt said.

Organized trips will also be taken to Pricketts Fort for an outdoor concert by The Woodticks, the WVU Student Recreation Center and the pool at Marilla Park.

Other GSMS activities include a quiz bowl, lectures by WVU faculty, a dance and ice cream social.


*Rising eighth-graders (first session):

  • Jacob Linton, Berkeley

  • Landon Pettit, Braxton

  • Cassidy Bland, Brooke

  • Kelsey Jett, Calhoun

  • Nicholas Smith, Calhoun

  • Robert Rippeon, Doddridge

  • Joshua Briggs, Doddridge

  • Erin Heeter, Fayette

  • Joel Bracken, Fayette

  • Michaela OBrien, Greenbrier

  • Sara Swann, Greenbrier

  • Stephen Hott-Bellingham, Hardy

  • Jared Beard, Hardy

  • Rachel Fulks, Harrison

  • Alaina Shreves, Harrison

  • Anya Wallace, Jefferson

  • Grace Guiney, Jefferson

  • Ankur Kumar, Kanawha

  • Aryana Misaghi, Kanawha

  • Katlin Kouns, Kanawha

  • Georgia Warder, Lewis

  • Thomas Cooper, Lincoln

  • Autumn Huffman, Marion

  • Chelsea Owens, McDowell

  • Austin Johnson, McDowell

  • David Runyon, Mingo

  • Julius Hatcher, Mingo

  • Esha Halabe, Monongalia

  • Andrew Morrison, Pocahontas

  • Chaunte McDowell, Raleigh

  • Kathryn Totten, Randolph

  • Jillian Amos, Randolph

  • Brandy Cook, Summers

  • Patrick Parmer, Summers

  • Ian Nichols, Tucker

  • Noah Garrison, Tyler

  • J. Taylor Spry, Wayne

  • Ethan Umstead, Wetzel

  • Kayla Bain, Wirt

  • Paul Fernandes, Wood

  • Isabella Velez, Wood

  • Sean Snider, Wood

Rising ninth-graders (second session):

  • Alivia Ayers, Berkeley

  • Kylie Unger, Berkeley

  • Samuel Smith, Cabell

  • Dillion Muhly-Alexander, Doddridge

  • Abigail Tice, Hancock

  • Michael Fouts, Harrison

  • Zoe Levine, Jefferson

  • Anna Rubenstein, Kanawha

  • Matthew Bartrug, Marion

  • Jonathan Goodnight, Marshall

  • Nash Burke, Marshall

  • Timothy Shaffer, Mineral

  • Briana Smith, Mingo

  • Farren Staten, Mingo

  • Morgan Huff, Mingo

  • Alexander Panaccione, Monongalia

  • Michelle Ma, Monongalia

  • Mohamed Feliachi, Monongalia

  • Anna Pace, Monroe

  • Carlee Frye, Monroe

  • Joshua Sparks, Nicholas

  • Ciana Cassi, Ohio

  • Cody Turner, Pendleton

  • Kayla Sisler, Preston

  • Quentin Buckley, Putnam

  • Vivian Yao, Putnam

  • Mihir Dave, Raleigh

  • Peyton Teets, Randolph

  • Dale Keplinger, Ritchie

  • Danielle Walters, Roane

  • Whitney Poling, Taylor

  • Alexa Vanhoose, Wayne

  • Sarina Singh, Wood

  • Dustin Smith, Wyoming

  • Kodey Blankenship, Wyoming

  • Andrew Cook, Wyoming

  • Tiffany Estep, Wyoming

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