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Summer Institute Brings High School Students and Teachers From Appalachia to Oak Ridge National Laboratory

July 22, 2005

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—For most high school students and teachers, summer vacation usually means a well-earned rest from the activity of the school year. This summer, however, a select group of students and teachers from the Appalachia region put their bodies and minds in high gear as they spent two weeks learning from world class scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

ARC summer institute

Tamera Stanley (left), a student from Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Ohio, measures the snail population in an area stream with Art Stewart, a scientist in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Stanley was among 39 high school students and 12 teachers who participated in the Appalachian Regional Commission/ORNL Math-Science-Technology Summer Institute July 9-22.

This select group of 39 students and 12 teachers, hailing from each of the 13 Appalachian states, put their summer break in overdrive courtesy of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/ORNL 2005 Math-Science-Technology Institute. Now in its 16th year, the institute, which ran July 9- 22, is a partnership between ARC and ORNL and is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. The science camp allows educators and students from Appalachian towns to live together, improve their science and technology knowledge base and even have a little fun, all in one of the most high tech cities in Appalachia—Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

At this year’s institute, students divided into five teams for a wide range of scientific and technical projects, from designing and building robots, to measuring snail populations and pollution levels in streams, to using advanced sensors to detect threats to homeland security. One team documented the work of all the others as it learned about designing and building functioning Web sites by creating a site about the ARC/ORNL Institute.

“This program has really been a great experience for me. I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of excellent people, and I have really learned a lot,” Jaleisa Jordan, a student at Aliceville (Alabama) High School, said. “This program has taught me some very important information for everyday life.”

ARC Summer Institute

Darin Baugess (left), a teacher at North Wilkes High School in North Wilkesboro, N.C., measures the diameter of a tree on the Oak Ridge Reservation as fellow teacher Benjamin Mordan of Tyrone Area High School in Tyrone, Pa., records the results. Their experiment was designed to look for old growth forests on the ORNL property. The two teachers were among 12 high school instructors and 39 students who participated in the 2005 Appalachian Regional Commission/ORNL Math-Science-Technology Summer Institute July 9-22.

The teachers also spent time with ORNL scientists in broad set of scientific efforts as widely varied as measuring old growth forests in the Oak Ridge area, studying innovations in energy efficiency in residential and industrial construction, and learning how nanoscale technology has revolutionized the way scientists study biological processes at the molecular level.

“I’m grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in such a worthwhile project and be part of a program of this caliber,” Darin Bauguess, a teacher at North Wilkes (North Carolina) High School, said. “It was rewarding to learn and work in such a positive environment while gaining valuable experience and contributing to a better future.”

In addition to the science and technology experience at ORNL, participants also learned teamwork at a ropes course at nearby Maryville College, toured the University of Tennessee’s School of Engineering and the campus of Pellissippi State Community College, and enjoyed time at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, and Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. These and other educational and cultural opportunities in East Tennessee helped the group learn about both higher education opportunities and the economic impact of business and industry on the region.

Each of the student participants in the institute were nominated by their state governors and chosen by ARC based on their academic and leadership potential. Teachers were selected for their dedication to classroom instruction and will have the opportunity to share their experiences in the summer program with colleagues and future students.

For the names, schools and hometowns of all institute participants, please see the attached list.

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) 2005 Math-Science-Technology Institute Participants

Teachers School Hometown
Darin Bauguess North Wilkes High School N. Wilkesboro, NC
Jane Conroe Maple Grove Jr-Sr High School Maple Springs, NY
Christina Crabtree Green Local High School Ironton, OH
Wesley Lawley Bibb County High School Centreville, AL
John Long Point Pleasant High School Point Pleasant, WV
Benjamin Mordan Tyrone Area High School State College, PA
Deborah Owens Meigs County High School Dayton, TN
Mary Rogers Nanih Waiya School Louisville, MS
Yvonne Shafer Bradford Area High School Allegany, NY
Billy Trotter Adams County Ohio Valley Local School District Manchester, OH
William Walker Bibb County High School Centreville, AL
Rayford Williams Palmetto High School Honea Path, SC
Students School Hometown
Benjamin Bales Murray County High School Chatsworth, GA
Benjamin Boon Bradford Area High School Bradford, PA
Jessica Brown Bradford Area High School Bradford, PA
Durecelle Campbell Seneca High School Seneca, SC
Maria Conner Nanih Waiya School Preston, MS
Robin Cremins Meigs County High School Decatur, TN
Rachel Dean Allegany High School Cumberland, MD
Alyne Desgranges Meigs County High School Decatur, TN
Amber Doneski Bridgeport High School Bridgeport, OH
Houston Eaves Meigs County High School Decatur, TN
Charles Green Palmetto High School Pelzer, SC
Jacqueline Hayes Meigs County High School Birchwood, TN
Zane Holliday Floyd County High School Floyd, VA
Jaleisa Jordan Aliceville High School Aliceville, AL
Matthew Jordan Radford High School Radford, VA
Mitchell McCarsky Murray County High School Chatsworth, GA
Jason McCroskey Chautauqua Lake Central School Ashville, NY
Steven McGraw Valley High School Lucasville, OH
Aaron Miles Bridgeport High School Bridgeport, OH
Angel Nagy Tyrone Area High School Tyrone, PA
Whitfield Parham Palmetto High School West Pelzer, SC
Caitlin Parks Avoca Central School Avoca, NY
Cory Parsons Point Pleasant High School Point Pleasant, WV
Joshua Roach Wahama High School Letart, WV
Jeremy Robinson Aliceville High School Aliceville, AL
John Shepherd Johnson Central High School Van Lear, KY
Ethan Shoemaker Houlka Attendance Center Houlka, MS
Sarah Skelley Fort Hill High School Cumberland, MD
Julie Smith Johnson Central High School Thealka, KY
Nicholas Smith Clear Spring High School Clear Spring, MD
Tamera Stanley Bridgeport High School Bridgeport, OH
Dana Stanton Palmetto High School Belton, SC
James Stapleton Johnson Central High School Staffordsville, KY
T. J. Taylor Avoca Central School Avoca, NY
Joshua Walbert Beall High School Frostburg, MD
Kendra Wheeler Meigs County High School Decatur, TN
Samantha White Jasper-Troupsburg Central School Jasper, NY
Carla Wolfe Covington High School Covington, VA
Justin Wood North Wilkes High School Traphill, NC

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a unique federal-state partnership established by Congress in 1965 to bring Appalachia into the mainstream of the American economy. Through development of the 3,090 mile Appalachian Development Highway System and a range of development programs in areas like education, training, health care, telecom, entrepreneurship, job creation and basic infrastructure, ARC programs help reduce isolation and improve the lives and economic opportunities of the 23 million people living in the 410 counties across 13 states that make up Appalachia.

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