High School Students and Teachers From Appalachian States Gain Hands-On Experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2006
Oak Ridge, Tenn.—Building robots, measuring aquatic organism populations and using infrared imaging might not sound like a summer vacation. But that’s exactly how a group of high school students and teachers spent theirs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). For two weeks in July, the select group took a break from summer vacation to learn from some of the world’s best scientists.
Jeff Murphy, of Seneca High School in Seneca, S.C., prepares a robot for an obstacle course competition during the 2006 ARC-ORNL Math-Science Technology Summer Institute. Murphy was one of 44 students participating in the program now in its 17th year.
Hailing from New York to Alabama, a select group of 54 students and teachers came to Oak Ridge from 11 different Appalachian states to experience the cutting edge of science and technology. In its 17th year, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/ORNL 2006 Math-Science-Technology Summer Institute ran July 8-21. Administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the program gave students and teachers a chance to have fun and conduct research in one of the country’s most renowned national laboratories.
During this year’s activities, the 44 students divided into eight research groups led by mentors from among ORNL’s research staff. One group got a first-hand look at how infrared technology is used to inspect semi-trucks for homeland security purposes. Other students waded through the waters of local streams to study marine organisms. Another group built and programmed table-sized robots and put them to the test in an obstacle course.
Kristen Poorman, a junior at Dover High School in Ohio, participated in a group focused on teaching students the ins and outs of creating a Web site.
“Before I came to ARC I had no idea about technology,” she said. “I feel as if I have learned more here than I have in a year of school.”
The 11 participating teachers didn’t let the students have all the fun—they also matched up with veteran ORNL scientists to conduct research experiments. One group studied how computers help scientists visualize the interaction of complex biological molecules. Another set of teachers took to the woods and measured trees to help identify an old growth forest on the Oak Ridge Reservation.
Dianne Chancellor (left) from Ackerman High School in Ackerman, Miss., and Tauna Davis from Hamlin High School in Hamlin, W.V., performed measurements of trees in the Oak Ridge Reservation as part of group research project devoted to the study of old growth forests.
“The ARC-ORNL program has provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to work and confer with an assortment of brilliant scientists in a famous and historic facility,” said Leesa Wolfe Peery, a biology and anatomy teacher at Tazewell (VA) High School. “I was intellectually challenged and energized by collaborating with enthusiastic and knowledgeable fellow math and science educators and our gifted mentors from ORNL.”
Participants were also able to experience the local culture and visit attractions throughout East Tennessee. They had a chance to ride thrilling roller coasters during a visit to Dollywood and catch a glimpse of future major league stars at a Tennessee Smokies (AA) baseball game. Students and teachers also had a chance to explore the University of Tennessee and tour the Lost Sea, the country’s largest underground lake.
Each of the student participants in the institute were nominated for the ARC-ORNL Institute 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 list below.
ARC/ORNL Summer Institute Participants
|Students||High School||Home Town|
|Larry Anderson||Gordon Central High School||Fairmont, GA|
|Bailey Barksdale||Ackerman High School||Ackerman, MS|
|Christine Behnke||Dorman High School||Spartanburg, SC|
|Elizabeth Blankenship||Grundy High||Breaks, VA|
|Brittany Brooke Boykin||Gordo High School||Gordo, AL|
|Andrew Brooks||Bradford Area High School||Lewis Run, PA|
|Nathan Brooks||Bradford Area High School||Lewis Run, PA|
|Jessica Brown||Elbert County High School||Elberton, GA|
|Sam Brown-Shakler||Canaseraga Central School||Canaseraga, NY|
|David Cagle||Gilmer High School||Ellijay, GA|
|Elizabeth Campfield||Vinton County High School||Hamden, OH|
|Alexander Chavers||Greensboro West High School||Greensboro, AL|
|Jessica Cremeans||Hamlin High School||Branchland, WV|
|Tiffany DeWitt||Piketon Jr./Sr. High School||Piketon, OH|
|Michael Digman||North Hagerstown High School||Hagerstown, MD|
|Dinah Douglas||Allegany High School||Cumberland, MD|
|Nicole Flint||Canaseraga Central School||Canaseraga, NY|
|Derek Ford||Bradford Area High School||Bradford, PA|
|Cristina Garner||Dade County High School||Trenton, GA|
|Meagan Goff||South Pittsburg High School||South Pittsburg, TN|
|Sumeet Gupta||Allegany High School||Cumberland, MD|
|Andrea Herzog||Bradford Area High School||Bradford, PA|
|Sarah Human||Pike County High School||Waverly, OH|
|Jessica Ice||Cambridge City High School||Kimbolton, OH|
|Garry Jackson||Sunshine High School||Newbern, AL|
|William Johnson||Clay County High School||Ashland, AL|
|Rachel Jude||Calhoun High School||Calhoun, GA|
|Alicia McGlaughlin||Vinton County High School||McArthur, OH|
|Allison Miller||Twin Springs High School||Dungannon, VA|
|Samuel Miller||Cannon County High School||Woodbury, TN|
|Jeff Murphy||Seneca High School||Seneca, SC|
|Brittany Owens||Alvin C. York Institute||Allandt, TN|
|Josh Pate||Piketon High School||Piketon, OH|
|Jeremy Petak||Lansing High School||Lansing, NY|
|Kristen Poorman||Dover High School||Dover, OH|
|Shane Richendollar||Ohio Valley Career & Technical Center||Winchester, OH|
|Christopher Shepard||Alleghany High School||Selma, VA|
|Benjamin Strong||Lineville High School||Cragford, AL|
|Axle Tankersley||Bradford Area High School||Bradford, PA|
|Nicholas Watson||Bradford Area High School||Bradford, PA|
|Portia Vaughn||J.J. Kelly High School||Wise, VA|
|Nicholas Watson||Bradford Area High School||Bradford, PA|
|Sean Robert Wilmot||Duval High School||Alum Creek, WV|
|Kaycee Winningham||Alvin C. York Institute||Jamestown, TN|
|Melissa Youssef||Southside High School||Greenville, SC|
|Teachers||High School||Home Town|
|Terry Bennett||Calhoun High School||Calhoun, GA|
|Thomas Brewer||Abingdon High School||Bristol, TN|
|Dianne Chancellor||Ackerman High School||Ackerman, MS|
|Tauna Davis||Hamlin High/Lincoln County High School||Hamlin, WV|
|Jonathon Escue||Duval High School||Griffithsville, WV|
|Jason Geis||Altoona Area High School||Altoona, PA|
|Craig Green||Copper Basin High School||Copperhill, TN|
|Brian LaVine||Cobleskill-Richmondville High School||Richmondville, NY|
|Leesa Peery||Tazewell High School||Pounding Mill, VA|
|Nancy Siler||South Pittsburg High School||South Pittsburg, TN|
|Kerry Townsend||Gordo High School||Gordo, AL|
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 410 counties across 13 states that make up Appalachia.
Communications Specialist, Communications