OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Shane Bays, son of Loretta Wagoner , was one of 37 high school students attending the 29th annual High School Summer Math- Science -Technology Institute in Oak Ridge.
The high school students joined joined teachers selected from across 11 Appalachian states to spend two weeks fully engaged in math, science , engineering and technology (STEM), including learning experiences at one of the country’s leading national laboratories.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and ORAU hosted the learning experience. Gov. John Kasich nominated Bays, a student at Gallia Academy High School, to attend the accelerated learning program. He was selected based on his potential to excel in math and science and to continue in higher learning, said a news release.
Since 2000, the program has provided this opportunity to a total of 684 students and 283 teachers.
Students and teachers participated in research projects led by ORNL scientists and mentors. Bays and teammates investigated supercomputers, robotics systems or engineering development . The teachers focused on chemical sciences, neutron sciences, molecular biophysics and cytogenetic biodosimetry. Students and teachers had time to ask questions during discovery sessions at the national laboratory and an opportunity to network with scientists and mentors.
“The ARC-ORNL Summer Institute is often the first intensive exposure many of these students have to STEM fields,” said Tim Thomas , ARC Federal Co Chair. “Every year, we hear from program alumnae about how their summer institute experiences at ORNL have helped them reach their academic potential and inspired a lifetime of learning and leadership.”
“Many exciting opportunities open up for participants at the High School Summer Math- Science – Technology Institute and Middle School Summer Science Academy. Often, participants may develop a lifelong love of STEM subjects and continue to pursue STEM careers. Teachers gain a renewed passion for promoting STE M subjects with knowledge of emerging sciences and technologies,” said Marie Westfall, who manages the program for ORAU.
During this year’s educational sessions, participants tour ed the historic Graphite Reactor and ORNL research and supercomputing facilities. By visiting east Tennessee’s science and research facilities, students were introduced to the realm of career possibilities in STEM fields. To see a complete list of students and teachers, and learn more about their experiences, https://www.orau.org/arc-ornl/2018/index.html.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’ s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.