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Appalachian High School Students and Teachers Spend Two Weeks with National Lab Mentors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2008
FY08-48

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—While most students and teachers were taking a break from their studies and curriculum planning, 61 select students and teachers from Appalachia chose to spend two weeks of their summer vacation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducting research with top scientists.

This hand-picked group of 42 students and 19 teachers representing 12 different Appalachian states came to Oak Ridge from July 12-25 to experience the latest developments and research in science and technology.

Since 1990, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/ORNL 2008 Math-Science-Technology Summer Institute has hosted the program, which has provided a total of 317 students and 145 teachers with in-lab learning experiences at one of the country’s most renowned national laboratories and the opportunity to participate in several East Tennessee field trips along the way.

The students were nominated by their state governor and chosen to participate in the program by ARC based on academic and leadership potential.

After arriving in Oak Ridge, the students were divided into eight teams led by mentors and scientists from ORNL. The teams were assigned projects with topics ranging from robotic systems, to carbon fibers for fuel-efficient vehicles and stream ecology.

ARC/ORNL 2008 Math-Science-Technology Summer Institute student Jeffrey Elswick, right, from Owsley County High School in Booneville, N.C., prepares to demonstrate a robot his team built as part of their Nuclear Science and Technology Division/Robotics Team II project. Fellow team member Braethun Bharathae-Lane, left, from East Wilkes High School in Woodruff, S.C., looks on.

ARC/ORNL 2008 Math-Science-Technology Summer Institute student Jeffrey Elswick, right, from Owsley County High School in Booneville, Ky., prepares to demonstrate a robot his team built as part of their Nuclear Science and Technology Division/Robotics Team II project. Fellow team member Braethun Bharathae-Lane, left, from East Wilkes High School in Ronda, N.C., looks on.
High-resolution version of photo

Justin Glass, a rising junior at Indian Valley High School in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, spent the last two weeks with four other student team members studying environmental stressors and their control.

"We got to use a million dollar microscope," he said. "Learning all this new technology… it’s been amazing."

The teachers divided into four teams and also participated in research, which focused on subjects such as chemistry, x-rays, forestry studies and computer problem solving.

"I plan to develop an online grade book when I return to school," said Laura Morris, a mathematics teacher from The School of Inquiry and Life Sciences in Asheville, N.C.

The students and teachers also were able to visit various local attractions. They were treated to a Tennessee Smokies baseball game, toured the Mayfield Dairy and the Lost Sea, and visited the American Museum of Science and Energy. The participants were also given tours of the Spallation Neutron Source, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, and the University of Tennessee’s Departments of Anthropology and Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Engineering.

The program concluded in a ceremony on July 25 that featured presentations, demonstrations and skits of the final group research projects and comments from ARC Education Program Manager Jeffrey Schwartz; ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology Jim Roberto; and ORAU President Ron Townsend.

Institute Participants

Students High School Home Town
Andrew Abbott Buckhorn High School Buckhorn, KY
Kenneth Arble Bradford Area High School Bradford, PA
Megan Atwell Bland High School Bland, VA
Cassie Baker Woodruff High School Spartanburg, SC
Brandy Bearden John T. Simpson Easley, SC
Braethun Bharathae-Lane East Wilkes High School Ronda, NC
Ricky Bragg Lincoln County High School Hamlin, WV
Noeli Cantera Woodruff High School Woodruff, SC
Tyler Costello Bradford Area High School Bradford, PA
Chloe Craine Ashe County High School West Jefferson, NC
Jennifer Davis Fort Hill High School Cumberland, MD
Mary Dentinger Fort Hill High School Cumberland, MD
Erika Deshon EastJackson Comprehensive High School Commerce, GA
Logan Elliott Lafayette High School LaFayette, GA
Jeffrey Elswick Owsley County High School Booneville, KY
Mykel Gaughan Fort Hill High School Cumberland, MD
Justin Glass Indian Valley High School Gnadenhutten, OH
Jesse Griffith Jackson Independent High School Jackson, KY
Ethan Hamblin Buckhorn High School Buckhorn, KY
Rebecca Harrison Cobleskill-Richmondville High School Richmondville, NY
Brett Harvey Jackson High School Jackson, KY
Haley Heavner Fort Hill High School Cumberland, MD
Aaron Hight Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Columbus, MS
Brandon Hooper John T. Simpson Easley, SC
Katrina Ireland The School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville Asheville, NC
Maverick Irwin Bradford Area High School Bradford, PA
Luther Lambert Lincoln County High School Hamlin, WV
Joshua Lonthair Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Columbus, MS
Robert Mabe Bland High School Bland, VA
Benjamin Murphy Seneca High School Seneca, SC
Jonathan Nelson Bland High School Bland, VA
Ebony Pannell Tupelo High School Tupelo, MS
Kelly Plumley Lincoln County High School Hamlin, WV
Jennifer Robinson Jackson High School Jackson, KY
Kimberly Savage Alvin C. York Institute Jamestown, TN
Dylan Stein Hornell High School Arkport, NY
Robyn Sturgill Rockcastle County High School Mt Vernon, KY
Erik Wake Avoca Central School Avoca, NY
Matthew Willis Lynchburg-Clay High School Lynchburg, OH
Andrew Wilson Alvin C. York Institute Jamestown, TN
Sarah Wood Fannin Co. High School Blue Ridge, GA
Jared Yoder Indian Valley High School Gnadenhutten, OH
Teachers High School Home Town
Jennifer Cooke Graham High School Bluefield, VA
Jason Dooley Monroe County High School Tompkinsville, KY
Kari Everett Bath County High School Hot Springs, VA
Marvin Feldner Shenandoah High School Sarahsville, OH
Anthony Fleury Greater Nanticoke Area High School Northumberland, PA
Jean Green Jasper Troupsburg Central School Jasper, NY
Larry Hamlin TC Robertson High School Asheville, NC
Jennifer Leisner Bald Eagle Area High School Wingate, PA
Norrissa Martin Bradley Central High School Cleveland, TN
Steven McClendon Russell County High School Russell Springs, KY
Laura Morris The School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville Asheville, NC
Yoana Picazo West Carter High School Olive Hill, KY
Becky Ramsey Lumpkin County High School Dahlonega, GA
Dennis Reed Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Columbus, MS
Adam Riazi Lincoln County High School Hamlin, WV
Ashley Sexton Bland High School Bland, VA
Pamela Ulicny Tri Valley Jr/Sr High School Hegins, PA
Rosalie Wolfe Vinton County High School McArthur, OH
Adelia Wright Tupelo High School Tupelo, MS

The Appalachian Regional Commission 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 such as education, training, health care, telecommunications, 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.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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