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Students and teachers from 11 Appalachian states attend math, science and technology institute in Oak Ridge

Aug. 2, 2016

Students and teachers from the 2016 Math Science Technology Summer Institute

Students and teachers from 11 Appalachian states came to Oak Ridge for two weeks of hands-on science learning. Click image for high resolution version

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Students typically spend their summer vacation taking a break from learning, but 28 exceptional high school students along with 16 teachers from across 11 Appalachian states chose to spend two weeks of their summer participating in a hands-on institute focused on math, science and technology.

The Appalachian Regional Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and ORAU hosted the 27th annual High School Summer Math-Science-Technology Institute, during which the students and teachers worked on cutting-edge science projects with mentors at ORNL and participated in a variety of East Tennessee tours and activities.

Students were nominated by their state’s governor and chosen to participate in the program by ARC. They were selected based on their potential to excel in math and science, to continue in higher learning and to influence others in their communities as the leaders of tomorrow.

Since 2000, the program has provided a total of 598 students and 251 teachers with in-lab learning experiences at one of the nation’s premier national laboratories. In addition, participants have had the opportunity to visit some of the area’s most popular educational and recreational attractions.

The two-week institute kicked off with a ropes course at Life Development Center in Oak Ridge and a guided tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Students and teachers were then divided into teams led by mentors and scientists.

The students were assigned projects that dealt with supercomputers, measuring the force imparted by high heat flux plasma, magnetic levitation, robotics systems and engineering development, chemical sciences.

The teachers were divided into four research teams that focused on chemical sciences, neutron sciences, molecular biophysics and cytogenetic biodosimetry.

During this year’s institute participants toured the Spallation Neutron Source, the supercomputing facilities, the Center for Nanophase Materials Science and the EVEREST laboratory. The group also visited local attractions, including Rainforest Adventures in Sevierville and Cades Cove in Townsend, and took a riverboat dinner cruise aboard the Star of Knoxville.

The summer institute concluded with a ceremony attended by ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “The High School Summer and Math-Science-Technology Institute is always phenomenal and inspiring,” said Gohl. “Every year, we hear from students who cite this program as the beginning of their lifelong love of science and math, and the reason they are pursuing STEM-related careers.”

To see a complete list of students and teachers and learn more about their two week experiences visit the ARC/ORNL 2016 Summer Math-Science-Technology Institute site.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
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.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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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