Summer break usually doesn’t involve thoughts of science projects and field trips, but for one local high school student it did.
Rita Seals of Letcher County Central High School was part of a group of 37 specially chosen students and 18 teachers representing 13 Appalachian states who were in Oak Ridge, Tenn., July 12- 24 to work on cutting-edge science projects with mentors at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Since 1990, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) have hosted the Math- Science- Technology Institute each summer. During that time, the program has provided a total of 354 students and 163 teachers with in-lab learning experiences at one of the nation’s premier national laboratories. It has also provided them the opportunity to visit some of the area’s most popular educational and recreational attractions.
Seals was nominated by Governor Steve Beshear and chosen to participate in the program by ARC. Helping in the nominating process was the Kentucky Appalachian Higher Education Center (KY-AHED) at Morehead State University.
ARC Federal Co-chair Anne Pope said that "the students were chosen for their potential in math and science, their potential to continue in higher learning, and their potential to influence others in their communities as the leaders of tomorrow."
Focus was on subjects such as ecology, bioenergy, nanoparticles and x-ray analysis of materials.