Tennessee Governor’s Academy to Recruit Students on Statewide Tour

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As part of a statewide tour, students and faculty from the Tennessee Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science will recruit rising high school juniors to apply for admission.

As part of a statewide tour, students and faculty from the Tennessee Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science (TGA) will recruit rising high school juniors to apply for admission at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Doubletree Hotel at 185 Union Ave. in Memphis.

The students are taking part in a weeklong educational tour of the state, learning about the geology, geography and history of Tennessee as part of their studies. Recruiting sessions throughout the trip give applicants the chance to meet students and faculty and learn more about the academy, now in its inaugural year, and the application process.

TGA was founded by Gov. Phil Bredesen and is administered by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The Knoxville-based academy furthers Bredesen’s vision of making the state of Tennessee a leader in science and math education by taking innovative approaches to teaching while exposing students to hands-on research experience.

Next year’s class will include 24 high school juniors chosen from throughout the state, based on their achievement in science and math, as well as their creativity, curiosity and desire to be part of what TGA Executive Director Vena Long calls “the scientific life.”

“We are looking for students who have more than just a technical proficiency in math and science,” said Long, who also serves as the associate dean for research in UT Knoxville’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. “TGA students need to have a love for learning.”

The student experience at TGA is unique. Students live in cottages on the campus of the Tennessee School for the Deaf (TSD) on the banks of the Tennessee River. In addition to learning in a more traditional classroom setting, students take part in research work in labs on the UT campus and at nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Students this year have traveled to the Smoky Mountains to learn more about the physics of water flow and taken part in archaeological research at the Gray, Tenn., fossil site, among numerous research projects. In addition, Gov. Bredesen spent an afternoon with students on the TGA campus this fall.

Each applicant must be at least 15 years of age and be a rising high school junior. Applicants must also have been Tennessee citizens on or before Dec. 1 of their sophomore year, and have completed at least two years of college-preparatory science and math classes. The application can be found online at the TGA Web site: http://tga.utk.edu. Applications must be submitted by March 15.

There is no tuition to attend TGA. Students will receive room and board, as well as educational supplies and the use of a laptop computer during their time as TGA students. Students will be responsible for the cost of recreational activities outside the course of normal TGA programs.

Partners in TGA include UT, the Tennessee Department of Education, the State Board of Education, TSD, ORNL and Oak Ridge Associated Universities.