Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Students from seven North Central West Virginia counties are learning about mathematics, science and technology during a free, two-week residential program at Fairmont State.

Project AMPLE (Action Math and Physics Laboratory Experiences) Extended is a summer enrichment program in science, mathematics, engineering and computer technology for current seventh-grade students from designated GEAR UP middle schools. The program began Sunday, June 19, and runs through Thursday, June 30. The purpose of Project AMPLE Extended is to motivate students with high potential to consider future careers as scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

Thirty-two students from Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor and Tucker counties are participating in this year's program.

Dr. Erica Harvey, Professor of Chemistry at FSU, is project director.

"The underlying message of our program is that the exciting careers available in science, math and technology all require strong math backgrounds. Students need to take math and science classes every year during middle and high school, so that they will have choices of careers when they start college," Harvey said. "They should also take advantage of opportunities to learn computer skills during the middle and high school grades."

One major goal of Project AMPLE Extended is to help students, especially those from groups historically under-represented in the sciences, discover whether they might have potential for a career in math, science, engineering or computer science. Students complete a rigorous two-stage application process to become part of the program.

Dr. Andreas Baur of the FSU Chemistry Program is directing the science program. Dr. Susan Goodwin of the FSU Math Program, Denise Kovar of Fairview Middle School, Anne Lienhardt of Mannington Middle School and West Virginia University mathematics graduate student Stephanie Yoho are leading math classes. Don Tobin of the FSU Computer Science Program, Kari Carlson of the FSU Graphics Program and Kovar are co-directing the computer program. Kim Murphy, Tia Richardson, and Melissa Abbott, all of the FSU Engineering Technology Department, are co-directing the engineering classes. Michael Belmear, FS Vice President for Student Affairs, is directing the evening activities for the camp.

Staff members helping with Project AMPLE Extended this year include Beverly Bowers, science and engineering teaching assistant; Amy Stevenski, group leader and office assistant; Stephanie Yoho, science and engineering teaching assistant; Anne Lienhardt, math, computer and evening program assistant; Leslie Claypoole, science and engineering teaching assistant; Cynthia McFee, math and computer teaching assistant; Ryan Mowbray, math and computer teaching assistant; Sandy Shriver, AMPLE purchasing agent; Megan Damm and Yuka Iwashita, office assistants; Shane Eakle, group leader; Bryan (B.J.) Scott, Anne Johnson and Brooke Michael, evening program and residence hall assistants; and John Piscitelli and Robin Yeager, photography.

Guest speakers and activity directors during this summer's camp include Dr. Mark Flood from the FSU Biology Program, Kat Stevens, FSU Director of Counseling, Elizabeth Urse, Ken Costello from NASA and staff members from the FS Admissions Office.

The following students from the following counties are participating in AMPLE:

Harrison County Tiffany Benson, Jon Cottrill, Rachael Drain, Eric Hall, Kaitlin Noe, Chelsea Workman.

Marion County Christian Collins, Maleena Gump, Codi-Lee Hayes, Zachary Heck, Samantha (Sammi) James, Ana Linger, Chris Myhalsky, Haylee Rosenberger, Jessica Rosser, Cheslea Russell, Emily Smith, Sarah Wikle.

Monongalia County Brittany Martino, Valerie (Val) Summers, Tyler Tennant, Jessica Tolley.

Preston County  Katelyn (Katie) Atkinson, Celeste Kent, Shelby Nieman.

Randolph County Chad Harlan, Marlena Kingsbury, Teena Marcum, Jessica Mayhew.

Taylor County Kalyn Walker.

Tucker County Raymond (R. J.) Card, Brent Kidwell.

GEAR UP is a six-year, federally funded program that aims to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in education beyond high school. In 1999, Fairmont State received the largest of 164 partnership grants awarded throughout the United States. GEAR UP serves 16,553 seventh- through 12th-grade students in 29 middle schools and 18 high schools in nine counties. The Fairmont State GEAR UP grant serves Barbour, Dodriddge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor and Tucker counties. Fairmont State is in the process of applying for a new six-year GEAR UP grant that will expand the program into five additional counties.

For more information about GEAR UP, call (304) 367-0436. For more information about Project AMPLE Extended, call Dr. Erica Harvey at (304) 367-4498.