Two Governor's Schools set for summer at UT Martin
The Messenger 05.14.08
High school students attending the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities and Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Martin will have the opportunity to earn six hours of college credit during the summer programs.
Students in the humanities program will arrive on campus June 1 and will depart July 3, while the agricultural sciences students arrive on May 25 and depart on June 27.
The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities, located on the UT Martin campus since 1985, will host 84 students, and the fifth Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences — one of four in the nation — has 36 students. The schools are staffed by faculty from UT Martin and universities throughout the United States.
Participants in the Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences will again receive Gateway wireless, portable tablet computers to use while on campus. The computers, which have been loaded with special software to help students organize their work, will make all learning environments a laboratory, according to Shannon Burgin, UT Martin assistant vice chancellor and chief information officer. Students will electronically submit their homework to faculty and prepare presentations using the computers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Phillip Smartt, associate professor of natural resources management. “The computer works like a typical notebook computer and with a twist of the screen, it can be used in tablet mode. When the system is in tablet mode, instead of typing, a student uses a special pen to take class notes on the computer. These organized notes can be searched or converted into conventional text.”
UT Martin will help introduce high school students to a myriad of agricultural careers at the school for the agricultural sciences. High school students from across the state will be involved in research, living laboratories and study opportunities. The students will expand their knowledge of food, genetics, agriculture, engineering and the sustainable use of renewable natural resources, be exposed to scientific and land stewardship concepts and sharpen communication, problem-solving and leadership skills.
Also, students will be exposed to the manufacturing process for biofuels to include biodiesel and ethanol. Scholars will be able to manufacture the fuel in the biofuels laboratory from selected biomass materials and actually utilize the fuels in laboratory engines.
“We are trying to impress upon these students that there are a lot of career opportunities in agriculture and natural resources,” said Dr. Jerry Gresham, chair of the UT Martin Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and governor’s school director. “We are trying to change the perception that agriculture is solely about production agriculture. There are many allied fields of study. A highlight for this year’s class is a field trip to Chicago to visit the Chicago Board of Trade and other agribusiness enterprises.”
The humanities immersion program includes high school juniors and seniors from across the state who have been selected to participate based on academic achievements, writing skills, school and community service and the recommendations of high school principals, counselors and teachers. As part of the program, students explore subjects as diverse as philosophy and music literature, develop creative writing skills and participate in afternoon seminars specially designed to experience academic challenges with the “best and the brightest” fellow students in Tennessee.
“We believe the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities is the most extraordinary academic experience you can have as a high school student, and our outstanding faculty do everything they can to create a challenging, engaging environment in which the scholars can further develop their intellectual abilities,” said Dr. Jerald Ogg, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and governor’s school director.