Local students enjoy college’s annual math, science camp
Throughout the week 90 seventh- and eighth-graders have been filling their days with activities such as designing and launching rockets, building a crystal radio, playing with magnets, having an Internet scavenger hunt, building spaghetti bridges and dissecting human organs.
The students, from Pike and surrounding counties, are participating in the math and science day camp.
Robert Arts, associate professor of physics and director of the math and science resource center, said that 100 fifth- and sixth-graders were in attendance at the same camp last week.
Arts has been associated with the program since 1995.
The camp begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. each afternoon.
Chance Robertson, an eight-grader at Pikeville High School, experimented with static electricity Monday afternoon at the math and science day camp at Pikeville College 

Photo for the News express by Alan Kuehner

The instructors at the camp are mostly retired educators or teachers from the local area. Others are employed at Pikeville College or are senior science students or medical students. Also, Arts said several high school students that were once students in the program return to volunteer.
“They’re coming back into it as high school students because they had such an enjoyable experience,” Arts said of the volunteers.
Arts said he feels the program is very beneficial to both professors and students.
“The goal of the program is to get kids to see that science and math isn’t something they should be afraid of.”
And the students in attendance yesterday definitely weren’t afraid of anything as they tried desperately to continue both their egg drop activity and firing off rockets in the middle of a downpour of rain.
They weren’t afraid of racking their brains to try to answer tough questions on the program’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or competing against each other in the math/science Olympics.
And Pikeville High School seventh-graders Ann Francis, Christin Lavender, Brianna Mauk and Chasity Compton said the best part of the week was still to come.
Today, the group is visiting COSI — the Center of Science and Industry — in Columbus, Ohio. 
“Everybody says it’s the best,” one of the girls commented yesterday.
Another goal of the program, Arts said, is to break down gender stereotypes associated with the subjects of math and science.
“This is one of the best experiences I have had — as a kid,” Lavender said.
“I’ve gained a bigger respect for science,” Compton added.
The majority of the costs for the program was picked up by the college’s math and science resource center. The only cost to students is a $30 fee.
“We spend a significant amount of money,” Arts said. “But we try to keep the cost to the students down so that anyone is eligible. Thirty dollars covers less than half our costs.”
The program will conclude today.
Students are accepted on a “first-come, first-served basis,” Arts said.
Additional information about the program and photographs of the students can be accessed through Arts’ Web site at and also from Alan Kuehner’s Web site that can be linked from the same address. 

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