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About GSMS

Attending the School for Math and Science is an eye-opener!  

In 2017, the focus of study for both sites for the Governor's School for Math and Science (GSMS) is how young people can effect change through their imaginations and hard work.

Current 8th-grade students (after being selected, the class will be referred to as rising freshmen) have the opportunity to create ways to "Build a Sustainable future," as they study, dream, work, and play at West Virginia State University.

Sixty (60) rising ninth graders will live on the revived campus of West Virginia State and will be housed in the residence hall that opened in 2014.  Program coordinator Dr. Sean Collins and the faculty will create excitement for the students as they study environmental biology, weather and climate, biotechnology, game theory  chemistry, physics, and calculus as well as Appalachian culture and social change. 

Mornings are spent in classes in mathematics and science, and during the afternoon, the students are regrouped into research teams.

Students will have the opportunity to explore some nearby 'green" projects and they will take a field trip to a science center. There will be planned recreational activities daily, and they will be supervised by the resident assistants. There will also be evening programming. Last summer, GSMS spent a full day at the  Bechtel Summit Preserve, home of the national By Scout Jamboree. Last summer, the

GSMS students will be able to take full advantage of the compact but full-featured nature of WVSU's campus, which puts all major facilities and venues within an easy 5-10 minute walk across level ground. Students are housed in a well-chaperoned residence hall, and they are served three meals daily at the cafeteria in the student center.

 Faculty will be recruited from public schools and institutions of higher learning throughout West Virginia.

Two sessions for students currently in the seventh grade are offered at West Virginia University. In 2017, they are scheduled for June 14-22 and June 23-July 1.

Ninety-six (96 )rising 8th-grade students (currently in grade 7) will work in research groups at West Virginia University to learn the math and physics necessary for their research project, which is "The Math Science in Sports." The relationship between STEM and everyday use of math and science in sports will be examined, taken apart, and rebuilt through student projects. Students will use biology, ecology, physics, chemistry, calculus, and many other forms of advanced mathematics to discover the relationship excellence in athletics and the necessity of math and science.

Students will be given the background necessary to succeed in these projects by using the "jigsaw" model of cooperative learning. Each member of a research team will attend  inquiry-based classes (no two students from a group attend the same pair of classes) during the first half of the session. These classes in mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry and engineering will give the students the tools they need to work together to produce their final project during the second half of the session.

In addition to the classes and projects, students will have an afternoon recreational activity time daily with at least three activities to choose from each day. Evening activities will include science lectures by WVU faculty, visits to the Recreation Center, Mountainlair games area, a swimming party and a dance.

Students will live in Honors Hall, the newest and most comfortable residence hall on campus. They will be housed in double rooms, with two rooms sharing restroom facilities. The Honors Hall has lounges and study rooms on each floor for social gatherings. Meals will be eaten in the adjacent dining hall.

The resources of West Virginia University are at the disposal of GSMS faculty, staff, and students. Faculty will be recruited from public schools and institutions of higher learning throughout West Virginia.

Co-directors of GSMS at WVU are Gretchen and Bill Wilson, Monongalia County math and science educators. Dean of Students is Dr. Ryan Claycomb, associate dean of the WVU Honors College.​

contact: Sherry Keffer, Director of Governor's Schools | email:

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