High School Students Prepare for Upcoming Learning Opportunities at Gardner-Webb

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Classroom Theory and Real-World Application To Be Explored During Five-Day Camps

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – For dozens of high school students in Cleveland and Rutherford counties, this summer will offer unique opportunities for developing new insight into the practical application of principles they have learned throughout the school year. Through grants from the Stonecutter Foundation (Spindale, N.C.) and the Duke Energy Foundation (Charlotte, N.C.), Gardner-Webb University is planning three weeklong academies, which will offer local students enrichment in the subjects of math, science, and computer science.

The Stonecutter Foundation will sponsor academies for participants from Rutherford County high schools. The Stonecutter Science Academy is planned June 26-29 while the Stonecutter Math Academy will be held July 24-28.  Cleveland County high school students will be sponsored by the Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Computer Science Academy is set for July 31 – Aug. 4.

Biology teacher Nick Longerbeam of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (Mooresboro, N.C.) believes students who participated in the science academy at GWU last year received a range of benefits. “I think this academy caused the students to think about science beyond the classroom and opened their eyes to the many different careers in the science field,” Longerbeam reported. We wanted to spark the students’ interest in science and really get them to see what it can offer as a potential career instead of just a required course in school.”

The Monday through Friday camps are designed with instructional time in the morning and field trips to local organizations in the afternoon. The students spend time in classroom sessions such as lab safety, physiology lab, forensics lab, and more.  During the afternoon, attendees participate in simulations on campus and travel to a variety of locations in Cleveland and Rutherford counties.

GWU Assistant Professor of Mathematics Jim Johnson and Instructor of Biology Jay Zimmer help coordinate the annual camps. “We wanted to go beyond just the principles they would discuss during the regular school year,” Zimmer shared. “We wanted to have a lot of opportunity for application.”

Students agreed that combining the classroom instructional time with field trips helped solidify the concepts they were discussing. Gabriella Day, who participated in the 2016 science academy, said it was both interesting and challenging. “This camp gave me the opportunity to experience things that most other high school students are unable to,” Day revealed. “We were able to participate in activities that worked our minds and sparked our imaginations. This academy showed us that we are able to do anything we set our mind to.”

The Stonecutter Foundation, a non-profit established in 1945, has invested in numerous Rutherford County community institutions such as the town library and Isothermal Community College.  Since its inception, the foundation has made grants totaling $7.7 million to the surrounding community.

The Duke Energy Foundation invests in high-performing, sustainable programs and initiatives that contribute to their goal of helping build a diverse workforce of the future. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development and community impact.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.