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 five week-long 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 15-19 while the Stonecutter Math Academy will be held July 20-24.  Cleveland County high school students will be sponsored by the Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Science Academy is set for June 22-26, while the Duke Energy Math Academy and the Computer Science Academy are both planned for July 27-31.

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.  Emily Robbins of Forest City participated in last year’s science academy, and said it was interesting and challenging.  “It was both educational and fun,” Robbins shared. “There was not a dull moment for the students because we all enjoy science. The experiments and data collections gave us a way to relate what we learned in the classroom.”

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 Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).