Students like Logan Kidd of McDowell
County took part in the week-long camp learning everything from how to eat
better to how to react in an emergency situation.
“I think it’s a really gifted program
that not a lot of kids get to come to and be a part of this experience,” Kidd
The students took part in hands-on
science experiences in a Mobile Science Lab, learned how to eat better and late
in the week took part in an emergency experience. That’s where the students learned
what it’s like to be in emergency control as they deal with a possible hurricane
and volcanic eruption. Those events occurred on the Island of Montserrat in the
Caribbean in 1996.
“We’ll take a lot a way from this week,
we’ve learned how to do sutures, we’ve learned how chemicals react with other
chemicals and how heat and PH change them and how hard it is to calculate
volcanoes and earthquakes,” Kidd said.
The students split into groups that made
up an evacuation team, a volcano watch team, a hurricane watch team and a communication
team. The teams worked together communicating with mission control at the NASA
research offices in Wheeling
through video conferencing.
Program director David Cartwright said of
the 150 HSTA graduates last year 50 enrolled at Marshall.
“They normally are not exposed to
university level research or university level experiments or the amount of fun
they will have when they go through these experiments, research opportunities
of fun activities that we give them and we expose them to a university
environment,” Cartwright said.
Cartwright said the program works to
help inspire and educate African American and minorities in the state on the
importance of obtaining a college degree and possibly becoming doctors and
scientists down the road.
“We hope that it sparks with in them a
fire that will allow them to excel both in the classrooms that they’ll go too
and in college when they actually get to those college classes because they
know a little bit ahead of time where the road is going to lead them as far as
being a doctor or a scientist or a researcher because they’ve seen some of that,”
Carol Kuhlman is a teacher at St. Albans
High School and has been a part of
HSTA for 12 years. She said the kids are different after going through these emergency events.
“They certainly grow because they are
introduced to ideas and activities that they no sooner would have flown to the
moon then think about these things plus they’re pretty early on in their
career, they’re just starting high school and now they’ve already had the
opportunity to stay in a dormitory at one of our major state universities,”
In the evenings the HSTA students took
part in activities that included bowling, Zumba, and yoga. Jrentay Irvin is
from Wheeling and said he’s glad he’s been a part of it.
“It’s really fun and you get to do new
things that you’ve never done before, we’ve dissected a cow eye and we’ve
stitched together pigs feet,” Irvin said.
is presenting the institute in collaboration with West Virginia University.
HSTA was started in 1994 by WVU with 45 students from two counties. It now
averages around 800 students enrolled in the program each year from 26 counties
throughout the state.