This year’s graduates of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Explorers summer youth program—including three students from Whitley County—used their science and math skills to explore the mysteries of space and get hands-on experience turning up clues as crime scene investigators.
A total of 60 rising ninth-grade students from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky honed their science and math skills and developed leadership ability in this summer’s Rogers Explorers program, held June 7-12 on the campuses of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia and the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg.
“This has been an exceptional week of having the opportunity to work first-hand with our Explorers on skills that will strengthen their future as well as strengthen the entire region,” Jessica Melton, associate director of education and training for The Center, said.
Whitley County Explorers Myriah Rich, Jonathan Hubbard and Cassidy Phipps attended the session at the University of the Cumberlands. She is a student at Corbin Middle School.
At the University of the Cumberlands, James Manning, professor of physics, had Explorers following evidence in the fictional “Crime Scene Investigation: The Case of Mr. Spud.” Explorers used their observational skills “to explore a crime scene” involving Mr. Spud (a baked potato).
“Providing interesting, hands-on activities for young people is critical to encouraging them to become excited about science,” Manning said. “The Rogers Explorers program provides me with an opportunity to show not only how science is done, but also how we use science in our daily lives without recognizing it.”
Under the direction of biology instructor Tabitha Ellis, Rogers Explorers at Lindsey Wilson College examined different characteristic traits that make them unique individuals.
“This program,” Ellis said, “is a great way to get students involved in hands-on activities and help them understand their opportunities they’ll have with a strong science background.”
Explorers on both campuses toured the John F. Kennedy Space Center via a live, interactive videoconference with NASA officials.
The videoconference—presented by NASA’s Digital Learning Network and brought to Explorers by The Center’s award-winning CenterNET2 statewide videoconferencing network—gave participants a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to prepare a vehicle for liftoff into space.
Rogers Explorers is open to eighth-grade students within The Center’s 42-county service area who have an interest in developing skills in leadership, technology, math, science, entrepreneurship, and community service. Participants spend three-days and two nights on a college campus participating in hands-on activities and working with professional college instructors.
Explorers are encouraged to take an active role in their home communities and step up as the region’s future business leaders and entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Rogers Explorers, contact Jessica Melton, associate director of education and training for The Center, at 606-677-6000 or email her at email@example.com.
Information also is available online on this program and The Center’s two other youth leadership programs—Rogers Scholars and Entrepreneurship Leadership Institute (ELI)—at www.centertech.com.