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KNOXVILLE — Tennessee’s top rising high school juniors can now apply to be a part of the state’s first residential high school for science and mathematics.

Applications opened today for the second year of the Tennessee Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science, which is administered by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The academy, located in Knoxville, is currently in its inaugural year.

TGA was founded by Gov. Phil Bredesen to further his vision of making the state of Tennessee a leader in science and math education by taking innovative approaches to teaching while exposing students to hands-on research experience.

Next year’s class will include 24 high school juniors chosen from throughout the state, based on their achievement in science and math, as well as their creativity, curiosity and desire to be part of what TGA Executive Director Vena Long calls “the scientific life.”

“We are looking for students who have more than just a technical proficiency in math and science,” said Long, who also serves as the associate dean for research in UT Knoxville’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. “TGA students need to have a love for learning, and a passion for these topics.”

The student experience at TGA is unique. Students live in cottages on the campus of the Tennessee School for the Deaf (TSD) on the banks of the Tennessee River. In addition to learning in a more traditional classroom setting, students take part in research work in labs on the UT campus and at nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Students this year have traveled to the Smoky Mountains to learn more about the physics of water flow and taken part in archaeological research at the Gray, Tenn., fossil site, among numerous research projects. In addition, Gov. Bredesen spent an afternoon with students on the TGA campus this fall while dedicating the new academy.

Applicants must be rising high school juniors, at least 15 years of age, and be Tennessee residents. The application can be found online at the TGA Web site: http://tga.utk.edu. Applications must be submitted by March 15.

There is no tuition to attend TGA. Students will receive room and board, as well as educational supplies and the use of a laptop computer during their time as TGA students. Students will be responsible for the cost of recreational activities outside the course of normal TGA programs.

A series of information sessions will be held across the state in February, providing an opportunity for applicants to meet current TGA students and faculty. A schedule for these sessions will be available soon.

Partners in TGA include UT, the Tennessee Department of Education, the State Board of Education, TSD, ORNL and Oak Ridge Associated Universities.


Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409, jay.mayfield@tennessee.edu)
Vena Long (865-974-5973, vlong@utk.edu)