Carnegie Mellon University Welcomes Back Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences
By Jocelyn Duffy
Fifty-six of the state’s brightest incoming high school seniors will spend five weeks at Carnegie Mellon University this summer learning about biology, chemistry, computer science, math and physics from some of the area’s leading science professors as the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences (PGSS) returns to the university’s Pittsburgh campus.
CMU’s Mellon College of Science hosted the PGSS from 1982 until 2009, when the Governor’s Schools became a casualty of state budget cuts. To help reinstate the program at CMU, the nonprofit PGSS Campaign, Inc. — organized by PGSS alumni — raised $150,000 from private and corporate donors to match a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
“The alumni of the program pushed to get the funding restored,” said Barry Luokkala, teaching professor of physics at CMU and PGSS program director. “So many of the alumni have said that the Governor’s School was life-changing. They wanted the school back so that other students could have the same experience.”
All of the PGSS alumni went on to college, and, according to Luokkala, approximately 90 percent went on to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“PGSS allows us to bring together some of the most highly intelligent minds from all over the state,” Luokkala said. “The experience is socially transformative, and will leave the students academically and scientifically enriched.”
Applications for the 2013 PGSS are being accepted until Feb. 15. Students who are accepted will receive full tuition and room and board for the program, which is scheduled to run from June 30 until Aug. 3. PGSS also is looking for undergraduate students to serve as resident advisers and teaching assistants.
During the program, students will take a core curriculum of courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, math and physics; choose to take a lab course in either biology, chemistry, computer science or physics; and select from a wide range of electives. They also will complete a self-guided team research project of their choosing, supervised by a PGSS faculty member.
For more information about PGSS, visit http://www-pgss.mcs.cmu.edu/.