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October 1, 2016

Sixty students graduate from 2011 Rogers Explorers program at Lindsey Wilson College and University of the Cumberlands

2011 University of the Cumberlands Rogers Explorers

2011 Lindsey Wilson College Rogers Explorers

While other students were taking a summer break from classes, 60 students from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky were putting their math, science, and technology skills to work at The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Explorers program.

During the week of June 5-10, these rising ninth-grade students received real-life experiences in some of the industry’s leading professional careers and developed critical leadership skills at the first two summer sessions of Rogers Explorers held on the campuses of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia and the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg.

“It is simply amazing to watch our youth develop their talents in these on-demand careers and grow their business and leadership skills,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. “The Rogers Explorers program gives aspiring, career-minded students a jump start on planning their future careers.”

Many of the classes included hands-on activities and encouraged Rogers Explorers to look at math, science, and technology from an entirely different prospective.

“This 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,” Rogers Explorers instructor James Manning said. “Providing hands-on activities for young students is critical to encouraging them to become excited about learning science.”

When the classroom instructor asked who didn’t like science, Rogers Explorer Sarah Miles of Knox County was one of the first students in the class to respond.

“I apologize to all of you science teacher out there,” she said, “but I had to raise my hand.”

Later on, Miles said, “I learned that just because I don’t enjoy science doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it.

“Now, I’m more enthusiastic about it,” she said.

As Rogers Explorers, participants spend three days and two nights on a leading college campus living in college dorms and attending classes taught by college professors.

“It was great to see these students bond and grow as they learned about math, science and technology,” Lauren Hayes, The Center’s youth programs coordinator, said. “They truly learned leadership skills that will help them succeed throughout life.”

Among the classroom activities included building a paper rocket, using DNA evidence to determine a person’s identity, building communication skills, and understanding the complexity of different networks.

In addition, Rogers Explorers had an opportunity to participate in a videoconference with NASA, where they talked to NASA’s Director of Distance Learning Damon Telley. Telley discussed the current space mission, Endeavour, the Kennedy Space Station, and how much fuel is used in the space craft.

Rogers Explorers, one of The Center’s three summer youth programs, is provided at no charge to students and is held in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, the University of the Cumberlands, and Eastern Kentucky University.

A third and final summer session of Rogers Explorers is planned for July 20-22 on EKU’s campus in Richmond.

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