BIG STONE GAP, Va. - Most teenagers look forward to the summer months as a time to relax and have fun, a respite from the daily grind of endless homework, late-night studying and grueling tests.
More than 70 regional high school students are challenging the notion that learning stops during the summer break. For three weeks in June, these students engaged in fun, yet challenging coursework offered through the Mountain Empire Community College Governor’s School program.
The three-week Governor’s School program offers coursework in drama, forensics, entrepreneurship and regional tourism, social networking user interface creation, art illustration and animation, and engineering design.
All participating students received eight hours of college credit at no cost.
Governor’s School coordinator John Bledsoe said the program is an excellent opportunity for students to further expand their high school studies while participating in activities that broaden their outlook on college and career.
“These students are not only part of the MECC college campus for three weeks, but they also participate in a lot of hands-on activities and visit other college campuses to see first-hand the options available for continuing their education. It’s a special experience for many students. They learn a lot, they meet new friends from other schools, and they have a great time,” Bledsoe said.
Lee High student Josh Ledford and Bethany Ward enrolled in the engineering and design program, where they created digital architectural drawings and a 3-D Lego-model. Both noted that while they had taken drafting courses in high school, the Governor’s School program enabled them to experience a wider scope of engineering applications.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” said Ledford. “I enjoy building and making things. In this class, I learned a lot about the design software and created 3-D parts from my designs.”
Drama student Kaylyn Falin says she has grown up on the stage, acting in a number of school and church productions and the "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" outdoor drama. She knew that the Governor’s School Drama Program was exactly how she wanted to spend her summer.
“I really liked the idea of getting college credit for something I love to do,” Falin said.
The MECC Governor’s School is open to public and home school students from Lee, Scott, Wise and Dickenson counties, as well as the City of Norton, who have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
To learn more, visit the program’s website at http://www.mecc.edu/govschool or contact Bledsoe at 276-523-2400, ext. 307.