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ARC Middle School Summer Science Academy

Applications for Summer 2019 have closed. Please check back in January 2020 for applications for Summer 2020.

ARC Middle School Summer Science Academy

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in collaboration with ORAU in Oak Ridge, Tenn., presents a one-week, residential, hands-on science academy focusing on math, science, and technology for middle school students in July.

The ARC/ORAU Summer Science Academy is a unique opportunity for students to work in collaborative teams with experienced teachers to utilize current technology to answer a research question. Students work in three specific teams during the one-week academy, with each team comprising 8-9 students. The team approach provides an opportunity to collaboratively tackle a specific research topic and investigate it using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach.

See what the Summer Science Academy is all about!

See what the Summer Science Academy is all about!


A group of 26 students from throughout Appalachia will be selected to participate in a hands-on learning program that will focus on the application of math and science principles in various research areas. The participants will be housed at a hotel in Oak Ridge, Tenn., near ORAU facilities. Students will be chaperoned 24 hours a day by experienced teachers. All major expenses, including meals, lodging, transportation to and from the participant’s home, and local transportation, will be covered for participants.

Participants will tour research facilities, use a variety of technologies to solve problems in the ORAU Center for Science Education classroom, and participate in field trips to nearby industries, research facilities, and museums. Students also participate in cultural field trips. Field trips will illustrate the applications of math and science in the real world and provide participants with opportunities to learn more about Appalachia and its unique characteristics.


First Name Last Name City, State
Acker Leah Moundville, AL
Bender Chase Accident, MD
Carter Tristen Tuskegee, AL
Cole Taylor Notasluga, AL
Collins Charles Sneedville, TN
Desmore Dominic Fairview, PA
Fox Aavyn Fairview, PA
Frazier Alexis Tuskegee, AL
Geary Serena Cuba, NY
Grote Austin Beattyville, KY
Holiday Makenna Accident, MD
Kerr Justin Cuba, NY
Ledford Baker Elk Park, NC
Malfaro Ariella Accident, MD
Marion Bradley Radford, VA
Matthes Tyler Waverly, OH
Maust Sophia Accident, MD
Moore Jeremiah Wurtland, KY
Morris Summer Norris, TN
Nodine Joseph Central, SC
Perando Jeremy Accident, MD
Ramirez Samuel Morganton, NC
Ratliff George Waverly, OH
Summerville Solomon Moundville, AL
White Kierra Richlands, VA
Wood Lauren Clintwood, VA
Xiong Geensia Valdese, NC


First Name Last Name City, State
Wesley Adkisson Harriman, TN
Gavin Awtrey Franklin, NC
Belle Beckner Clemson, SC
Holden Bullock Sylva, NC
Madyson  Cahill Londonderry, OH 
James Click War, WV
Lily Cronrath Arden, NC
David Cyphers Raysal, WV
Isabel Elias Cana, VA 
Allison  Garmon Six Mile, SC
Rylan Griffin Holly Pond, AL
Kasper Heitman West Valley, NY
Morgan Hinkle Beattyville, KY
Makenze Hurtubise West Valley, NY
Ziah Kennedy Black Mountain, NC
Dawson Landrum Goshen, VA 
Simon  Melton  Black Mountain, NC
Kailee Moore Ray, OH 
Joseph Nodine Central, SC
Sadie Shapiro South Abington Township, PA 
William Shields Franklin, NC
John Paul Shields Clarks Summit, PA 
Avery Tate Tupelo, MS
Anthony  Tipton Irvine, KY
Celia Torres Lopez Cana, VA 
Sidney Vass Knoxville, TN


2016 Participants
First Name Last Name City, State
Ambriana Carlisle  York, AL
Xavier Carlisle  York, AL
Zacheriah Christie Liberty, SC
Gavin  Dondzila Stubenville, OH
Jaylen Gambrell Williamsburg, KY
Ellie Harper Frankfort, OH
Virginia Haverty Chloe, WV
EmmaLee Holloway Liberty, SC
Hunter Jones Lizemore, WV
Alysha Kotkowski Liberty, SC
Caleb Marsh Cortland, NY
Brandon Martin Cortland, NY
Jonah Mathieson Mt. Vision, NY
Samuel Matrisciano Winona, MS
Emily McFarland Tazewell, VA
Logan Pachulski Jim Thorpe, PA
Courtney Phillips Oakwood, VA
Charles Pirnat Roaming Shores, OH
Peter Sawyer Asheville, NC
Abigail Shaffer Cortland, NY
Anabeth Sharpe Williamsburg, KY
Austin Velez Albrightsville, PA
Emma Walden Pioneer, TN
William Weathers Winona, MS
Katelyn Williams Akron, AL


2015 Participants
First Name Last Name City, State
Michelle Adkins Griffithsville, WV
Sandtanner Anthony Notasulga, AL
Stephen Bias Andrews, NC
Randy Boyer Calhoun, GA
Wesley Conklin Greentown, PA
Elizabeth Cooper Harriman, TN
Luis Correa-Colon Jamestown, NY
Nicolas Craven Corinth, MS
Summer Dracup Jamestown, NY
Larkin Gardiner Water Valley, MS
Aaron Gillespie Liberty, SC
Ta'Nia Hawkins Water Valley, MS
Zachary Kushubar  Campobello, SC
Joshua Loomis Jamestown, NY
Austin Malin Andrews, NC
Bobbi Moore Chatsworth, GA
Glendon Peaden Decatur, TN
Mary Raymundo Bautista Chatsworth, GA
Gabrielle Rue Landrum, SC
Kaya Ryner Hawley, PA
Anthony Seevers Marietta, OH
Emma Stamper Morehead, KY
Reece Yost Tazewell, VA


2014 Participants
First Name Last Name City, State
Ally Aiken Mount Vision, NY
Josh Albert Damascus, VA
Travett Boughman Millersburg, OH
Jordan Buice Dawsonville, GA
Melissa Campbell Morristown, TN
Megan Clark Laurens, NY
Alayna Collins Gamaliel, KY
Nick Corbitt Knoxville, TN
Sparkle Cummings Dahlonega, GA
Chase Ellis-Wilds Killbuck, OH
Sydney Enderle Booneville, MS
James Fair Liberty, SC
Allyson Graves Tompkinsville, KY
Chantel Kennedy Pilgrim Knob, VA
Kyle Landolfi Hawley, PA
Lauryn Lewis Akron, AL
Mallory Pruitt Gaffney, SC
April Schuppenhauer Bradford, PA
Nathan Smith Knoxville, TN
Tysheena Thomas Akron, AL
Janel Troiani Liberty, SC
Brandon Vega- Monrroy Easley, SC
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    ARC/ORAU Middle School Summer Science Academy Projects

    Students are divided into three research groups 3D printing, coding/drones and forensics. Each group is composed of 8-9 students. The groups research their particular topic, build models, collect and analyze data, conduct competitions, learn to collaborate, and write and present their results at final presentations at the conclusion of the week. The program combines technology, data collection and analysis, hands-on experimentation, research field trips, guest speakers, scientific notebooks, WebQuests, tours, and cultural activities.

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    3D Printing

    Over the course of the week, students learn the basics and application of 3D modeling and additive manufacturing. Once students understand the basics of 3D modeling and printing, they are given a problem and use the engineering design process to come up with a creative solution that they model, print, and test. During the week, they have the opportunity to hear from scientists from ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and visit 3Dimension Designs to learn about how additive manufacturing is making its way in the workforce.

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    Taking on the role of a forensic scientist, students learn to collect and analyze evidence using several different scientific methods. The group is posed with an unsolved case along with the chance to collect forensic evidence. They crack the case by using finger print, hair, blood and chromatography evidence, as well as an analysis of unknown substances left at the crime scene. Students hear from a representative with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation about what it’s like to work in a forensic chemistry lab. They also go to the Alcatraz Crime Museum to participate in a hands-on, forensic experience.

  • middle-school-coding.jpg


    Students spend the week learning to code through the use of drones. Using the Tynker app, they learn the basics of coding with both block code and JavaScript. Equipped with the knowledge of writing code, students complete several challenges by coding their drones to do specific movements, and finally, write their own drone/coding challenge. Chuck Roberts of ORNL comes to speak to the group about how he uses drones in his work. Students are also able to meet with Ed Dumas from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who gives them a drone flying demonstration to show how he collects and analyzes weather data in the atmosphere using drones.

Academy curriculum

The Academy curriculum is developed by area Master Teachers utilizing national and state science standards, area scientific expertise, and best practices in education. The Master Teachers also arrange tours, speakers and competitions, and assume primary teaching responsibilities for content delivery, hands-on experimentation, data collection, data analysis and final presentations. Three resident teachers typically assist with the curriculum presentation and daily student explorations and research.

In addition to the science activities, each day will include group sessions where students will be given the opportunity to apply what they have learned from the day’s events. This builds a better understanding of the day’s science activities and allows students to apply their knowledge in a hands on approach to science.

The week culminates with final presentations where each group presented their work and findings to an audience of ARC, ORNL, ORAU dignitaries, parents, and friends.


For additional information or if you have questions about the ARC/ORNL Middle School Summer Science Academy, please contact Chris Nelson, (865) 241-9899 or