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Igniting a Passion for Research through Colloquium

Monday, February 4, 2013 - 10:37am

Colloquium is a milestone for our young research scholars, and it is a demonstration of why providing talented high school students with the opportunity to conduct scientific research in a real-world setting is so beneficial to our state.

Our Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI), Research Experience Scholars Program (RESP), and our Annual Research Colloquium are capstone learning experiences that ignite a passion in many of our students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields of study, research, and careers.

Each year at Colloquium I am amazed by the quality of the presentations, the confidence the students display as they present, and how much the students have learned from their research experience. Watching a high school senior confidently deliver a comprehensive scientific presentation in front of GSSM faculty and staff, research scientists, parents, and their peers, as well as answering questions asked by this audience is more than impressive. Not many high school seniors can transform 6 weeks of scientific research into a well-delivered, 10-minute oral presentation and give answers to a questions about their research that they have not yet been asked. Throughout the Colloquium day, I, as do many others, ask: "Did I just hear a high school senior present graduate level research?"

Over the years, the complexity of the research has increased and some of the research questions and problems have become more challenging. Some say that high school students cannot handle the level of complexity and the challenges. This is not true of GSSM students. The more challenged they are, the more resolved they become to meet and exceed the challenges. Colloquium is a demonstration of this and it represents the academic excellence and the mastery of learning that the SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics promotes.

Randy LaCross
Vice President of Outreach and Research, GSSM

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