Page 1

April 2013

Volume 13, Issue 4


A d v e n t u r e s i n M a t h & S c i e n c e M u r r a y S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y

Director’s Chair


Test Taking Tips


Coordinators’ Corners


Career Profile


National Women’s History Month


2013 Summer Challenge


April Birthdays


Parents’ Corner


P r o g r a m

D I R E C TO R ’ S C H A I R Greetings AIMS Family! I pray this short message finds you in good health and spirit! I know some of you have not found the current weather to your liking...but remember the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers!” I look forward to seeing each of you on Saturday, April 27th for the AIMS Summer Orientation! I know we will have a fantastic time! Stay positive and study hard! Until we meet again… Schedule At-A-Glance


Dr. Sarr with Program Officer, Tanja Clark

Yours Truly,

Dr. Doris ClarkClark-Sarr H I G H S C H O OL T E ST T A K I NG T I P S High school students face a different kind of pressure when it comes to testing. Many public schools have implemented a standardized test to judge whether or not a student graduates. Students must also take ACT or SAT tests in order to be accepted into colleges. The same strategies used in elementary and middle school will help high school students. Managing time

and ensuring that students perspective and begin taking answer as many questions as notes on their practice possible is crucial. worksheets. It helps to make ACT tests will also include a lists, write reasoning, and select examples. Then writing section. It is students should decide how important that students to organize their essay and develop strategies for begin writing an outline. attacking this essay. After completing the essay Students should carefully students should always read through the writing proofread (it helps if you prompt and ensure that the read the essay backwards in issue is thoroughly understood. Students should order to catch grammatical errors). immediately choose their

It is important that students read through the testing instructions carefully. Go to the testing site prepared; take pencils and an acceptable calculator. Allow yourself plenty of time to avoid being late and stressed out.

Page 2


C O O R DI NATO R ’ S C O R NE R — A IM S I Hello AIMS Family: So happy to be getting prepped and ready for the AIMS Summer Orientation! It’s a lot of work, but it also reminds me of why we work in this program. I love seeing each of you students grow and succeed. As I am part of TRiO’s story, I hope to inspire each of you to follow your dreams and aspirations.

Songbird warming up those vocal chords for the Summer!

Summer 2013 is just around the corner!

Bridge Students, I feel like you all are my babies. I have known several of you since your high school journey and involvement with the AIMS

Program began. I will feel like such a proud papa seeing you go on to college and beyond. I am most proud that you are taking the steps necessary to achieve your goals. I can’t hold your hand, I can only serve as a helpful guide. I am so excited about the many new students we have accepted into the program. Your journey begins now. Get ready for a summer full of excitement, education, exploration, and fun! You’ll learn very soon that the motto of our fearless leader


C OR N E R — A I M S I I

Hello AIMS Fam! 2013 is already about one-third over with— CRAZY! Time flies when you’re having fun though! We have been busy here on the Murray State campus getting ready for the Summer 2013 program. We’ve conducted interviews, hired the staff, and now it is time to take care of all of those little details to bring it all together. Will be a great summer!! Good luck to those taking the ACT this month! Email or Facebook me if you have any questions

and/or want a copy of our super helpful ACT power point presentation. I look forward to seeing you all at orientation on April 27th! While you’re there, don’t just hang out with the people you already know! Be sure to greet new students and make them feel welcome—it will go a long way. See you soon!!

Evan O’Neal

is: “Work hard, but play even harder!” Finish up this school year strong and make good grades. Remember that AIMS rewards academic achievements so you never know what could be in store for being successful! As always, remember I’m just a phone call, text message, or email away if you need help. See you very soon!

Stephen D. Keene

Volume 13, Issue 4

Page 3



USE MUSIC TO LURE STUDENTS TO To students in Jennifer Burg's computer science classes, making music is the main objective. But her goal is to get them to understand how the underlying technology works – and to love it so much they decide on a sciencebased career path. And that, Burg's study has shown, has helped Wake Forest University fulfill the national imperative to increase the number of majors in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. The results of Burg's research, "Computer Science 'Big Ideas' Play Well in Digital Sound and Music," will be published during the upcoming Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education conference, on March 9 in Denver. The study was funded through two National Science Foundation grants totaling $700,000. "We know that the United States is lagging when it comes to training future scientists and engineers – the people who will keep us at the forefront of developing technology," Burg said. "We're trying to find a way to make our piece of the STEM universe interesting and engaging to more students. "It's easy to motivate the kids in our classes now, because they get to make music." Burg and her colleagues – Jason Romney of the Uni-


versity of North Carolina School of the Arts and sound designer and audio engineer Eric Schwartz – decided to use music projects to help students in lower-level classes latch onto highly technical concepts in digital media. They had to "flip" the classroom more than once, Burg said, throwing the traditional lecture structure out the window. She used to make reading assignments about computer science concepts, and then lecture on those concepts and, lastly, test students' knowledge. "I was trying to give them this foundation of knowledge first, so they could go in there to learn the tools," she said. "But I bored a lot of the kids before I got there." Now, she doesn't approach her class in that traditional, linear way. She lets students immediately use the tools, such as applications including Audacity and Sonar, while she asks questions and performs demonstrations. Then she assigns textbook readings, followed by a quiz. After that, the students use the technology again – but this time, they have a project to complete, instead of just trying to get the technology to work. Across the board, students in Burg's Digital Sound and Media course reported increased understanding of such topics as sampling


and quantization; sound synthesis for MIDI; and aliasing. On average, those students also showed increased aptitude and interest in electronics, physics and math, among other topics. "Students don't learn linearly anymore," Burg said. "They are of a much more need-to-know nature, because there is so much more information out there. It's accessible in a web-like fashion, and they go out there and learn what they need to know when they need to know it. "Educators need to fill in the gaps between those webs of information, without boring the students." Burg now uses this approach in higher-level classes, as well. Burg, Romney and Schwartz created an interactive, online text to accompany the coursework, and the team is working on modes of publication. The eight-chapter text and accompanying tutorials are accessible for free at digitalsoundandmusic.c om. The package, which has been used in classes at Carnegie Mellon University and UNC Asheville, also includes demos and exercises, keyed to the chapters. Burg also plans to expand the curriculum concepts she introduced in this study into a program dedicated to increasing STEM majors at Wake Forest. A study by the Organization

for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2003 showed that, among 15year-olds in 30 of the world's developed nations, the U.S. ranked only 18th in math and a dismal 24th in science. In 2007, the National Academy Sciences challenged the U.S. to increase the number of STEM undergraduate degrees awarded.

Page 4


A I M S C E L E B R AT E S A ND R E C OG N I Z E S N AT I O NA L W O M E N ’ S H I STO RY M O N T H —M A RC H 20 1 3 In 1999, Murray State University received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education which would allow for the implementation of the Upward Bound Math & Science/Adventures in Math & Science (AIMS) Program on its campus. In its nearly 14 years of existence, AIMS has served thousands of lowincome and firstgeneration high school students who have the desire to pursue careers in the math and/or science fields. Murray State is one of very few universities nationally that has been awarded two Upward Bound Math & Science grants and the program currently serves 126 students from Target schools in Western Kentucky, Northwestern Tennessee and Eastern Missouri (Big Sandy High School, Fulton County High School, Fulton Independent High School, Hickman County High School, Lake County High School, Lone Oak High School, New Madrid County Central High School, Paducah Tilghman High School, and Union City High School). The director and program coordinators work with the high school guidance counselors as well as community leaders and educational support groups to recruit participants and assist

them in achieving their goals. What is the AIMS Program? Participants in the AIMS Program attend activities, workshops, and cultural events throughout the academic year. Workshops throughout the academic year focus on the following: Financial Literacy, College Prep, Test Preparation Skills, Financial Aid Process, Academic Counseling, Career Exploration and Development, and Cultural Development and Diversity, just to mention a few. In the summer, participants attend a 6 week residential program, partially held on the campus of Murray State University. During the summer component, students attend classes conducted by college professors, local educators and graduates assistants who are experts in their fields. Strong emphasis is based on science research and experimentation and participants present the findings from their research to their peers, family members, and the AIMS Staff at the Closing Symposium. The final aspect of the summer component is a trip to a major U.S. City, with focus of the trip including educational, historical, cultural, and scientific aspects in which the

students gain more knowledge as well as cultural diversity. High school seniors who are program participants attend the Bridge Component, which helps the students’ transition from high school to college. Bridge participants earn 6-8 hours of college credit during the summer, financially free to them, thanks to Financial Aid and the Upward Bound Math and Science grants provided by the U.S. Department of Education. How are participants selected? Participants in the program are selected through an application process as well as personal interviews and meetings with the program coordinators and/ or the director. The selection criteria are based on need assessment both academic and financial. Once a student is admitted into the program, they remain eligible to participate until high school completion. The AIMS Program is a Success! Currently, AIMS is responsible for extremely high program retention and success rates. The Annual Performance Report for the 2011-2012 reporting years shows that

Volume 13, Issue 4

Page 5

A I M S C E L EB R AT E S A N D R E C O G N I Z E S N AT IO NA L W O M E N ’ S H I STO RY M O N T H — M A RC H 2 0 1 3 100% of the students served during the school year continue to participate in the project during the next school year. Academic Improvement on standardized tests is at 87.5% in the AIMS II Program and 95% in the AIMS I Program. Postsecondary enrollment for students who graduated from high school and enrolled in a program of postsecondary education by the fall term immediately following is at 80% in AIMS II and 90% in AIMS I. Also, postsecondary persistence for AIMS II is at 80% and 94% for AIMS I. What does all this mean? Essentially, it means that the Upward Bound Math & Science/Adventures in Math & Science (AIMS) Programs at Murray State University have achieved their goals of offering assistance to the lowincome/first-generation students which it serves. In honor of National Women’s History Month and this year’s theme:

Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Mathematics below are just a few success stories of some of the female students in our program and their achievements.

Name: Victoria Pierpoint AIMS Participation: 20072010 HS Attended: Big Sandy HS, Big Sandy, TN College Attending: Murray State University If you were to ask young people what they think about college, math, science, and technology, you would probably get some panicked looks and maybe a few grumbling about how hard and scary those topics are to think about. Well, I used to be one of those people. I used to think math was ridiculously hard and that science had no bearing or purpose for my life. I was stuck in this way of thinking up until my sophomore year of high school. That is when something very crucial happened in my life and set me in a new direction: I encountered the AIMS program. When I went to AIMS that first summer, I had no idea what to expect. I knew the program focused on math and science, and that I would be on Murray State’s campus for a bit of the summer, but that was the extent of my knowledge of what I was setting out to do. Those

things turned out to be true, and even more than I imagined! I gained a firmer foundation in math and science; I learned about college life on Murray State’s campus; I learned valuable time management skills; I learned how to use technology and computers to my advantage (something I had not previously done much of); as well as how to live with a roommate, how to see science and scientific methods and ideas in everyday life, how useful math can be, and so much more! I can confidently say that it is because of the influence of AIMS getting me started seriously considering college as a possibility that I am here at Murray State University. That extra kick was just what I needed in high school to propel me forward to something greater than I had previously imagined for myself. Another amazing result of being in the AIMS program was winning the Susan Adams scholarship award from the Kentucky Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (KAEOPP). College was something I could not pay for— scholarships and loans would have to cover the costs. Being awarded the Susan Adams Scholarship was a blessing and helped ease the burden of finances from my shoulders. That scholarship helped allow me more time to concentrate on my studies

and less time worrying about how to pay for school. Because of my firm foundation in the AIMS Program, science, technology, math, and even college are not scary or extremely difficult anymore. It is through the AIMS Program that I learned how to do research and write papers about that research, how to think in scientific terms, how to break math down into logical, manageable steps, and how to use the internet and internet searches to my research advantage. Now, I am a junior here at Murray State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders. I am looking into graduate school (hopefully here at Murray State) in order to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I know that I can tackle any academic task, including graduate school, thanks to the foundation, (and continuing) help and support of my AIMS family. The AIMS Program gave me the tools and skills I need to succeed and reach my potential. I have heard it said that even a long journey begins with just one step; I am glad the first step in my journey was the AIMS Program.

Page 6


A I M S C E L E B R AT E S A ND R E C OG N I Z E S N AT I O NA L W O M E N ’ S H I STO RY M O N T H —M A RC H 20 1 3

Name: Jenifer Axtell AIMS Participation: 2008— 2010 HS Attended: New Madrid County Central HS, New Madrid, MO College Attending: Murray State University It is hard to put on paper all of the extensive ways that the Adventures in Math and Science Program has impacted not just my educational attainment, but my life as a whole. It has helped me become the dedicated and focused student my parents are proud to brag about back home. Its effects on my scholastic achievements have surprised me many times and I am lucky to have been acquainted with the numerous people that work for the program. I often mention it to other students in high school and college, to help them get a strong foundation for which to build on during their schooling years. In high school, I was introduced to the Adventures in Math and Science (AIMS) Program through a friend as a way to get a leg up in my education. With neither of my parents attending college and being below

the poverty line, I knew it would be difficult for me in school if I did not start early and work hard. I applied for the AIMS Program and was accepted. I thought it would be a simple little thing that would only affect the weeks of the summer I spent on the Murray State campus. I was proved pleasantly wrong. Weeks after receiving my acceptance letter, I was being sent letters about learning opportunities, tutoring services, and grade checkups from the AIMS staff. My high school did not have these types of services, so for the first time, I felt like I had something to fall back on if I was ever in need. The AIMS program introduced me to other outreach programs, such as the Commonwealth Honors Academy, which the AIMS staff pushed me to apply. I may have been in the top ten percentile of my class in my high school, but since the academy was open to every high school in the nation, I was not sure that I would be accepted. The top 10% of a rural school of only 450 students cannot be compared to the same percentile of a prestigious school from a large city. I worried about my grades and essays being pitiful compared to anyone’s from such a school. It was only through the support of the AIMS staff that I felt confident enough to turn in my application. They helped me learn the correct way to write and

proof a paper. These skills served me well in that specific instance, but also throughout high school and college. I was ultimately accepted into the academy and it was remarked that I had an excellent essay. The AIMS program helped me far beyond what I thought I could get out of the program. They found me scholarships, put me up for awards, and introduced me to people that I will never forget. The Commonwealth Honors Academy pushed me forward into Murray State’s Honors Program and for my essay writing skills, I received an honors scholarship. The AIMS Program submitted some of my work to Berea College, who gave me the Pinnacle Scholar Award for 2010. The AIMS Program also introduced me to so many different cultures and people that I yearned to leave my little rural hometown and travel abroad. I am so changed by this program that I sought employment in AIMS in the fall of 2010, my first semester of college, and have been working as a student assistant ever since. I work during the school year as well as the summer component, hoping to pass along the skills I learned all of those years ago. Today, I am an Accounting major in the top 10 percentile of Murray State, and an active member of many honors societies on campus. I have studied abroad in Italy and

Volume 13, Issue 4

Page 7

A I M S C E L EB R AT E S A N D R E C O G N I Z E S N AT IO NA L W O M E N ’ S H I STO RY M O N T H — M A RC H 2 0 1 3 Greece, meeting more people and learning more than I could ever imagine. I know that I could not have achieved this much, and all of the things I plan on doing in the future, if not for the initial and continued support of the Adventures in Math and Science Program.

Name: Vivian Parham AIMS Participation: 2011— present HS Attending: Westview High School Martin, TN The transition from high school to higher education is probably one of the most overwhelming of changes for some people. On this very day, I might have been one of those people, incredibly afraid of change in the world, if not for Adventures in Math and Science Program. The AIMS Program staff took me in their gentle but firm hands, making a frightening transition comfortable and easy. In the year 2011, I was accepted into the AIMS program, not really sure what a summer of college life would be like. I adapt rather quickly but I was not expecting a summer of warm, dedicated people involved with education reassuring me that the transition may be scary,

but if I truly have a desire for learning, I will embrace all opportunities to obtain it. Although that in itself is a major change of perspective, AIMS taught me more than just accomplishing my goals and becoming comfortable with change. Diversity in cultural and daily living became essential to learning, as they opened up a whole new world of education through teachers of diverse ethnicities. Honestly speaking, I was not truly utilizing my full potential in my studies before the AIMS Program. There has been a major change in my perspective, goals, maturity, accomplishments, and willingness to be the best me I could possibly be every day after entering the program. I have been an honor roll student for the past two years, raising my grade point average exceedingly and my work ethic has become noticeable and respectable within my school due to the encouragement, positivity, and experiences received from the program. I can not only give credit to the AIMS Program for my spark in educational activities, but also my goals reaching further within my career. What most high school students do not realize is that higher education brings new horizons one never knew could exist, only because experience brings maturity and game changers. I was not exactly sure what I dreamed of becoming after high school. In this

two year period of “game changers” and experience, I have realized that education has become so immensely important to me that I intend on educating others for the rest of my life, passing down the passion of learning, the need for embracing change, along with the belief that anything is possible with obtaining knowledge and the creation of personal paths that will leave an impact on this earth forever. I became a person who is living, not just existing as well as my visions and aspirations being more alive than they have ever been before. I am founder and CEO of Imprinted Souls Radio which is an online radio show that is globally accessible; our purpose is to give an outlet for people who need support and encouragement but our main focus is to spread education, awareness, and positivity in the form of entertainment. Education can be explored and creatively delivered which is the conclusion I drew after my first summer at AIMS, leading me to believe whole-heartedly that change will occur in the entertainment industry if I allow my passion to drive myself and inspire others to reflect positivity, therefore, changing the negativity that is presented to our current and future generations. My goals and career choices are not limited in my life; therefore,

education and the hunger for knowledge will continue to be unlimited, leaving me a lifetime to fulfill my purpose as an educator and a pupil of life thanks to the AIMS Program. There are some events in life that only last for what seems like a short period of time, maybe a few years or so, but those events often make a huge impact in a person’s life and the experience will live with that person forever. My experience with the Adventures in Math and Science Program has truly been my blessing. It shaped my character, attitude, and future in an inspirational and influential way towards education, not only through my current involvement, but it will stick with me throughout my lifetime. It is programs like this in America that impacts lives and gives others hope for a bright future of higher education and a purposeful life.

This article was written and bios edited by Stephen D. Keene for the 25th Annual Celebrate Women Luncheon at Murray State University on March 26, 2013.

Page 8




Diva vs. Songbird in a special event that you WILL NOT want to miss! Stay tuned throughout the summer for more info about this challenge. Only 1 will claim the ultimate victory!

A P R I L B I RT H DAYS Idalis Allen

LaTonya Taylor

Shuntara Beard

Megan Warren

Shontoria Patterson

Austin Wisniewski

Lucas Reed

Volume 13, Issue 4

Page 9

P A R E N T S ’ C O R N E R : TRIO P ROGRAM A DVOCATES S EEK S UPPORT IN C ONGRESS WASHINGTON — With across-the-board federal spending cuts looming as a real possibility as of March 1, TRIO program advocates made a timely plea Tuesday for congressional support of the federal government’s oldest group of college outreach, readiness and retention programs for lowincome and aspiring firstgeneration college students.

TRIO program beneficiaries, including U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and other advocates such as U.S. Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), spoke on behalf of TRIO programs during a Capitol Hill briefing in Rayburn House Office Building. Moore and Simpson are co-chairs of the Congressional TRIO Caucus.

“As everyone knows, we’re facing the possibility of sequestration cuts, scheduled to kick in on March 1… TRIO itself would be cut about another $43 million; the Department of Education overall would be cut about $2.6 billion,” said Joel Packer, moderator of the TRIO briefing and the executive director of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF). “We’re facing a very immediate and deep cut,” he added. Seven programs make up TRIO, with some of them

dating back to the mid1960s. The programs, such as Upward Bound and the Ronald E. McNair, provide low-income middle school and high school students with the guidance, support and academic help they need to apply to, enroll in and graduate from college, as well as pursue postbaccalaureate opportunities. In fiscal year 2012, TRIO programs were funded at $838.63 million, and they served 789,676 participants. The title ‘TRIO’ came about in the late 1970s, following the founding of the first three programs. Upward Bound, the oldest of the programs, had been created by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act. Educational Talent Search was established by the Higher Education Act of 1965, and the Higher Education Amendments of 1968 added Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, which is now known as the Student Support Services Program. “We need to make sure that advocacy voice for TRIO is loud and clear, and (the members of Congress) know that people support it,” Simpson told more than 100 congressional staffers and other officials attending the briefing. Simpson said that as a youngster growing up, the “thought of not going to college was foreign” to him. “I never realized how many people in this country don’t

have the opportunity to go to college and had never thought about going to college. TRIO programs are really what open up those doors for an awful lot of students,” he said.

rash and sensible for this country,” he said. By Ronald Roach

Moore described how TRIO programs have made it possible for low-income students to overcome the burden of family isolation and poverty to attend and complete college. “These are the best and brightest kids, who, because of the mitigating factors of their poverty, mitigating factors of their parent just being disconnected from what it means to turn in a FAFSA form … that prevent really good kids from going to college,” she said. “What this program, TRIO, does is the work. … It’s in every single state, Puerto Rico (and) the Virgin Islands,” Moore added. Dr. Arnold L. Mitchem, the president of the Council for Opportunity in Education, praised the congressional cochairs and their leadership of the Congressional TRIO Caucus. Mitchem, whose organization advocates for TRIO programs, was not optimistic that Congress will avoid federal budget sequestration. He said the severity of the cuts would likely lead to a “revisiting of budgets.” Congress “will correct the mistake of sequestration … but I think that they have to see the blood and guts before what they do what is

U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore (DWis.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) spoke on behalf of TRIO programs during a Capitol Hill briefing.

B u s i n e s s

N a m e

Murray State University 240 Blackburn Science Building Murray, KY 42071 Phone: 1-877=424-6777 Fax: 270-809-4351 E-mail:

We’re on the web!

A I M S S TA F F Dr. Doris Clark-Sarr, Director Stephen D. Keene, Coordinator Evan O’Neal, Coordinator Gail Woolridge, Adminstrative Assistant

S C H E D UL E A T - A - G L A NC E April 13th ACT Test Date 27th AIMS Summer Orientation 9:00am—12:00pm 251 Blackburn Science Bldg (Registration/Breakfast 9:00am and Orientation Sessions begin at 10:00am) May TBA 4th 27th 28th

College Tour SAT Test Date Bridge Move-In Date Bridge Classes Begin

June 1st SAT Test Date 8th ACT Test Date 9th Undergraduate Move-In Day 10th Undergraduate Classes Begin 29th—July 3rd End Of Summer Trip

April 2013 Newsletter  

monthly newsletter

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you