Courtesy of Linda Arnoldus
As students logged off their last Zoom lecture and rushed to submit their final semester projects, many awaited their much-needed summer break. For some, quarantine was the perfect opportunity to participate in summer programs and prepare for the upcoming school year. Others rediscovered their favorite hobbies and cultivated new skills. Below is a collection of ways students spent their two months.
1. Mississippi StarTalk (University of Mississippi)
“MS StarTalk was a program where I learned basic Chinese speaking and writing skills. We met twice a day, five days a week, for an entire month. 我学了很多中文！It was one of the hardest yet simultaneously most rewarding things I’ve ever done.” – Luke Bowles, senior
2. Aspirnaut High School Summer Research Internship (Vanderbilt University)
“I was accepted into the Aspirnaut High School Summer Research Internship program with Vanderbilt University Medical Center this summer. The initial plan was to spend six weeks at Vanderbilt University working in the world-renowned Matrix Biology Laboratory, but since the pandemic seemed to be an issue, the program was held virtually for two weeks where I was able to connect with research scientists & Vanderbilt undergraduate admission counselors, engaged in STEM discussion, and even completed a small at-home research study as part of the program.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience (especially since I was the only one representing Mississippi) and I will be back next year…hopefully this time at Vanderbilt! If you have a passion in STEM/Research, definitely look into it and don’t hesitate to reach me!” – Shanay Desai, senior
3. Yale Young Global Scholars (Yale University)
“This summer I virtually attended the Literature, Philosophy, and Culture session of Yale Young Global Scholars. Students from over 134+ countries attended, and hearing their opinions and experiences allowed me to gain more insight into universal worldviews and gain more empathy for realities outside my own. I took classes on neoliberalism, queer theory, the male gaze in film and feminist critical theory.” – Gracie Rowland, senior
4. Telluride Association Summer Program (University of Maryland)
“I had the opportunity to (virtually) participate in the Telluride Association Summer Program with the University of Maryland! For six weeks, I attended a seminar on ‘Education and Citizenship’ taught by professors from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Maryland.
Fourteen students across the country (and Canada) and I studied perspectives from Greek philosophers to modern court cases and podcasts, debated questions about educational structure and inequities and democratically governed our community (in alignment with the traditional ideals of the program) to schedule creative events. We also engaged with a variety of esteemed guest speakers, including educational policymakers and various professors.” – Shelby Tisdale, senior
1. Programming a Rubik’s Cube
“For the past month, I’ve been working really hard on programming a Rubik’s Cube in Python. There isn’t any preexisting 3D platform on which I built it; it was made essentially from scratch, with a lot of math. You can rotate the cube and rotate any of the sides manually, and you can also tell the computer to solve it slowly (showing ever step) and quickly (in approximately 3 seconds). Here’s a picture of the computer in the middle of a slow solve.” – Maxwell Dobbs, senior
2. Self Study and Publishing Chemistry Prep Book
“I did lots of studying and learning in general for some classes I would take next year. I got out and ran very consistently, and I sat down and published a chemistry prep book. I tried to make this summer as productive as possible!
To elaborate, I decided to self study AP Calculus BC on Khan Academy and finished early June. I also plan on starting cross country at MSMS to be in shape for soccer, so I started running every day and preparing for the season.” – Raeed Kabir, junior
3. Studying Number Theory
“Dr. Benge taught me about number theory over this summer! I received weekly assignments and we would talk though Zoom on Fridays. I learned how about prime numbers, solved diophantine equations, and even proved there are no integers in between 0 and 1.” – Bryce Harrison, senior
4. New Languages and Businesses
“I practiced Spanish, Italian and Korean and learned how to do a few hairstyles. I also spent time with my family, burned cookies, and played ‘Just Dance’ until 3 a.m. and helped my mom start a salad business.” – Keynijah Sullivan, junior
5. Visiting Bee Hives
“I visited a couple bee hives with Mississippi State’s Gregg Tingle. He had about 65,000 bees and showed me around each hive. Suiting up and being up close with the bees was a lot of fun! I love bees and hope to become an apiarist so this was an amazing experience.” – Lily Langstaff, senior
1. MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp
“This summer I was an MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp Counselor! After participating in the camps for 4 years, it was an honor to be a part of the camps yet again.” – Courtenay Sebastian, senior
“This summer I flew to Florida to visit my father, step-mother, and step-siblings. It was my first time back in 10 years. It was bittersweet to look back on my hometown and remember my childhood. I went to the beach a few times, but I mostly stayed home to spend time with my family and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.” – Zoe Damessous, junior