The campus of the University of Missouri will be filled with 330 high-achieving rising juniors from around Missouri for the the annual Missouri Scholars Academy (MSA) Sunday, June 9 to Saturday, June 29.
Several RBHS students including Piper Forthaus, Shruti Gautam, Arren Mallott, Garrett Roach, James Rollison and Kellen Sapp, were selected for the 2019 cohort. Gautam describes feeling excited to participate in the upcoming term.
MSA is three-week residential summer program that aims to offer quality gifted education to selected participants and provided “special opportunities for learning and personal development” according to the MSA website.
The Academy chooses participants through a competitive selection and application process. Every private and public high school in Missouri is eligible to nominate a sophomore to the academy. Larger schools have the option to nominate more than one student. Homeschooled students may also be considered, according to the MSA website.
The participant selection process includes review of each nominated student’s GPA, pACT scores and optionally IQ by a selection committee comprised predominantly of Missouri teachers. Applicants submit two letters of recommendation and two student essays, as well as be committed to attending all three weeks of the camp, according to the MSA website.
“I’m pretty excited for this program,” Gautam said. “I’ve heard really good things from people who went in the past, and I hope my experience is as good.”
RBHS has sent many students, since MSA’s founding in 1985. Junior Will Cover was one of three RBHS participants in the 2018 session.
“I thought MSA was a spectacular experience,” Cover said. “The classes were great to go in-depth on an interesting topic, but the afternoon activities were always the bright spot in the day because we got to delve into some new interesting topic every single day.”
MSA provides a variety of classes with topics spanning from journalism to aerodynamics. Each participant chooses a minor and a major. The University of Missouri Honors College specially selects staff to teach at the Academy, according to the MSA website. Sapp will be taking art and literature courses this summer.
“I’m taking a class on teaching and schools ‘Finding Hogwarts’ and a class on design ‘Dip into design’,” Sapp said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about design, which is something that I have had interest in but not much time to take classes on and also learning more about school systems and optimizing them.”
Outside of academics, MSA also provides curriculum focused on personal and social dynamics , according to the MSA website. Cover describes his experience as both academically and personally motivating.
“MSA did a great job of not just educating members academically, but working on emotional intelligence, too,” Cover said, “which helped me to grow as a person and better empathize with my peers.”
What are your summer plans?