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Unique Program & Traditions

As Virginia's first, and still only completely virtual Governor's School, HGS utilizes sophisticated technology and software to provide high quality synchronous distance learning courses to students in thirty-six high schools, from seventeen school systems, scattered across a region of over 4,000 square miles.

To make sure our students have the technological and other resources they need to be successful, HGS purchases and places these resources in the high schools with whom we partner. To date, we have provided over 800 computers, 250 digital cameras, reference books, and DVDs, as well as other materials for school libraries and computer labs.

In addition, students are provided with text books and a variety of supplementary material and equipment designed to support and extend their learning. The student may keep most of this material for their growing professional library. Lab kits have been created for Physics, Engineering & Robotics, and Environmental Science to insure that students have all the necessary material and equipment they need to do the required experiments. Some equipment, such as the "star-scout", more sophisticated cameras, and large digital slates are too expensive to give to students, so they are used by our students and returned.

Students participate in a variety of unique and exciting field-trips designed to emphasize the real-world application of their courses and extend their learning. Each year our Anatomy and Physiology Classes take field trips to Medical Schools to experience gross anatomy labs with human cadavers and to learn how to prepare for the challenges these schools will present. Our Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering & Robotics students go to Green Bank, West Virginia to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) where they use data from the largest free-standing radio telescope in North America to conduct research that is often written up in journals published by the NRAO. They most recently used the data to search for pulsars. Our History Classes visit a variety of museums and historical sites designed to allow the visitor to step back into time and experience history as it was lived. Our Environmental Science Classes visit a number of unique sites where they learn about mining reclamation, forestry issues, erosion control, and other ecological challenges and work as scientists to conduct stream-life studies, soil analysis, wildlife identification, habitat surveys, as well as other sites across the region.

HGS has a fifteen-year history of providing our students with a significant head-start on their college education and chosen careers. Many of our Alumni have used their time with us as a spring-board to very successful college experiences and lucrative careers—all around the world—and speak very eloquently of the value they have received from their time with us.