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Unique Program & Traditions

Destination PGSMST!

Students' two-year experience at the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science and Technology is much like a journey, one which is founded on both challenge and discovery. Admitted to the program as juniors, students choose from a variety of math and science options, adding those to required research and English courses.

Each year, more than 100 students navigate their way to success in the math curriculum with the support of instructors who use a variety of strategies to help them meet their goals. Vertical teams, for example, strengthen transition among classes to aid students' smooth travel, and other avenues, such as curriculum compacting and before-/after-school tutoring provide alternate ways to meet individual needs. Numeric, graphic, symbolic, and verbal outlets allow very different perspectives ... and a very scenic route.
Offering many physical and life science courses. Lab experiments, in-class demonstrations, and hands-on activities link theories and principles to one another, as well as to the real world. Students are challenged to see how individual concepts and disciplines interrelate to form the mosaic that is modern science. Armed with this new perspective of the world around them, students will be prepared to take the next step: their own.

Students' travels continue with the rigorous and technical path through the research program. The two-year curriculum begins with a focus on technical writing, research techniques, oral communication and presentations skills, and analysis of many forms of scientific writing. Armed with a foundation built during their junior year, the seniors move forward into individual research projects based on specific areas of interest. Guided through direct instruction, multi-media presentations, peer review, group projects, and one-on-one tutoring, students are encouraged to forge ahead, creating their own paths and contributions.

English (taught at one site) and technology (offered at a second site) complete the students' curriculum. Exploration of American and British works inspires students to blaze trails through new literary landscapes, develop a deeper understanding of their world, and learn how an analytical approach to reading and writing influences work in all fields. Class discussions, research projects, and team activities allow students to hone critical thinking skills necessary for any journey! With regard to technology, one of PGSMST's main goals is to incorporate as many new opportunities as possible into the everyday experiences of the students. Whether they are accessing resources and textbooks, manipulating data and conducting experiments, or participating in class activities and assessments, students are surrounded by equipment and programs designed to provide varied avenues of travel.

This powerful curriculum is combined with a passion for differentiation, a focus on application, an environment designed for building relationships, and the opportunity for extracurricular activities. Side by side with instructors and staff who have both passion and respect for the program, students travel an innovative route that challenges, guides, stretches, encourages,nurtures, and inspires . . .as they begin to take their futures into their own hands.

FIRST Robotics

The PGSMST FIRST Robotics Team remains dedicated to the program's goals: application of science and technology in the real world. One of 64 teams that competes in the Virginia Regional, the "STAGS" (Science, Technology and Gifted Students) build a robot which they enter in a sports-based competition requiring strategy, collaboration, and mechanical challenge. The March event is always exciting and involves a variety of awards.

Virginia Regional Science Bowl Team

Each year, PGSMST's Science Bowl team competes in the Virginia Regional High School Science Bowl in February at the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA. This competition is one of the nation's regional competitions of the Annual U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl, The National Science Bowl brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, astronomy, and math.

Fall Into Science

Chemistry classes from the IALR site go to an elementary school each fall to present "Fall Into Science," a visual presentation of the many chemical reactions that occur during the fall season.

Junior Research Field Trips

It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step; nothing could be more true for the juniors at the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science & Technology's NCI site. Through this two-year program, they move from introduction to application as they navigate the technical and exciting world of formal research. To springboard the junior experience, students take part in an "immersion" fieldtrip designed to strengthen their understanding of core project background concepts . . . as well as to inspire and prepare them for learning. Former students have enjoyed visits to such sites as Natural Bridge, VA, to understand Native American traditions; Richmond, VA, to tour the historic Hollywood Cemetery and become familiar with tombstone iconography; and Hillsborough, NC, to investigate the factors involved in historic preservation and town revitalization! Most importantly, the students have fun, bond as a team, and find themselves synthesizing academic pursuits with personal growth and pride.