WBHS students participate in Governor’s School Project Forum

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William Byrd students Ryan James (center) and Stephen Olsen (right) participated in the annual Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology Student Forum on January 28. They are shown with teammate Bryce Morrison from Franklin County High School (left).
Meagan Webb is a student at WBHS and the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology. She entered her project in the annual Student Forum competition on January 28.
William Byrd student Abigail Ingram (right) participated in the Student Project Forum at the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School at Patrick Henry High School on January 28. She is shown with Logan Dunkenberger (left) from Glenvar High School and Rachel Benton (Cave Spring High School).
WB student Reilly Hatfield presented her project in the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School Forum on January 28.

William Byrd High School students who are also enrolled in the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology participated in the annual Student Project Forum on January 28.

The Governor’s School is a specialized regional center for the advanced study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students in grades 9-12. The school is located at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke City.

The Project Forum competition included several scientific disciplines including animal and plant sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biomedical and health sciences, cellular chemistry and molecular biology, computational biology and bioinformatics/mathematics, earth and environmental sciences, embedded systems/systems software, physical and chemical energy, engineering mechanics, environmental engineering, materials science, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and robotics and intelligent machines.

A panel of judges evaluated the projects and determined scores based on strength of presentation, comprehension of subject matter, and depth of research. A public viewing of the event was held from 1:30-3 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Students have the opportunity to advance to a variety of local, regional, state, and international science fair competitions.

The Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology was established in 1985 to improve education in math and science for highly motivated secondary students. RVGS makes it possible for the school systems involved to pool their resources to the advantage of all.

The Governor’s School currently serves about 270 students from seven school districts around the Roanoke Valley, including Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke counties, and the cities of Roanoke and Salem. Interested students apply to the school; admittance is selective. Parents do not pay a fee for their children to attend. Costs are covered by the school districts and the Virginia Department of Education.

Students from William Byrd, Patrick Henry, William Fleming, Cave Spring, Hidden Valley, Northside, Glenvar, Salem, Craig County, Franklin County, James River, Lord Botetourt, Liberty, and Staunton River high schools apply for available positions.

Students attend the Governor’s School for half of the day taking their math and science courses, including Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes, and the research elective which results in the forum project. All other classes are taken at the students’ home schools.

There is emphasis on labs and hands-on learning, as well as time management, study skills, and college preparation.

Students who participate in the Governor’s School Project Forum may also enter a variety of science fairs at the regional, state, and international levels. The Roanoke County Science Fair for all secondary students is coming up at William Byrd Middle School on February 18.