As Allison Humphries sat in Witherspoon Auditorium at Arkansas Tech University and awaited the beginning of Arkansas Governor’s School 2022, she was eager to branch out and gain new experiences.
“I come from a very small school, so Governor’s School is an opportunity for me to access some higher education that I don’t have access to at my regular high school,” said Humphries, who is from Calico Rock. “When you come from a town like mine that has a population of 800 people, you are surrounded by the same people for most of your life and you know how to interact with them. (AGS) is really good practice for meeting different types of people and talking to different people.”
Approximately 370 rising high school seniors from around the Natural State arrived at ATU on Tuesday, July 5, for the 43rd Arkansas Governor’s School (AGS). The four-week program is made possible by a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education.
Students’ daily class schedule at AGS is based, in part, upon their demonstrated aptitude in one of nine areas of specialization: visual arts, choral music, instrumental music, drama, English/language arts, mathematics, natural science, social science or development engineering.
Those nine disciplines constitute what is defined as AGS Area I. AGS Area II is a study of the nature of knowledge, while AGS Area III is focused on the personal and social development of students.
AGS Class of 2022 member Devin Hinnant will focus on visual arts for his AGS Area I curriculum.
Hinnant, who attends LISA Academy in Little Rock, is approaching AGS as preparation for his post-secondary educational aspirations.
“I heard that it helps with college applications a lot, so I wanted to experience that,” said Hinnant, who would like to study architecture when he goes to college. “I want to learn what college will be like.”
Each AGS participant was selected through a competitive application process. One aspect of Arkansas Governor’s School that differentiates it from students’ high school routine is there are no grades at AGS.
“It makes me genuinely want to learn more,” said Humphries when asked about the grades-free environment. “Whenever you have the pressure of grades added on to it, you are really just pushing to get that A and not to absorb the information.”
Beyond the classroom, AGS 2022 participants will learn from impact speakers, watch impact movies and engage in cultural experiences through field trips to Arkansas destinations such as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village, Crater of Diamonds State Park, the Ozark Folk Center, the Arkansas State Capitol, the Old State House and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. There are also daily recreation programs.
Dr. Robin Lasey, professor of chemistry at ATU, serves as director for Arkansas Governor’s School. This is the fourth consecutive year Arkansas Tech has hosted AGS.
Ultimately, Arkansas Governor’s School is designed to provide some of the state’s best and brightest young minds with a chance to interact, pursue their intellectual passions and gain a heightened sense of the world around them. Humphries is ready to do just that.
“I grew up reading a lot of books and I’ve always been interested in books,” said Humphries. “I used to write fun little stories when I was a kid, so I’ve always been an English kid. I hope to gain a general knowledge of analyzing television, literature and understanding English. When you understand language and the creative process, you understand people and humanity.”
Learn more about Arkansas Governor’s School at www.atu.edu/ags.