July 03, 2013 - Four local students recently attended the Missouri Scholars Academy at the University of Missouri.
The students who attended the Missouri Scholars Academy, or MSA, include:
• Kathryn Buscher, Cor Jesu Academy, daughter of Missy and Mike Buscher.
• Rachel Murvihill, Oakville High School, daughter of Lisa and Dave Murvihill.
• Ellie Sona, Oakville High School, daughter of Carrie and Jeff Sona.
• Emma Sona, Oakville High School, daughter of Carrie and Jeff Sona.
The four are among Missouri's most talented students, according to a news release.
"MSA was a life-changing experience," Buscher stated in the release. "I had the opportunity to meet tons of new people, made lifelong friendships and learned more than I ever thought possible. The three weeks flew by, and I wish I could have had more time there."
MSA began in 1985 and provides students unique opportunities to expand their educational and social skills. This year, students spent their time at Mizzou in an intensive classroom setting, studying one of four individually selected subjects, including mathematics, science, social studies and humanities.
Each Missouri high school nominated one junior-to-be for the academy; larger schools could nominate more. Nearly every county in the state was represented.
"Our goal is to bring some of the brightest young minds in Missouri together and give them an educational experience that they will never forget both inside and outside of the classroom," Ted Tarkow, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and director of MSA, stated in the release.
Outside the classroom, students were introduced to a series of activities, workshops and discussions by guest speakers. Students learned from experts in the field of mathematics, physics and astronomy. In addition, students had an opportunity to hear from John Dau, one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan," a group of child refugees from the Sudan who were orphaned after the second Sudan Civil War; and mathematician Curtis Cooper, who discovered the largest prime number.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle, Missouri Crossword Puzzle Champion Patrick Blindauer made an MSA-themed crossword puzzle that will be published by the New York Post.
"MSA allowed me to explore opportunities I would not have gotten otherwise," Emma Sona stated. "I got to check for pregnancy in cows, dissect pigs and hold newborn piglets. MSA also gave me the opportunity to talk to professors about college and explore future possibilities."