Blackman Collegiate Academy explores MTSU science options

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MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson explains to Blackman Collegiate Academy students how various heat and water processes create steam and eventually cause the sides of aluminum can to appear crushed March 24 during BCA Day at MTSU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Blackman Collegiate Academy juniors sampled science at MTSU and the University Honors College. This all happened during a Friday (March 24) visit to campus.

Geosciences, biology, physics and astronomy, Concrete Industry Management and the university's Experimental Vehicles Program were areas the Blackman High School students discovered in the school's second visit to MTSU this year.

The MTSU-Blackman partnership is one of several arranged each semester during the academic year. It allows freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors opportunities to spend time on the college campus, meeting MTSU students, faculty and administrators and learning about many of the university's 140-plus programs.

As part of the partnership, which is designed to give them a competitive edge as they prepare for college, juniors and seniors in the academy who meet eligibility standards can take up to six hours of university courses taught by MTSU instructors at Blackman at no cost. The credits will count on high school and college transcripts.


Diamond Bradley, 17, was one of nearly 10 students taking in a 45-minute session on concrete. They even made concrete coasters.

"This has been a good experience," Bradley said at the conclusion of the session. "I had trouble with mine, but I enjoyed the process. There's a lot to learn off simple concrete. There's a lot to the process."

Classmate Gabrielle Brown, 16, liked the fact "a lot of job opportunities" can be found in the concrete industry.

Zach Rachidi, 16, was with a group in Wiser-Patten Science Hall witnessing "cool" things happening in physics, led by Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson.

"Actually it was pretty cool and entertaining (demonstrations by Henderson), but it is not something I want to do," said Rachidi, who expressed a strong interest in being a pilot and following an aerospace path.

Rachidi said he "learned a lot about the Honors College -- the GPA requirements and the (Honors) opportunities at MTSU."

Henderson, concrete's Nicole Green, biology chair Lynn Boyd, geosciences chair Warner Cribb and engineering technology chair Walter Boles discussed careers in their respective fields. In addition to Wiser-Patten, sessions were the new Science Building, Davis Science Building, Voorhies Engineering Technology Building

Dean John Vile and event coordinator Susan Lyons provided a complete rundown of Honors College options and requirements as they toured the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

Concluding their visit, Blackman students heard about "a typical day in the life of a college student" from MTSU Student Ambassadors in the Student Union Building.

After arriving on campus earlier in the day at the Student Services and Admissions Center/MT One Stop, Blackman students received True Blue Bags and heard about the admissions process from Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, and recruiter Joey Clark.

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