Thanks to the dedication of many administrators, teachers, students, and staff, the 2024 Advanced STEM Instructional Program in Jackson was, as one of our AP Physics teachers commented, “a huge success”, drawing approximately 200 students and educators.
Our sixth annual January residential instructional program, was, as always, held for several days leading up to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday to highlight the nexus between Civil Rights and educational opportunity.
This year, severe winter weather closed many of our schools throughout the state on the day the program began. Nonetheless, every school that was scheduled to attend the Jackson Program did so. In some cases, students boarded buses that left before 6:00 am—a compelling demonstration of commitment when school was not in session—to arrive in Jackson before the start of the instructional sessions. An AP Computer Science teacher stated, “I was so proud to see how hard the students were working and how much they wanted to learn, especially on their holiday weekend!”
The focus of the Jackson Program was, as always, the instructional sessions at Jackson State in AP Biology, AP Physics, and AP Computer Science, as well as AP Statistics, a new course added this year. Tutors and instructors came to Jackson from around the country to work with our students, and top universities were represented from Mississippi and beyond, including Virginia, Yale, Harvard, and MIT.
In addition, the Jackson program featured ancillary sessions that included a tour of the State Capitol, a tour and dinner at the Museums of Mississippi History and Civil Rights, and various speakers. Our students heard from former U.S. Agriculture Secretary and Congressman Mike Espy, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, author Ellen Meachem, Jackson State President Marcus Thompson, and Civil Rights historian Robert Luckett, among others. Our students also met in the Capitol’s House legislative chamber, where they took part in a discussion led by Education Committee member Sam Creekmore, and where our students ceremonially introduced legislation.
The Jackson Program has helped our Advanced STEM Access Program achieve a strong start to the second semester. We look forward to building on that momentum.