3 Holly Pond High School students attend STEM Institute


Back row:  Earl F. Gohl, federal co-chair, Appalachian Regional Commission; Carter Smith; Andy Page, president/CEO ORAU; William Sexton; Sharee Riggs; Kelly Chasteen, ARC program manager for Alabama; Dexton Jones; Kaitlyn Griffin

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.— High school students, middle school students and teachers soaked in math, science and technology for two weeks at a special hands-on institute in east Tennessee in July.

Three students from Holly Pond High School attended the 28th annual High School Summer and Math-Science-Technology Institute in Oak Ridge. Gov. Kay Ivey nominated the students to attend this accelerated learning program. They were selected based on their potential to excel in math and science and to continue in higher learning.

The students who attended were:

  • Kaitlyn Griffin, daughter of Kalina Black and Scott Griffin
  • Dexton Jones, son of Brundie Drune and Chris Drune
  • William Sexton, son of Ricky Sexton

Griffin, Jones and Sexton were three of only 32 high school students who participated, along with 26 middle schoolers (one of which was Rylan Griffin of Holly Pond Middle School) and 16 teachers from across 10 Appalachian states to spend two weeks of their July summer break in high gear at a hands-on institute focused on math, science and technology.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and ORAU hosted the 28th annual High School and Middle School Summer Math-Science-Technology Institutes, during which the students and teachers worked on cutting-edge science projects with mentors at ORNL.