The opportunity to join the inaugural class of the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science led Lizzie Jenkins from Dodge City to attend Preview Day on Saturday at Fort Hays State University.
"I thought today was a wonderful learning experience, just walking around talking to the professors. I learned so much today and I think that just shows how much there is to be learned about coming to school here and I would love to do it. It would be a great experience for me," Jenkins said.
Kaley Ernst, also from Dodge City, agreed. “I think today has been a wonderful experience and it would be great to come here," she said.
Parents were also excited by the opportunities that KAMS has to offer.
"What a wonderful facility and opportunity for my daughter to participate in something that will benefit Kansas today, in the future, and benefit her academic success," said Keith Spickler, Leawood.
"I'm really honored that my kid is considered for the KAMS program. I really enjoy the fact that we're investing in our future as opposed to investing in projects that don't work," said Eric Stacey, Great Bend.
The Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science is the state's premier early-entry-to-college program for high school juniors and seniors.
"Today was the first chance for the public to see what KAMS has to offer," said Dr. Paul Adams, director of FHSU's Science and Mathematics Institute and the Anschutz endowed professor of education. "KAMS is an investment by the state of Kansas to develop our intellectual capital and re-grow the state from where it is now economically. KAMS students will develop the academic, intellectual and leadership skills necessary to take advantage of opportunities in new cross-disciplinary areas of research and economic growth."
Ron Keller, director of KAMS, said it was really exciting to see all the interest and support from students and parents who were extremely interested in applying to the academy. "These students will have a tremendous impact on the economic future of Kansas," Keller said. "It is important to keep our best and brightest students in mathematics and science in the state of Kansas and, by helping to do so, KAMS will be instrumental in growing our next generation of scientists and mathematicians for this great state of ours," he said.
Applications for KAMS are due Jan. 20, 2009, for the 2009-2010 academic year.