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Summer Program Gives Talented Missouri High School Students New Educational Adventures at MU

June 7th, 2013

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

EDITOR’S NOTE: Broadcast media can request footage of the Missouri Scholars Academy and students from their areas by contacting Nathan Hurst, convergence media manager for the MU News Bureau, at or 573-882-6217.

By Jerett Rion

COLUMBIA, Mo. – This summer at the Missouri Scholars Academy (MSA), hosted by the University of Missouri, approximately 330 high school students across Missouri will have the opportunity to participate in an educational experience unlike any other.

“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,” said Ted Tarkow, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and director of MSA. “This year’s guests will provide topics with relevance, educational purpose and fun to the students in an academic environment.”

MSA began in 1985 and provides students unique opportunities to expand their educational and social skills. This year, from June 9 through June 30, students will spend their days in an intensive classroom setting, studying one of four individually selected subjects, including mathematics, science, social studies and humanities. Each Missouri high school is allowed to nominate one junior-to-be for the academy; larger schools may nominate more. Nearly every county in the state is represented.

Outside the classroom, students are introduced to a series of activities, workshops and discussions by guest speakers. Students will be learning from experts in the field of mathematics, physics and astronomy. In addition, the students will have 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 will make an MSA-themed crossword puzzle which will be published by the New York Post.

MSA participants are among the top 0.5 percent of Missouri students academically. Tarkow says individuals who attend the Academy leave with the understanding that they have a responsibility to share their talents with others for the betterment of their local Missouri communities. Many MSA alumni participate in programs such as Teach for America, Peace Corps or other nonprofit organizations. MSA alumni also continue to succeed academically. Of those who are old enough, 98 percent of Academy alumni have graduated from high school, 90 percent have graduated from college and nearly 2,500 alumni have earned graduate or professional degrees.

Funding for the 2013 MSA is provided by the University of Missouri, the state of Missouri and individual schools and organizations from students’ hometowns.