What's New at MSMS

The Brainstorm

Life in a Drop of Water -MSMS summer camp 2017

By Alysse Thomas Jason Tu Jordyn McCovery

You might not consider a drop of water interesting but some students at the Mississippi School for  Mathematics and Science are learning that water can be interesting.

In “Life in a Drop of Water”, students are learning about the microorganisms living in various waters and soils by doing many hands-on experiments.

“The kids use microscopes for just looking at different levels of bacteria depending on how big or small they are and basically from there they just learn about them.” said Harpreet Singh Camp Counselor.

By the end of the class, the students will compile pictures of their experiments to share with others.

For more information, please visit


Engineering & Teamwork - The MSMS Summer Camp 2017

By: Yasmine Ware, Joseph Motzkus, Rhett Shanahan

At the Mississippi School of Mathematics and Science Summer Enrichment Camp,  the class “Engineering and Teamwork”, is enjoyable, as well as a challenge for its bright students.

 In the class, students will work together using paper and note cards, along with other everyday supplies to create towers and cargo containers. Taking this class will help young engineers learn the basics of engineering, along with giving them a chance to grow substantially through teamwork.

 "I think that at the end of it they"ll know a lot more about like, working together to create one final project." said Holiday Garrison.

While their towers today may be small, one day, they may work together to make a tower that will reach the stars.

 For more information, please visit

MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp Begins

The sixth annual Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Summer Enrichment Camp has begun.

From Sunday, June 11 until Friday, June 16, 64 rising seventh and eighth grade students from all corners of the Magnolia state and beyond will live, work, and play on the campus of MSMS.

Students who signed up for the camp had the opportunity to choose between 13 different classes being offered this year. The classes range from programing classes to media creation classes to engineering classes to classes about the history of mathematics. Most of the courses are taught by MSMS faculty or staff members.

“In Mississippi, gifted education ends in the sixth grade, and this camp is designed to keep the interest of these gifted students in STEM related fields over the summer,” said Camp Co-Director Rick Smith.

Smith, who also serves as the MSMS Director for Student Affairs co-directs the camp with MSMS mathematics instructor, Lauren Zarandona.

Campers also take part a variety of leadership activities during the evening hours, and since the camp is residential, the student get a taste of what living in the MSMS residence halls is like.

Beyond the directors and course instructors, the camp is staffed with a dozen counselors, each a current or former MSMS student.

 MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp Assistant Directors, Brent Eubanks and Madison Wardlaw

MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp Assistant Directors, Brent Eubanks and Madison Wardlaw

“Because MSMS changed the course of my life, the least I can do to give a little of my time back to the school,” said camp assistant director Brent Eubanks.

Eubanks is a 2013 MSMS graduate and recently finished his undergraduate studies at the University of Mississippi, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry and minors in Mathematics, Russian, and Biology.

“I love this camp,” said camp assistant director Madison Wardlaw. “MSMS has given so much to me. It has changed the way I think about what I am capable of doing. I believe every child in Mississippi deserves the opportunity to have their eyes opened by this place.”

Wardlaw, a 2015 MSMS graduate is from Lake Cormorant, Mississippi. Currently, she is a sophomore at Grinnell College.

The camp is tuition based, however, scholarships were made available to students who showed sufficient need. These scholarships were made possible through the generosity of Butler Snow, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Entergy, the Mississippi Association of Gifted Children, the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, the Phil Hardin Foundation, Cooper Tires, and Cooperative Energy.

Next week, MSMS will host another, similar, Enrichment Camp for rising ninth and tenth grade students.

MSMS is Mississippi’s only public, residential high school specifically designed to meet the needs of the state’s most academically gifted and talented students. The award-winning high school is located in Columbus, Mississippi, on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women.

For more information about MSMS, please visit

Wade LeonardComment
MSMS Students Win Scholarships to Study Russian Abroad
 Hillary Gerber and Sydney "Sam" Matrisciano

Hillary Gerber and Sydney "Sam" Matrisciano

COLUMBUS -- Two Mississippi School for Math and Science students will study Russian in the former Soviet Union this summer after winning $7,000 scholarships sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Hillary Gerber and Sydney (Sam) Matrisciano, both 17, were chosen to participate in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, which sends students abroad to study Russian, Mandarin, Arabic and four other languages that the U.S. government deems critical.

In June, Gerber will travel to Moscow and Matrisciano to the former Soviet republic of Moldova. During their six-week immersion, the two students will live with host families, attend intensive Russian classes and take part in an array of cultural activities.

Gerber, the daughter of Warren “Chip” Gerber and Maureen Gerber of Columbus, and Matrisciano, daughter of Suzanne and Louis Matrisciano of Winona, are students of MSMS world language teacher Margaret Mary Henry. MSMS, located on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women, is the only high school in the state that offers the Slavic language.

“At a time when relations between Russia and the United States are under great strain, our country needs specialists who understand Russia and speak Russian,” Henry said. “Our government is wise to invest in these two gifted young scholars.” The teacher added that MSMS’s decision in 2012 to begin offering the critical language reflects the global aspect of the school’s mission: “In developing the gifts of young Mississippians who aspire to understand Russia deeply and speak Russian fluently, MSMS is forming global leaders who can help the United States engage constructively in the world.”

More than 3,500 high school students applied this year for programs in the seven languages offered under NSLI-Y, according to Emily Matts, program manager for NSLI-Y, which is administered by the American Councils for International Education, in Washington, D.C. Gerber and Matrisciano were among about 600 selected to receive the merit-based scholarships.

“I am extremely excited to experience Russia at its heart – Moscow,” said Gerber, who will be studying from June 29 to August 12 at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. “I am really excited to learn about the language, culture, and history. I am nervous as well, because Russia is so far away and it is so different from the United States.”

A member of the Class of 2017, Gerber will be attending Rhodes College in Memphis, which has awarded her the Diehl Scholarship of $21,000 per year.  Although she has not yet decided on a career, she plans to major or minor in Russian.

Matrisciano, a junior, will study at the Ion Creangă Pedagogical State University in Chisinau, Moldova from June 14-July 31. “I am hoping this program will accelerate my understanding of Russian and prepare me for future work in an international field,” said Matrisciano. “I plan to major in Russian, with a minor in either French, international studies, or political science.” She aspires to become an officer in the U.S. diplomatic corps.

Both Gerber and Matrisciano won gold medals in the 2017 Olympiad of Spoken Russian, held April 6 at Rhodes College in Memphis.

Four current university students who began Russian at MSMS will also be studying in Russia this summer.

Mississippi State University junior Kristen Conguista of Brandon, an electrical engineering major and Russian minor, and State freshman Christian Donoho of Columbus, who is majoring in computer science and minoring in Russian, will be studying at the GRINT Centre Gateway to Russian Language and Culture for International Students at the Moscow University for the Humanities. Both have received scholarship funding from MSU to assist with their studies abroad.

Kimya Jamasbi of Tupelo, a sophomore Russian major at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Mary Frances Holland of Lucedale, a sophomore international studies major at the University of Mississippi, have won federally funded Critical Language Scholarships for eight weeks of study at Lobachevsky State University in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. (Holland studied in Moldova in 2015 after winning an NSLI-Y scholarship.)

Russian is spoken by more than a hundred million Russians, but it is also the lingua franca of the vast former Soviet Union, a second language in territory stretching from the Baltics to the Caucasus to Central Asia.

Wade LeonardComment
2017 Senior Recognition

Join us live as we honor the 2017 MSMS senior class in this evening's Senior Recognition ceremony. Hear the class song performed live, find out who the MSMS Parent of the Year is! Find out who this year's Vel Anthony Award winner is! The program begins at 7:00 pm CST.

Wade LeonardComment