from the Moss Point School District met Tuesday with University
of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Shelby Thames to discuss the
creation of a new polymer science program at Moss Point High School.
and former head of the internationally known Polymer Science Institute
at Southern Miss, is helping to develop the two-year program by
lending his technical expertise. He has also pledged the physical
and intellectual resources of the university's polymer science program.
is a tremendous program they've developed for the students in Moss
Point, and I'm delighted to see this happening. I wish more and
more high schools would do what Moss Point is doing," Thames
the university will provide the program with experiments, teacher
training and excess equipment that could be used for educational
they need, whether it's physical or brainpower, we'll certainly
be willing to provide it, and be delighted to do so," he said.
begin this fall, Moss Point will become the third high school in
the state to teach polymer science courses. The goal of the program,
according to Dr. Tressie Harper, Moss Point Schools superintendent,
is both to prepare students for opportunities within the local polymer
workforce and to set them on the path to higher education, preferably
at Southern Miss.
that there is a lot of wisdom that resides here at this institution
under Dr. Thames, and we would like to work parallel to the success
of Southern Miss and use that wisdom to make sure we go forward
in a positive way," said Harper, a Southern Miss alumna.
(Southern Miss) is historic in terms of polymer science, and you
can't say the name without having Dr. Thames involved in the creation
of that, so we put in a call to him to let him know our desire for
district did some preliminary work last year with the Polymer Science
Institute to collect data and determine the needs and resources
to achieve the program. The only course prerequisite for students
entering the program is algebra. Students will earn one credit for
start them at a very basic level because coming into the program,
most of them know nothing of polymers," said Dr. Senita Walker,
vocational education director at Moss Point. "From there we
will move into heavier things, like creating (polymers) and job
the curriculum will be aligned with Southern Miss' so that graduating
students who wish to further their education at Southern Miss can
make a smooth transition.
want to build some good workforce skills so that no matter what
they decide to do, they'll be successful in life," Walker said.
by having the chance to take polymer science courses while still
in high school, students can be "one in a million."
just aren't many high schools doing what Dr. Harper and Dr. Walker
are doing down in Moss Point," Thames said.