Research News

Vanderbilt’s science high begins 5th year

First graduating class of the School for Science and Math
The first graduating class of the School for Science and Math celebrates last spring. Photo by Tommy Lawson

Their research papers are published in a scientific journal. They win accolades in a prestigious national science competition. And that’s before they graduate from their public high schools.

These are the students of the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, a partnership between Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. They attend accelerated courses at Vanderbilt one day a week while keeping up with their regular high school classes.

Now in its fifth year, the fruits of Vanderbilt’s “science high” are easy to see. All 20 members of the school’s first graduating class last spring are continuing their education at universities including Baylor, Columbia, Emory, Georgia Tech, Haverford – and Vanderbilt.

Four current seniors achieved finalist or semifinalist status in the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology last fall. Several students are writing up their summer research projects for publication in the second issue of Young Scientist, a Vanderbilt research journal.

The school is now accepting applications for the class of 2016.

Twenty-six students will be selected on the basis of test scores, grades, personal essays and teacher recommendations. Applications will be accepted from current 8th grade students who will attend Nashville public high schools next fall.

Applications are due Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

For more information and to apply, click on or contact admissions coordinator Amanda Dixon at 615-322-7132.

Shalom Rottman-Yang, one of the Siemens finalists, told the Tennessean last month that the summer research project in physics he worked on with fellow student Jyotishka Biswas “was pretty intense … but it was worth it.”

“It’s knowing how the world works,” said Rottman-Yang, who will graduate with Biswas this spring from Hume-Fogg Academic High School. “I’m just curious, I guess. I like doing things that no one else has done.”

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