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The Hilltopper Herald

Review: Governor’s School for Science and Engineering

Senior Molly Wilson reflects on her apprehensions, experience, and growth during GSSE ’23.

This year I went to the governor’s school for science and engineering (GSSE), hosted by UTK. Before heading there I was a little bit apprehensive, since I was losing one month of my summer to school… yuck. On top of that, I was scared that everyone was going to be nerdy, geeky, losers. However, looking back I don’t think I lost one month at all. I asked the new friends I made and everyone had the same outlook, that this was fun! We all agree that the month of June was gained, not lost, and the people were actually pretty cool.

I was scared that everyone was going to be nerdy, geeky, losers

During my time at GSSE I had three classes. Two of them were combined in the morning from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. Those classes were STEM Skills and STEM and Society. In STEM Skills I learned the basics of coding Python as well as how to design a 3D print. In STEM and Society I learned methods of analyzing the ethicality of STEM in our world. My afternoon class was Material Science and Engineering (MSE), where I learned the reasoning behind specific characteristics of different materials. 

To be honest with you, STEM in Society was incredibly boring and mostly consisted of my teacher rambling on and on and on to herself. The rest of the courses were extremely enjoyable. In MSE I absolutely loved my professors and my teaching assistants (TAs). They were so much fun and honestly very helpful. 

Now, on to what is truly important: the people and what they’ve said. To put more emphasis on just how amazing those who attended were, every single person I interviewed said that the best part of GSSE was the fellow attendees. This might be cheesy and cliche or redundant, but everyone loved how the people at GSSE were smart and pushed everyone around them to do their best. Many of those I talked to came from a place where they felt they were held back because of lack of competition, while here they finally felt that they had “worthy” peers.

While I was at GSSE I met some amazing friends, in fact we still group facetime after GSSE ended. Together we asked each other to “prom” (a fun ending dance where we ate and laughed and remembered our month we had) and hung out after classes were over. Every night my group of friends would either go out to the tennis courts or the fields to play tennis, soccer tennis (Anna and I were the best team), spikeball, soccer, walking football, or pretty much any other game you can think of. We made fun of the food (everyone rated it very low, every time), and each other at any possible time.  No one was safe. We stayed up till curfew talking or playing cards. We had laughs, and towards the end, we had cries. Together we formed our own inside jokes and slang, which I will definitely be made fun of for using now that I’m back home. 

To end this off, all I have to say is 1) What is your quote of the day? 2) Echelon 1 4 ever! and 3) Chipotle? No chat, gov school was fun, everyone 100 percent recommends. 

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Molly Wilson
Molly Wilson, Sports Editor
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