NA Students Attend Top Academic Camp

It was a week where fun was had, new friends were made and a fantastic educational experience was included in the mix. Students from across the state spent the week of July 18 through 23 attending the first annual MSMS Math and Science Leadership Camp.


Joseph Male, Hayden Poer and Shawn Vaughn, all of New Albany were selected as three of only 40 rising ninth and tenth graders who won a spot at the prestigious camp, located on the campus of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus.

The camp was designed specifically for rising ninth and tenth students interested in the fields of science, math and technology.

“The MSMS Math and Science Leadership Camp provides an opportunity to challenge academically-talented students to further develop their problem-solving and test-taking skills while also nurturing their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math fields,” said Camp Director Rick Smith. “To meet the special needs of these students, we must provide educational activities well beyond the scope of what is provided in typical classrooms.”

While the camp was free to the students who attended, attendees were required to undergo a competitive application process. Students were required to obtain recommendations from their teachers and write essays which were judged by a panel of independent judges.

Students who were selected got the opportunity to take part in engineering competitions, learned creative-test taking strategies, and toured Mississippi State University’s High Performance Computing Center and Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems.

Due to ongoing renovations of MSMS girls’ dormitory, this year’s camp was offered only to boys. Current plans call for future camps to include both male and female campers.

The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is located on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. The school, which was founded in 1987, is the state’s only public residential high school specifically designed to serve the needs of Mississippi’s highest academic performers. Students interested in MSMS can apply during their tenth grade year of high school, and if successful, will spend their junior and senior school years at MSMS. 

Joseph is in the tenth grade and is the son of Barry and Sara Male.

Hayden is in the ninth grade and is the son of Chuck Poer.

Shawn is in the ninth grade and is the son of Denise and Shelby Vaughn.

 For more information about MSMS and the Math and Science Leadership Camp please visit