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School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt

Student Spotlights

The SSMV is an exciting and dynamic environment and our students are dynamic as well. Representing 8 different MNPS high schools, our students are not only academically talented and passionate about science but have other interests as well.


Gray- Hume-Fogg Magnet High School - Class of 2015

"The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt has been a highly formative experience, which has taught me many valuable skills such as presenting, group collaboration, and extended research that will undoubtedly be beneficial in any field that I could pursue." 

One of our recent graduates in the class of 2015, Gray is multi-talented and truly one-of-a kind! He brought his unique perspective to both his classwork and his lab work with Dr. Jessica Oster, where he studied ways to monitor modern cave environments to learn more about the relationships between the cave and surface conditions.

In addition to his ambitious academic pursuits, Gray is also an Eagle scout and loves camping, cycling and working in his vegetable garden.

In the fall, he will be attending architecture school at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with an academic scholarship.


Vincent-  Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School  - Class of 2016

"The SSMV is the best part of my week, every week. I love how SSMV immerses its students into not only the local science community but also science around the globe. I never fully understood how influential science was to the function of our society until I became a part of the SSMV program. Since freshman year, SSMV has been shaping me into an individual who knows more about how science is conducted and communicated and also has the ability to ask questions knowing that every question, no matter how simple, is important in our understanding of the universe. Even though this is only my third year in the program, I cannot imagine my life without it and I and can honestly say it was the best decision of my high school career."

We are consistently impressed not only by Vincent's strong performance as a student but by his great attitude that never seems to wane. Currently finishing his junior year at MLK, a notoriously tough time in high school, and about to embark on his SSMV research internship in the Van Kaer lab, he is just as easygoing as he looks in his spotlight picture. He says, "I don't really get stressed because I like to be busy, and when I'm not busy then I get bored." He curbs his boredom by participating in multiple activities including the Tennis Team and Spanish Dance club at MLK, and he volunteers at a shelter with his youth group. He is also an avid tennis player and MTA bus rider!


Aditya (AD) - Hume-Fogg Magnet High School  - Class of 2017

"Going to the SSMV is probably the one day I look most forward to during the entire week. It's not simply the extremely high level and vibrancy of the instruction which makes the school such an enjoyable experience; it's the engagingly constructive nature of the relationships which exist between the students and instructors. The school has encouraged me to grow so much throughout high school, providing a constant challenge intellectually and helping me forge personal ties with amazing people. I speak wholeheartedly when I say that I am exceedingly fortunate to be able to be a part of this wonderful community, this family of inquisitive peers. I look forward to what my future at the SSMV holds; I can be sure that it will be memorable."

We feel fortunate to have a student body comprised of students like AD, who have strong scientific prowess, express creative ideas well, and appreciate their peers. A powerful combination indeed!

AD is also fun-loving and a great music, movie and book lover as well. His own band Graceful Curbstomp and the Bougie Knights, recently performed at HFA's Battle of the Bands. He gains inspiration from running track, and he also spends time volunteering at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. 


Megan - Overton High School - Class of 2018

"SSMV has greatly improved my skills not only in science and math but also in writing and understanding the big picture. It is always great when we cover something in a high school class that we've already discussed in SSMV because I can apply what I already know about the topic to the newer parts to be able to understand them and recognize how everything fits together."

Megan has just finished her freshman year at the SSMV and Overton High School where she is very active in band. She plays the flute in both the marching band and the wind ensemble. She recently traveled to Hawaii with the marching band to play in the Waikiki Holiday Parade as the band of honor. She aspires to be in band leadership next year.

Also a runner, Megan competes in the 800, 4x800, and sometimes the 1600 (mile) races in track.

We knew when we met Megan that she was a dedicated student, having received an award for perfect attendance in middle school. She is also an ambitious student: in addition to the SSMV, she is in the rigorous Cambridge Program at Overton. 

If you are interested in applying to be a student at the School for Science and Math, see our  Prospective Students  section or jump straight to the  Application Information Page .

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