Speeding to summer learning: Governor’s School grants students hands-on learning

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Gifted students from across Western Tidewater enjoyed a hands-on learning opportunity during a special session of the Tidewater Regional Governor’s School on Wednesday, July 12, at Georgie D. Tyler Middle School in Windsor.

Leslie Moring, an educator at Windsor High School, noted that the TRGS is a grant-funded summer program that services 60 identified gifted students from Isle of Wight County, Franklin, Suffolk and Southampton County.

On Wednesday, students learned about radar (radio detection and ranging) and lidar (light detection and ranging) courtesy of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. 

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Deputies on hand gave a brief overview of the technology to students, explaining how law enforcement utilizes it, and then students were able to make use of radar and lidar guns themselves, tracking the speed of rolling softballs and basketballs on the sidewalk and even cars driving down U.S. Route 258.

“This is a real-life activity that’s going along with our theme for our camp, which is the ‘Need for Speed,’” said Chris Johnson, a teacher from Windsor High School who is in his first year working with TRGS. “So rather than doing just passive activities and seated activities, we give the students an opportunity to have some real hands-on experience and see things from a perspective of somebody outside of the school environment, such as the (sheriff’s office).”

Alluding to a key social component and opportunity created by the summer program, Elizabeth Zartman, a teacher from King’s Fork Middle School who is also working with TRGS, said, “All of the kids are from different districts, so they come here not knowing each other.”

Johnson indicated that TRGS is the local chapter of a two-week program taking place throughout the state, and Zartman added that it is funded by the Department of Education.

On July 18, there was a field trip to Daniel’s Performance Group in Smithfield.

On Thursday, July 20, there was an open house/expo at Georgie D. Tyler Middle School at 1 p.m., Moring said, noting that those attending were able to see all that the students have learned about speed.