UA Little Rock Faculty Share Knowledge with Arkansas Governor’s School Students

Dr. John Kirk, second from right in back row, teaches at the Arkansas Governor's School with his fellow Area II instructors.

Three University of Arkansas at Little Rock faculty members spent a month of their summer vacation sharing their knowledge with talented high school students who participated in the 2022 Arkansas Governor’s School (AGS).

Approximately 370 rising high school seniors from across the state attended the 43rd Arkansas Governor’s School, hosted by Arkansas Tech University, from July 5 to Aug. 1.

UA Little Rock professors who taught at AGS include Dr. John Kirk, George W. Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History; Rebecca Streett, senior instructor of mathematics; and John Anglin, a lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“It is a wonderful program that brings together the most gifted and talented rising seniors from all across the state,” said Kirk, who taught conceptual development and critical thinking at AGS. “The result is a diverse, welcoming, and vibrant intellectual student community, in which the best students from Arkansas get to meet and interact with their peers from other schools. The campus residential experience and the challenging academic program provides students with a flavor of what college life will be like.”

AGS student schedules are based in part upon their demonstrated aptitude in one of nine areas of specialization: visual arts, choral music, instrumental music, drama, English/language arts, mathematics, natural science, social science, and development engineering. Those nine disciplines constitute what is defined as AGS Area I.

Anglin and Streett served as instructors for the nearly 50 students who specialized in math. Streett taught sentiment analysis, where students researched how to quantify qualitative data.

“It is so rewarding to see them discover that math is about so much more than just what they learn about in high school,” Streett said. “It is also a great way to experiment with innovative teaching techniques and explore different areas of mathematics. Since teaching at AGS, I have learned so many great new ideas that I’ve been able to incorporate into my UA Little Rock classes.”

During his seventh year of teaching at AGS, Anglin guided students in mathematical applications in physics, engineering, and research. This culminated in a project where the students built and flew model rockets and created mathematical models based on the data collected

“I was also responsible for giving several enrichment talks after class hours including the history of Doctor Who, modem board games, and my time in the military, 22 years in the US Air Force as an aviator with service in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Anglin said. “AGS gives me an opportunity to supplement the learning of these students so that they can be better prepared for life in college. It is rewarding to see the students grow and change in such a short time every year.”

Having taught at AGS for the past three years, Kirk said this year’s program was especially memorable for him because it turned into a family affair.

“This year was particularly special for me since my daughter, Sadie, who attends Parkview High School in the Little Rock School District, attended AGS as a student,” Kirk said. “Of course, I didn’t teach her in classes, but it was fun to be with her on campus!”

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