Jan. 25—A group of Meridian High students received a special field trip to the Infinity Science Center in Pearlington for achieving academic excellence in their science courses.
The MHS A-Team Science Club visited the NASA Stennis Visitor Center, where they experienced a blend of space, earth science, engineering and technology exhibits that could inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers or mathematicians, educators said.
The A-Team Science Club is a club for 10 — 12th grade students with an "A" average in science. Students participate in one field trip each semester and various community service projects throughout the year.
Senior Jayda Perkins said the science center was exciting and showed her a different side of the science world.
"The science center gave us a lot of valuable information," Perkins said. "We learned about many astronauts and rocket ships, everything we did was hands-on, and that made the trip even better."
Perkins hopes to major in biology or pre-dental to become an orthodontist when she goes to college.
Although being a part of the science club hasn't sparked her interest in going to space, Perkins said the club and Stacey Miller, the club sponsor and department chair, have allowed her to see other things beyond her community.
"I just love how Mrs. Miller keeps us active and doing different stuff compared to other clubs," Perkins said. "She really cares about us, and her encouragement even motivated me to become the president of the science club."
"I'll tell any student here that if they want to learn but also have fun, this is the place to be," Perkins added.
Fellow student Umaya Grady said her friends drew her into the science club, and it's been a blast ever since.
"Having an organization like this shows us, students, that there is more to offer than just going to class," Grady said. "I'm in other clubs too, but this club is more important to me because of the career field that I want to do in the future."
Grady plans to major in biochemistry aiming towards the pre-med track and credits the science club for giving her insight on what those courses would be like.
Miller said the creation of the science club was a way to reward students for performing well in their science courses, but it became something more.
"We wanted to reward students as well as give them opportunities outside of school to learn more about career base opportunities in science or just to expand their knowledge of science," Miller said.
"We do field trips once a semester, and then we do community service projects because we know many of them are going to college, and they're looking for that."
Miller emphasized that she wants her students to be kind and well-rounded citizens and believes this club benefits the school and the community.
"We've had a lot of positive responses when we've been able to connect with those other groups outside of MHS," Miller said. "They are fascinated that we have these young students who are willing to donate their time to be of service to Meridian."
"I'm just doing the work, and the word is getting out, and I'm glad that we're able to shine a light on the positive things that we have going on at MHS," Miller added.