Wetzel County Superintendent Ed Toman announced on April 5 that teacher Leslie Lively, and students Aubrey Neff and Haley Feldmeier, have been chosen as 2017 Student and Teacher Argonauts with JASON Learning. Neff is a Paden City High School student, while Feldmeier is a student at Magnolia High School. Lively is a teacher at Short Line School.
"The argonaut expedition is truly an incredible adventure and the opportunity of a lifetime," said Toman.
JASON is a nonprofit founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard. Notably, Ballard is best-known for his discovery of the Titanic.
Leslie Lively and Ed Toman
JASON Learning provides curriculum in science, engineering, technology, and math; Wetzel County Board of Education is implementing the curriculum.
Argonauts are student and teacher pairs who go on adventures. Argonauts travel to national parks, as well as islands around the world. On these travels, Argonauts meet and study with scientists.
Superintendent Toman has previously described the Argonaut program as "top-notch" and "excellent."
"It's a great way to motivate kids for science," he has said. "It's a pretty neat and awesome experience."
According to JASON Learning, each Argonaut applicant applies for an Argonaut position through a highly competitive and rigorous selection process, including personal essays, video statements, reference letters, and academic records. Each individual is competing against their peers from around the world for a highly coveted spot on the team. These materials are reviewed by a national team of JASON staff, educators and administrators familiar with the program.
During Neff, Feldmeier, and Lively's expedition to Peru, they will work alongside scientists and engineers; the trio will study the Amazon rain forest canopy and insects. They will gain first-hand experience of what it's like to pursue a STEM career in the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics
Of the selection of Neff, Feldmeier, and Lively, Toman said, "I can't wait to have them share their experiences about their expedition once they return home. I am grateful to be able to bring this opportunity to Wetzel County students and teachers; we had some outstanding applicants, and the JASON Learning team is absolutely extraordinary."
For more on JASON Learning, check out www.jason.org