Recent PGSS Programs
a.k.a. “Plenty of Games and Social Situations” (Noah Beckish); “Parth Giving Students Smiles” (Felix Yang); “People Getting Subpar Sleep” (Carter Rogers); “Please Get Some Sleep” (Selina Lin, Sav Stackhouse); “Pennsylvania’s Greatest Silliest Students” (Yeana Kim); “Potentially the Greatest Strangest Surprise” or “Passionate Group of Special Studs” (Vanesa Aguay); “Plainly the Greatest Summer Session” or “People Great at Spelling Acronyms” (Parth Parikh); “Parth’s Great Scientific Summit” (Nidhi Ram); “Pennsylvania Group Sleep Study” (Thomas Hasty); “Puns n Giggles with Super Snoozers” (Dorothy Liu); “Pennsylvania’s Greatest Scientific Summit” (Arjun Suryawanshi); “Play Games, Stop Stressing!” (Yanwei Liu); “Pioneering Grateful, Synergetic Students” (Valerie Xu)
A Note from the PGSS Class of ’23
Goofy. Unforgettable. Inspirational. Motivating. Nerdy. And, as said best by TA Christian, acronym. All different words that seem to have little in common other than the fact that they have been used to describe PGSS in 2023. In the same sense, on the rainy morning of July 3rd, 2023, 71 rising high school seniors from across the state of Pennsylvania were dumped into the AC-less Donner House. On the first day, we 71 students thought we had nothing in common other than our acceptance to PGSS (and our imposter syndrome), but now, each and every one of us understands how emphatically untrue that is. On that first day, we thought the Pennsylvania Governor School of the Sciences was a “school”, which it technically is. Well, at least as Merriam-Webster defines it, PGSS is truly “an organization that provides instruction.” But that is a very small slice of the 3.14159 that is the true PGSS experience.
Over the course of the camp, we engaged in everything from square dancing to playing karaoke and gambling off invaluable Barry bucks — things nobody would have expected from a “nerd camp”. As time went on, we began to realize more and more of what PGSS truly was. We began to realize that it was a time of growth, a time of exploration, and a time of discovery. Perhaps most importantly, it was a time when we learned the quintessential life skill of how to fit a train of size 4L into a ferry of size 3L. Oh, the moments were fleeting but the memories… the memories are etched in stone.
So, if you’re reading this as a prospective future govie, don’t think twice about applying. There is no doubt in this world that you won’t enjoy your time at PGSS. And remember: cherish every moment at PGSS. In the weeks after you come back home, it’ll feel like a fever dream that seems too good to have been true.
The rest of this page is just a glimpse into that fever dream! 😀
A Short Phrase Describing PGSS
An unforgettable 5 weeks filled with challenging work but invaluable rewards
Both the longest and shortest five weeks of my life
5-weeks of deprived sleep and continuous fun, all-in-one.
A whirlwind of new experiences and cramming as much information as you can into your brain before it explodes
Nerd people do nerd stuff
One of those not-what-I-expected and feels-like-a-fever-dream but life-changing kind of experience
Students who gain valuable research experience, muscles, and lifelong friends by doing brain-aching homework, walking everywhere, and being silly gooses
- Basic Science to Modern Medicine: The Biology of Cancer, Stem Cells, and Genome Editing with Applications to 21st Century Therapeutics
- Organic Chemistry
- Computer Science – Programming Languages and Engineering Tradeoffs
- Discrete Mathematics
- Concepts of Modern Physics
- Mathematical Finance
- Laser Technology
- Foundations of Music: Science and Mathematics
- How and Why to go Beyond the Discovery of the Higgs Boson
- You and your Microbiota: the role of the microbiota in physiology and disease
- Biology: Brain on the Fritz – A survey of neurological diseases
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Computer Science: Introduction to Programming using Python
- Biological Techniques Laboratory
- Organic Chemistry Laboratory
- Computer Science Workshop
- Techniques Of Experimental Physics
- Mathematics Laboratory
- DNA Damage & Ultraviolet Radiation: Efficacy of Various SPF Containing Products on Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Investigating the Impacts of Environmental Factors on Neuron Function Using L. terrestris and C. elegans
- Determining the Secondary Structure of a Cyclic Antimicrobial Peptide Using Circular Dichroism
- Analysis of Atmospheric Trends and Climate Change Impacts Using Pittsburgh Weather Balloon Data
- A Breath of Fresh Air? Analysis of Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality and Exposure in Pittsburgh
- Journey Through the Star: A Minimax Exploration of Chinese Checkers
- Connecting the Dots: Using Turn-Based Game Strategy to Solve Dots and Boxes
- Paper Soccer: Exploration of Decision Tree Algorithms
- Long Ago, in a Globular Cluster Far, Far Away: Discovering the Secrets of the Universe with the Messier 13 Globular Cluster
- Computational Modeling and Simulation of Inductive Traffic Loops for Vehicle Detection and Novel Classification Utilizing Deep Learning
- Metal Detection Techniques Using Mutual and Self Inductance
- Light: Wave, Particle or Something Else?
- Crystal Structure and Differences in Magnetic Behavior in Copper Sulfate and its Hydrates
Our Residence Life Director and TAs organized fun and exciting social events that helped foster a tight-knit family by the end of the program. Thanks Cam, Matt, Annie, Ashley, Christian, Nikki, Tripp, Liam, Lora, Krystof, Mike, Léa, Julia, and Haley!
Favorite Social Event
Favorite Inside Joke
- Resnik serves pepperoni pizza and cantaloupe on cloudy days. (Grace Barlett)
- We going to the Museum. (Sooraj Tharumia)
- Anserine (Harry Feng)
- *taps on wrong shoulder* (Sav Stackhouse)
- When Carlos asked if Ashley was “nearfarted” (nearsighted + farsighted) (He was tired) or when Tripp said he would be in “Dorothy A302” (John Beeson)
- “Mike, I would write something nice for you, but you’d probably make me redo it.” (Thomas Hasty)
- Hunt Library (Luke Philip)
Things We Experienced for the First Time
Favorite Memory at PGSS
1) Being locked outside of Donner because Cam was giving the boys a very serious talk, and
2) Every moment that I spent with friends
Having sleep overs at mega bed. We crammed 10 mattresses in one room with air conditioning.
Tripping and getting up at the Goofy Olympics backwards race
Losing all of my Barry Bucks at Casino Night
During Improv Night, we played a game where pairs of people would start acting and freeze when someone from the audience yelled ``Freeze!`` At that point, the audience member would replace one of the two people acting and change the scenario being acted out. When we played the game, the... interesting storyline twists were definitely one of the highlights of my PGSS experience!
Having sleepovers to try to get homework done together
Getting a negative R-squared value in the team project but then working together to troubleshoot
My favorite memory from PGSS had to be walking to Squirrel Hill and back while talking with my friends. We would go out for dinner, get ice cream at Coldstone, and talk together for hours.
Countless 3 AM hallway conversations discussing the world’s biggest problems
We would like to thank the following people and corporations who made PGSS possible:
- Dr. Barry Luokkala & Ms. Melissa Lessure
- Professors & Faculty
- TAs & RLD Cam
- CMU & Mellon College of Science
- PGSS Campaign, Inc.
- Supporters of PGSS
And now the famously infamous memes...
page created by Megan Xie, Parth Parikh, Dorothy Liu, Felix Yang, and Sanjana Balaji