DENTON—Go past the doors of McConnell Hall at the University of North Texas, and you will meet some of the youngest students on campus. You will also meet some of the most brilliant minds in Texas.
“I do research in Lubbock with the United States Department of Agriculture. I’m working on temperature regulation of cotton at different water levels.”
“I got in as a 9th grader, but didn't feel mature enough to come here then.”
Pope and his classmates are part of a UNT tradition: The Texas Academy of Math and Science or TAMS. TAMS is a resident program that allows Texas high school juniors and seniors to complete their studies at UNT. The teenagers receive college credit hours for their work at North Texas.
“They're taking the toughest entry level courses that the university offers for majors in the areas of biology chemistry physics mathematics,” says Dr. Richard Sinclair.
Sinclair is the TAMS dean. He’s been with the program since it started 25 years ago.
“What has changed are the students,” says Sinclair. “They are just different than they use to be. They are much more focused, much more serious, and much more interested in research or scientific inquiry.”
The TAMS student population IS 376. Each year 200 new students are accepted out of 500 applicants. For the first time, there is more interest from female students. Applications from girls are up 17-percent.
Students accepted to TAMS have a high SAT score and a great GPA. Interest in science fairs and math competitions is a bonus on the applications. Also, afterschool academic activities and summer camps help tremendously. If you love science and math, this just might be the place for you.