Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science
Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science
Established 1987
Type Residential public high school
Executive Director Charles Brown
Students 220 (approx.)
Grades 11–12
Location Columbus, Mississippi, USA
Colors Blue and White
Mascot Blue Waves
Website http://www.msms.k12.ms.us/

The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) is a public residential high school for academically gifted students located in Columbus, Mississippi on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women. A member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST), it is a state-wide magnet school that is free of tuition. However, as of 2008, required by state legislature to charge room and board costs. The mandatory room and board fee for MSMS students is $500 per semester, hence $2,000 for each students' junior and senior years. Each year, the school graduates over 100 students. The main focus of MSMS is mathematics and science, but humanities, particularly history, literature, and art are also emphasized.



MSMS was founded in 1987 by appropriations from the Mississippi Legislature and is the fourth public, residential high school for academically gifted students in the United States.[3] The school only enrolls students in the last two years of high school. Tenth grade students from across the state interested in the school apply and are selected to attend.


Currently, MSMS offers more than 130 advanced classes in mathematics, science and the humanities. Designed with the highest standards of academic rigor, all classes taught at MSMS are at the AP level or higher. Class schedules are constantly in flux due to student demand, and new classes are often added to the school's curriculum. Listed below are all the classes listed in the 2009–2010 MSMS Course Catalogue.[1]

Math classes
Accelerated Algebra II
Foundations of Higher Math
Math Modeling
University Calculus I
University Calculus II
Calculus III
Differential Calculus
Integral Calculus
Differential Equations
Investigations in Geometry
Explorations in Math Art
History of Mathematics
Logic and Game Theory
Statistics I
Statistics II
University Statistics I
Number Sense
Discrete Mathematics
Special Topics

Science classes
Cell Biology
Anatomy and Physiology
Molecular Biology
Ecology of Environmental Problems
Human Infectious Diseases
Special Topics in Biology
Introduction to Biochemistry
Advanced Topics in Chemistry I
AP Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry
Special Topics in Chemistry
Waves, Electricity and Magnetism
University Advanced Mechanics
Advanced Waves, Electricity and Magnetism
Calculus-Based Mechanics
Calculus Based Electricity and Magnetism
Modern Physics
Special Topics in Physics

Computer Science classes
Desktop Publishing
Introduction to Programming
Intermediate Programming
Introduction to Robotics
Site Design: Research and Practicum
Web Services
Computer Problems/Special Topics

English Classes
Honors English
University English I
University English II
Shakespeare I: The Romantic Comedies and Histories
Shakespeare II: The Tragedies and Late Romances
Classical Literature I: Epic Poetry
Classical Literature II: Drama and Philosophy
Yearbook I
Yearbook II
Journalism I
Journalism II
Selected Works of British Literature
World Literature
Creative Writing I
Creative Writing II
Special Topics in English
Debate I
Debate II
Debate III

Foreign Language Classes
French I
French II
French III
Spanish I
Spanish II
Spanish III
Latin I
Latin II
German I
German II
Advanced Topics in Foreign Language

Social Sciences Classes
US History: Imperialism to New Frontier
US History (Research Focus: Tales From the Crypt)
Mississippi Crossroads I: Faulkner, The Blues and Beyond
Mississippi Crossroads II: Welty, Wright, Williams and Beyond
Modern European History
University Western Civilization
American Government

Fine And Performing Arts
Drawing I
Drawing II
Painting I
Painting II
Sculpture I
Sculpture II
Dramatic Performance
Advanced Dramatic Production
Songwriting/Music Technology
Instrumental Performance
Choral Performance
Guitar Studies
Guitar Performance
Special Topics In Music

Interdisciplinary Courses
African-American Writers
Introduction to American Film
Creative Media I
Creative Media II
Foundations of Western Thought

Admissions Criteria

Students interested in applying to MSMS must be current high school sophomores and legal Mississippi residents. Students must also have at least 12 Carnaige units completed before they metriculate into their eleventh grade year. An ACT score is required; however, there is not a minimum score required for admission. Students must also have completed Geometry I and Biology I before attending MSMS, these classes can be completed via correspondence or Mississippi Virtual Classroom if a student's home high school does not offer these classes or if a student has yet to take either one. It is possible to be accepted without either of these classes, but they must be finished before actually attending MSMS.

The Application

The MSMS application can be found on the school's website at www.msms.k12.ms.us/.[2] The student has three options in completing the application: the student may print it out and complete it by hand, the student may complete a PDF of the application on a computer, print it and mail it in to the school or the student may complete the application entirely online.[3]
The application requires students to write two original essays, submit an academic resume, secure several recommendations from their teachers and submit a work sample. The deadline for applications for the class of 2013 is January 31, 2010.


In this section of the application students should list any achievements or awards they have received during their educational careers with specific weight directed toward awards in the fields of math and science. Students should also include information about any extracurricular activities, community involvement, special interests, talents or hobbies with which they are involved.


Two original essays are required to complete the application. The topics for the current application (graduating class of 2013) are:
1. Who is the person who has had the most significant impact on your life?
2. What factors are motivating you to apply to MSMS?
The essays are reviewed for both content and grammar.

Work Sample

Students must submit a work sample which displays their ability beyond the classroom. According to the application, “Your work sample may take a number of forms, such as an essay; a special project; a description of a project; a computer simulation; a video or audio production; or a description and/or pictures of an invention, craft, project, drawing, or painting. The work sent must be original, not copied, and work which you did, yourself. Since we cannot return the work sample, however, please keep a copy of your work. On this page, please explain why you chose this particular topic and why you believe your work sample demonstrates that you should be accepted. If a math or science connection is not clearly evident, please explain how your topic relates to those fields. A narrative is required for ALL work samples, regardless of topic.”


Recommendations for applicants must be obtained from each student’s high school counselor, math teacher, science teacher and from an additional teacher of the student’s choice.

Student activities

Clubs and organizations

Student Life at MSMS involves many different clubs in which students can get involved. Students are also offered the opportunity, if enough interest is shown, to organize their own club.

Mu Alpha Theta (MAΘ) is the school's math club and chapter of the national math honors society of the same name. The members of this club do ACT practice, participate in the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM), and compete in the statewide Mu Alpha Theta State Convention. MSMS has placed in the MAΘ Convention at least the past five years, earning 1st place in 2004 and 2005, 2nd place in 2006 and 2007, and 1st place again in 2008.

Beta Club is an academic honors society encouraging leadership, service, and academic excellence.

Fellowship of Christian Anybodies (FCA) is a Christian based organization. Taken from the nationally known Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the name has been changed to include anyone at MSMS because of the low number of athletes and to support the general spirit of not being exclusive.

The Chess Club is a group of the best chess players in the school. It competes annually in many competitions. In 2008 the chess club trashed the Columbus High School team, beating them 43-0.

Quiz Bowl is an academic team that participates in tournaments in the region. It is sponsored by Dr. Nancy MacNeill.

Numerous other clubs have come and gone, and it is a generally accepted tradition amongst students to found new clubs each year. In the past, such clubs have included fans of fencing, Anime, and writing/poetry.


Southern Voices is a literary magazine and contest orchestrated by the members of the Creative Writing class. All students at MSMS are invited to submit works of poetry, short story, essay, and all types of visual art. The commonly accepted works of art have a slant on the culture of the south.

The Vision is the school newspaper and the Innovator is the school yearbook.


Due to the constantly changing student body and more rigorous academic life, sports do not have the emphasis that is generally placed at a high school. However, many students still participate in sports and enjoy them. The following are a few of the organized sports teams: Basketball, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Judo, Cheerleading, and Dance Team. Of the sports, tennis is the most successful. The tennis team has a long tradition of excellence, and won its division title in 2008. MSMS's singles player placed #2 in the state, and the #1 doubles team won the state championship. The team is currently winless in division play for 2009. [4]


SLAMMT is an annual sports competition between other Math and Science Schools. The acronym, SLAMMT, represents the various schools participating in the competition, including the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts (ASMSA), Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing (MASMC), and the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS). The tournament generally includes matches of ultimate frisbee, basketball, soccer, tennis, table tennis, billiards, volleyball, golf, chess, and a duathlon.


One of MSMS's main goals is to provide educational opportunities to communities throughout Mississippi. Students, staff, and faculty at MSMS work together each year with MSMS's Partners in Progress to provide a number of resources for students and teachers throughout the state. These programs include an annual science carnival, teaching Spanish to elementary students throughout the state, and the CHAMPS Project.


Throughout the years, several prestigious awards have arisen from MSMS in memory of notable administrators, teachers, and students that have worked to cultivate education and equality throughout the world. Some of these very selective honors include: the MSMS Spirit Award, the Vel Anthony Award, the Chris Read Award for Fiction, the Shellie McKnight Music Leadership Award, the Abernathy Award, the Jack and Harweda Johnson Scholarship, the H. Butler Memorial History Award, the Carl H. Butler Community Service Award, and the Joseph A. Portera Leadership Award.

Annual events

MSMS has unique events that take place every year. They include:

The Ceremony of Lights is an induction for new juniors of MSMS in which a pledge is signed. This ritual is repeated at class reunions. This ceremony is one of the most serious for MSMS students and faculty, and requires "Sunday" dress.

Winter Formal is the annual winter dance, taking place sometime in December. A queen and king are crowned.

Tales from the Crypt is a multi-genre history project done by the Junior US History class of the same name. In the first half of the year, members of the class select a person buried in local historic Friendship Cemetery, built by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and research that person using primary document sources from the archives at Columbus-Lowndes County Library in Historic Downtown Columbus. In January, students write three- to five-minute monologues based on their research and audition in front of a panel of judges who, in the past, have been their classmates. Sixteen to eighteen people are selected to perform individually during the Tales event during Columbus's Spring Pilgrimage, and the other students work as guides, escorting audiences through the cemetery. Each year features a performance by "The Four Decoration Day Ladies", four women who gained fame by decorating the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. This action would later be known as Memorial Day. The project was originated by the late Mr. Carl Butler, and the class is taught by Mr. Chuck Yarborough. Each class chooses a public service in which to invest the proceeds from admission. [5]. The program was honored with the 2005 (MS) Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts - School Division and a national finalist for The History Channel's "Save Our History" Award[4] .

Prom, in April is held in typical Prom fashion. A Prom King, Queen, Prince, and Princess are crowned.

Recent Statistics

The MSMS Class of 2005 graduated May 27, 2005, with a total of 106 students. Most of the class of 2005 is attending college, the majority at institutions in the state, including the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and Millsaps College.

The MSMS Class of 2006 graduated on May 26, 2006, with a total of 114 students. The ceremony took place at 1:00pm at Humphrey Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi State University.

The average ACT composite score for the MSMS Class of 2009 was 28.[citation needed]

The average SAT Reasoning score for the MSMS Class of 2009 was 1925.[citation needed]

External links


  1. ^ Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Course Catalog 2011–2012
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". The Picayune Item. http://picayuneitem.com/local/x598331952/Local-student-performing-in-nationally-recognized-award-winning-cemetery-tour/print. 

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