Black Belt high school students explore national treasures

MONTGOMERY, AL - Thirty-two Black Belt high school students from undeserved communities in Lowndes, Macon, Russell, Lee and Montgomery counties are heading out to explore some of the nation's top historic landmarks, guided by professors from Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery.

As part of the Knowledge and Excellence in Mathematics, Equilibrium and Technology (KEMET) program, local high school students will collect data and complete assignments at the following national treasures: Dray ton Hall and Fort Saunter in Charleston, S. C.; Historic Williams burg in Jamestown, VA.; Constitution Center, Constitution Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pa.; Capitol Hill, Museum of American History, Museum of the American Indian and possibly the White House in Washington, D.C.; Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD.; and the Cherokee Museum and Mooncalf Indian Village in Cherokee, N. C.

"These sites represent the knowledge they must have for the social studies portion of their Alabama High School Graduation Exam," said Davis-Maye, AUM sociology professor. "We believe that this content will come alive for our scholars and be reflected in their achievement on their exit exam, future post-secondary studies and their understanding of their civic responsibilities in their home communities."

KEMET was established in 2004 by Auburn and Auburn Montgomery professors representing diverse disciplines including engineering, social work, English, mathematics, visual arts and education. Their goal is to improve academic success in communities where the high school dropout rate is higher than the number of students attending college.

The program is funded by the Auburn Office of the Vice President of Outreach, Auburn University at Montgomery Department of Sociology, Senator Hank Sanders, Blondes County Board of Education and Sisters of the Academy, Inc.