Missouri Scholars Virtual Academy

June 13-25


Current Scholars

VIRTUAL msa: The Official Schedule

Week 1: June 13-18

Sunday, June 13 at 1:00pm Opening Ceremony https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/98866625858?pwd=aEMwbG95bUQyLzA0djNibTZvdzNjZz09
Monday, June 14 at 4:00pm Kevin Wanzer

Join Kevin Wanzer as we get the Academy of Zoom Blue and Rust off to a roaring start!

Tuesday, June 15 at 4:00pm Angela Speck: Professor of Astrophysics

With Dr. Angela Speck, the work IS rocket science.  Join Dr. Speck as she communicates with us about popular science, infrared astronomy, and the study of space dust.

Wednesday, June 16 at 4:00pm Rachel Miller: Holocaust Survivor

Rachel Miller regularly speaks to thousands of students at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center about being a hidden child during the Holocaust. Join us for her amazing history.

Thursday, June 17 at 4:00pm Maya Gibson: Anthem: Patriotism, Politics, Protest and the “Star-Spangled Banner

American popular music can have endless meanings, depending on the perspectives from which you approach it.  Learn and discuss with Maya Gibson.

Friday, June 18 at 4:00pm Documentary Day!

Netflix no longer allows for easy screen sharing/watch parties, so new plan: please watch the documentary 13th on Netflix on your own and then join Doug Valentine on Zoom (Friday at 4pm) to discuss the film. Topics will include historic and contemporary racial inequity in policing and incarceration, race and racism in the United States, as well as current political arguments involving social theories of racism and history curricula in public education.


Weekend Activities for June 19 & 20

Saturday, June 19 at 1:00pm D&D with Mike Kersulov

The fantasy role-playing sensation Dungeons and Dragons predates MSA by about a decade, but you can be sure it’s been a part of every Academy for over 30 years.  Whether a beginner OR a full-blown wizard, ranger or bard, you are welcome to come and play some D&D with the assistance of our own MSA rogue, Dr. Mike Kersulov.

1:00pm Law, Government, and Politics:  Checks and Balances

Prepare to engage with this panel discussion of MSA alumni who are courting current events and practicing the art of political science.  (Panelists:  Cort van Ostran, Nicholas Jain, Ayanna Shivers, and Fares Akremi)

1:00pm Why C# isn’t the same as Db, and other musical misconceptions

Join Missouri State’s Dr. Steve Senger for an ole fashioned romp through some of his passions:  the mayhem and mythologies of music and mathematics.

3:00pm Topics in Chemistry, with Dr. Steve Keller

Bunsen burners bluster under beakers; flasks of various liquids bubble and churn and smoke as the mad scientist toils with graduated cylinders and pipettes.  Just another day in the chemistry laboratory with Dr. Steve Keller.  Join us for some very reactive office hour demonstrations and discussions.

3:00pm ABCs of ASL

Interested in learning some basics of American Sign Language? Join MSA alumna Katherine Wortmann to get your sign on! We’ll be covering letters, numbers, colors, animals, activities, basic phrases, plus a quick Deaf culture discussion!

3:00pm Q&A with Kevin Wanzer. 

Join Kevin live and in person for a follow-up conversation.

Sunday, June 20 at 1:00pm D&D with Mike Kersulov

The fantasy role-playing sensation Dungeons and Dragons predates MSA by about a decade, but you can be sure it’s been a part of every Academy for over 30 years.  Whether a beginner OR a full-blown wizard, ranger or bard, you are welcome to come and play some D&D with the assistance of our own MSA rogue, Dr. Mike Kersulov.

1:00pm Dirty Laundry Artwork, with Dr. Jennifer Fisher

If you are feeling particularly artistic, creative, or crafty, then this is the experience for you!   No supplies are necessary (though you can bring anything you want), and artists of ALL ability levels are encouraged to join!  You’ll create some expressions with (literally) household items, you’ll talk about art with a first-rate artist/teacher, and you’ll be regaled with music and dad jokes.  It’s a win-win-win!

1:00pm Living and Working on the Moon: Apollo to Artemis and Beyond

Presented by Christine Nobbe, DESE Director of Gifted Education and NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador.  During the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.  We will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish sustainable exploration for the first time.  In this presentation, Christine will briefly review the highlights of Apollo 11, discuss the Artemis program, and lead participants to think about how we can live and work on the Moon, and why it is important.

3:00pm Authors & the Art of Writing

How do you write?  Neil Gaiman suggests, “This is how you do it:  you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done.  it’s that easy, and that hard.”  If you are interested in the craft and want to know more about writing, authoring, composing, publishing and more, this discussion panel of fiction and nonfiction writers is for you!  (Panelists:  Brian Katcher, Cole Gibsen, Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver)

3:00pm Math Problem Solving for Non-Mathematicians

Math problem solving for non-mathematicians is intended for scholars who want to work cooperatively with other scholars who do not compete in math competitions to practice some math problem solving strategies.  Everyone, however, is welcome.  Scholars will get a set of problems and a list of some strategies.  Participants will work in breakout rooms in groups on the problems and eventually get solutions to the problems.  Its sure to be fun and informative to math-out with the MSA O.G., Paul Rahmoeller.

Sign up by Friday at 5pm to receive files in advance: https://missouri.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4UEAoG5DZmUhu6y


Here’s the Zoom link: https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/97145247121?pwd=L1FQS0NEamdWRHNUeWJPbzRMMnk3Zz09

Week 2: June 21-25

Monday, June 21 at 4:00pm The Artistic Perspective of Ibiyinka Alao

Ibiyinka Alao is an artist, filmmaker, author, and arts ambassador with the United Nations.  One of his views on art is that, “It is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror.  Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.”  Come and enjoy the view out the window and into the world of Ibiyinka.

Tuesday, June 22 at 4:00pm The Midwest Innocence Project

Studies estimate that between 2% and 7% of all prisoners in the U.S. are innocent.  Come hear the story of one such former prisoner and learn how The Innocence Project fights for the justice we all deserve!

Wednesday, June 23 at 4:00pm Chris Holmes 

Missouri’s 2014 Teacher of the Year and veteran MSA faculty Chris Holmes takes us on a journey of discovery, with topics ranging from gifted education to motivation, and a lot of stops in between.

Thursday, June 24 at 4:00pm Dr. Beth Stewart 

Dr. Beth Stewart of the Oncology Department of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researches high risk pediatric solid tumors and other novel treatments.  See how she is making the world a better place by finding cures and saving children.

Friday, June 25 at 4:00pm Closing Ceremony https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/96101748295?pwd=MFo2WWdjaHg0MWpWRnp3aFl3emVmQT09

Other Details of the 2021 Virtual Academy

  • There will be a 2021 Discord Channel
  • You will receive an MSA T-shirt in the 2021 Academy colors: Zoom Blue & Rust!
  • You will take one class for two weeks: Monday-Friday June 14-25 either from 10am-12pm AND/OR from 1-3pm
  • There will be one big afternoon speaker each Monday-Friday at 4pm. These speakers will be drawn from our “best of the best” folks who visit the Academy every summer.
  • There will be afternoon activities from 1:00-4:30pm on the weekend: June 19-20

Virtual couRse list now available

The 2021 Virtual Academy Course List is now available!

You can view view courses, read faculty bios, and download a copy of the list on this page.

2021 Scholars have until April 9th to accept their MSA invitation and and complete the course preference survey.

2021 Scholar Fee

The scholar fee for the 2021 Virtual Academy is $250 per student*.

Fees can be paid by the scholar and their family or by their school district. If nominators indicated in their nominations that school districts would be willing to pay the fee, MSA will send invoices to them directly. Be sure to check with your school before sending in payment as they might already plan to send it on your behalf!

MSA accepts cash and checks. Sorry that we still live in the #StoneAge.

Scholar fees are due May 7th and should be sent to the following address:

Missouri Scholars Academy
University of Missouri
210 Lowry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

*Scholars who wish to take two classes during the 2021 Academy are expected to pay $500.

MSa merch store

Our online merch store will be processed once a month and items will be shipped out directly from our friends at Diggit Graphics.

Use the link below to get to the online store and fulfill all your MSA merch needs!


Want to keep up with the msa magic?

The Missouri Scholars Academy has 3 social media platforms, and we encourage you to check them out!