Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does it cost anything to attend GSI?

  • A: The GSI is provided at no cost to students and their families with the exception of providing health insurance and transportation to and from GSI. The program is funded by the Legislature at the request of the Governor. 
Q: If I am selected, where will I stay during the GSI?

  • Students attending GSI for 7th (rising 8th) graders at WVU will be housed in the Honors Hall residence hall, a 91,600 square-foot facility on the Downtown campus. It is located between First and Second Streets and Grant and McLane Avenues.
  • Honors Hall has five floors, each with study rooms and TV lounges. Students live in suites, (genders are separated by floors) which are two double rooms connected by a shared bathroom. A courtyard, library, lounges, study rooms, laundry room, and other amenities enhance the facility. The Main Desk in Honors Hall will be staffed 24 hours a day seven days a week. All exterior doors, excluding the main entrance, will remain locked 24/7. Department of Public Safety Officers rove the campus frequently and are available 24/7. Three meals daily are served in Summit Hall, which is just across the street from Honors Hall. Students are separated by gender and the mentor groups for the dorm are also separated and supervised according to gender.
  • Students attending GSI for 8th (rising ninth) graders at the Green Observatory will be housed in a modern bunkhouse that contains a male and female bunkroom each with 30 beds. Chaperone rooms are connected to each bunkroom. Chaperones are the mentors who work with the students and their teachers daily. Faculty will stay in the adjacent residence hall, and meals will be served in the Observatory cafeteria.

Q: Will students go home over the weekend?

  • The STEM Institutes have classes, activities, and/or travel scheduled on weekend days. Parents will deliver you to campus at WVU
     or Green Bank Observatory and then pick you up on the final day.  The students who are selected to attend will receive extensive information about the procedures for both arrival and pickup.
Q: How will my child be supervised?
  • When students are not in class and anytime they are not in the residence hall they will be supervised by resident assistance or mentors. These mentors have completed at least two years of college and have small groups of students to oversee.  For example, when they go to class, they walk with their mentor. The mentors at WVU live on the same floor with their students and are readily available. At Green Bank, the mentors' rooms are part of the bunkhouse and connected to the student rooms. 

Q: If I discover that I need to miss GSI for a day to participate in another school-related activity, can I have a leave of absence?

  • A: No, you may not. The compressed schedule makes missing a day of instruction impossible. You will be a member of a research team, so your commitment to the GSI and your team requires your full-time participation.

Q: I am in the school band. May I miss GSI activities for a couple of hours each day to attend band practice?

  • A: You may not.  Students are to be in attendance at the GSI for the entire time.

Q: My sister is getting married.  May I miss GSI a day to take part in the festivities?

  • A: Again, you may not. If you know of an important event that is scheduled during the GSI, you must make a choice before agreeing to attend. On the other hand, there are no weekend classes, so that may not be an issue.

Q: May my parents visit during the GSI?

  • A: No. The GSI is designed as a parent-free experience so that you can be totally focused on all activities planned for you.

Q: Will I be able to leave the campus for any reason?

  • A: You will leave campus only for official GSI outings and verified emergencies.

Q: If I get homesick, will I be allowed to go home?

  • A: A bit of homesickness is not unusual.  Please keep in mind, however, that your selection to attend the GSI was very competitive, and if you choose to not complete the session, you will have prevented another student from attending.  If a student leaves the GSI before completing the program, the student’s principal and superintendent will be notified.  Furthermore, the student shall not make reference to being selected to attend the GSI on further applications or resumes.

Q:  What is the policy for cell phones?

  • A: Cell phones are only allowed on field trips and in student rooms or if an instructor asks that they be used for research during class. Otherwise, they may be used during evening hours, but not during daytime activities. At the Green Bank facility, there is no cell coverage, so it is a moot point.

Q: Will I be given time to attend church?

  • A: The weekend that you’ll be at GSI is considered part of GSI, so there will not be time for you to attend a formal worship service. You should plan for private devotion time.
Q: I attend a private school.  Will my application be submitted directly to Charleston?
  • No. Private schools submit their applications to the county coordinator within the same county where the school is located. Someone at the school should call the county office if they have not heard anything about the due date by March 1.

Q: What if my child gets injured or becomes ill? Is there a nurse on duty?

  • If students should require medical attention, the WVU Student Health Service is open 7:45am – 8:00pm on weekdays. At other times, emergency medical facilities are available at Ruby Memorial Hospital or local emergency care centers. Please alert the Governor’s School staff of any medicine or food allergies or special medical problems so that we may make the proper accommodations. Refrigerators are available for medicines that must be kept cold. Parents must provide a photocopy of the student’s health care card.
  • Specifics about arrangements for health care at Green Bank Observatory will be published at a later date.

All students invited to attend GSI will receive a handbook that should cover any other questions.