Last updated: July 17. 2013 5:55PM - 121 Views
Fred Pace
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Three local high school students represented their counties at the annual West Virginia Youth Science Camp (WVYSC) this summer. The two-week-long, all-expenses-paid, residential science honors program, held at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley integrated a broad science curriculum with art, music and traditional summer camp recreational activities.


Katelyn Clendenen of Danville, Katie Duty of Danville, and Isaac Collins of Davin were among 77 rising ninth and tenth grade scholars who participated in the WVYSC. Delegates exhibited leadership abilities, superior academic proficiency in science and math, and a willingness to explore various topics with peers from around the state.


Eminent visiting scientists presented lectures and hands-on directed studies to introduce delegates to a variety of scientific career options. Examples of this year’s lecture and directed study topics included: Gene Expression, Heat Shielding for Space Safety, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Model Rocketry, Ink-Jet Technology, Failures in Engineering Systems, Digital Forensics, and the Physics and Technology of Artificial Lighting. Clendenen remarked, “This camp has expanded my knowledge and helped me understand things that aren’t taught in school. I have learned so much about science and people.”


West Virginia students were not only challenged academically, but also had opportunities to participate in an outdoor adventure program of mountain biking and hiking. In addition, delegates chose daily from an array of afternoon seminars that included, among other things: stream hikes, tie dying, ballroom dancing, intro to spanish, fly-tying and engineering design challenges. It was through these collaborative interactions that delegates grew as individuals and established lasting friendships. “During my time at WVYSC, I’ve experienced many different things that I would not have otherwise experienced and it’s shown me more about the career paths I can take,” said Collins.


The West Virginia Youth Science Camp was made possible through a partnership between the West Virginia Department of Education and the National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF). Through long-range planning and fundraising, the National Youth Science Foundation, a nonprofit organization, conducts comprehensive informal science education programs to honor, sustain, and encourage youth interest and excellence in science. These premier science programs provide opportunity for constructive interaction with peers and visiting scientists and emphasize the social value of thoughtful scientific careers.


Additional quotes from WVYSC delegates are provided below. For a high-resolution photo suitable for publication, please click on the image below. For more information, please see the Additional Links section of this page (below).


Full Set of WVYSC Delegate Quotes


“This camp has expanded my knowledge and helped me understand things that aren’t taught in school. I have learned so much about science and people.”


“This camp has made me a lot less shy, and has given me lifelong friends.”


Katie Duty of Danville:


“The directed studies have influenced my future career because I found that ultrasound anomalies in medical imaging sounded like a field I would be interested in pursuing.”


“WVYSC has made me really think and I’ve made wonderful friends who I plan to stay in touch with.”


Isaac Collins of Davin:


“During my time at WVYSC, I experienced many different things that I would not have otherwise experienced and have shown me more about the career paths I can take.”


“The directed studies have shown me what I really enjoy doing.”


Also, two local high school students attended the annual West Virginia Governor’s School for Mathematics and Science (WV GSMS) this summer. The two-week-long, all-expenses-paid, residential science honors program, held at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, located in Green Bank, WV utilized the field of radio astronomy to educate and encourage students to further explore careers in STEM fields.


Lasya Pidaparthi of Chapmanville and Jordan Wheatley of Madison were among 57 rising ninth grade scholars who participated in the WV GSMS. Students exhibited leadership abilities, superior academic proficiency in science and math, and a willingness to explore various topics with peers from around the state, and were selected for their excellence in these areas.


The WV GSMS harnesses the unique facilities available at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to drive inquiry-based learning for small groups of 5-6 students, a teacher, and a student mentor. These teams work throughout their stay at Green Bank to produce a research project and present their findings to their peers and the observatory’s residential astronomers. Students employed the 40-foot radio telescope to make observations during their stay to investigate astronomical subjects as diverse as mapping distant galaxies to tracking hydrogen as it moves through our own sky.


Local astronomers mentored each team, providing their expertise in not only the research process, but also through a series of talks provided by observatory staff. This lecture series included such subjects as the interaction of galaxies, star formation, and astrochemistry. These talks also included information about the functional operation of the 40-foot telescope, giving students the proficiency to operate the instrumentation that would drive their research projects (the WV GSMS’s focus on inquiry-based learning emphasizes students taking a hands-on approach – the students provided not only the path of their research, but also directed the telescopes, took their own observations, and interpreted their own data).


West Virginia students were not only challenged academically, but also had opportunities to participate in an outdoor adventure program of mountain biking, hiking and caving. In addition, delegates chose daily from an array of afternoon seminars that included, among other things: introductions to foreign cultures (Middle East, Nepal, and Germany), ballroom dancing, improv comedy, bracelet making, “Thriller” dancing and more. It was through these collaborative interactions that students grew personally and established lasting friendships.


The West Virginia Governor’s School for Mathematics and Science is made possible through a partnership between the WV Department of Education and the Arts, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF). NRAO and NYSF have long histories of offering comprehensive informal science education programs in unique environments to encourage, sustain, and honor youth interest and excellence in science. These premier science programs foster constructive relationships among students, staff, and contributing scientists and emphasize the social value of scientific understanding.


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