CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kelsey Burke of Holden, a student at John Baptist Memorial High School in Bangor, represented Maine as a delegate to the 2013 National Youth Science Camp®.
Burke joined 121 other top high school graduates representing the United States and nine other countries at the prestigious four-week program, now in its 50th year. The NYSC, located in the beautiful and rustic setting of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, integrates scientific programming with opportunities for delegates to explore music, art, and the outdoors.
Each year, delegates are able to attend lectures and directed studies led by top scientists and professors from all over the country. This year’s lecture topics included: cancer research, genomic medicine, radio astronomy, and energy sustainability. Throughout camp, the directed study program allowed delegates to have extensive hands-on experience in specific fields that interest the delegates individually. Delegates had the opportunity to dissect a pig’s heart, discuss bioethics, construct robots, and study cybersecurity measures.
In addition to learning about groundbreaking scientific research, delegates explored their natural surroundings through an extensive outdoor program consisting of hiking, caving, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The overnight backpacking trips provided delegates an opportunity to bond and appreciate the simplicity of nature. Delegates also chose from seminars ranging from Ultimate Frisbee and swing dancing to discussions of philosophy, travel, religion, and culture.
Burke said, “My favorite lecture was by Dr. Julie Robinson about the international space station. I really liked learning about the interdisciplinary work and research being done there. I had not realized how beneficial that laboratory is for so many different research groups.”
Burke also included, “My favorite part of camp was watching how excited the presenters got about what they were teaching. It was amazing how interesting lectures could be when the presenter truly loves what they are teaching.”
Burke’s college plans are undecided according to the NYSC website, but she is interested in possibly engineering prosthetics.
The National Youth Science Camp is operated by the National Youth Science Foundation. For more information, please visit www.nysf.com.