CHARLESTON, WV – The 2013 session of the National Youth Science Camp began on June 26 as delegates arrived at Charleston’s Yeager Airport. While some delegates completed the last legs of their travel, others attended the 5th Annual Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture presented by Dr. Paul Miller (Wyoming 1987). At the conclusion of the lecture, delegates were hosted by families in their local homes. On Thursday, June 27, delegates gathered at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston for tour of research facilities operated by MATRIC and others. At 1:00 PM, the delegation boarded sleek ‘n shiny buses for the 3 hour ride to Camp Pocahontas near Bartow, WV.
CHARLESTON, WV – Dr. Paul Miller, physics professor at West Virginia University, was the featured speaker at the Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture of the 2013 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). Dr. Miller presented his lecture (embeded below) at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences – West Virginia in Charleston.
The NYSC is a summer science honors program for two high-achieving high school students from each state in the nation and others from around the world. This experience is held in a rustic setting at Camp Pocahontas in West Virginia’s eastern mountains. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the camp, which has honored and challenged approximately 5,000 participants since its inception in 1963. This year’s delegates will spend the next month studying with prestigious scientists in a variety of fields from throughout the world. Before the delegates leave Charleston and head to camp, they will also have the opportunity to tour the laboratories of the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research, & Innovation Center (MATRIC) as well as tour the science labs in Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College.
“We have 122 delegates, 26 international from 9 different countries. We have almost every single state represented. The neat part of the opening lecture is it’s the first real introduction to both camp and to West Virginia,” said Desiree Henriksen, director of the NYSC.
Miller’s lecture addressed the impact of science and technology on everyday life. Specifically, he focused on how technology, medicine, and gadgets are often used freely without much thought to the scientific fundamentals that govern how these gadgets work. His lecture also served as a welcome to the delegates of the 2013 National Youth Science Camp and an invitation to explore everything science has to offer.
Miller was Camp Director of the NYSC from 1997 – 2001 so “he’ll be a great introduction to all of the unique experiences,” Henriksen says. “He’ll get the [delegates] to get the most out of the experience because he truly knows what camp is all about.”
Miller teaches introductory physics for engineers and elementary education majors and organizes the WVU Learning Assistants programs. He is interested in education and outreach efforts through the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics. In addition to obtaining his doctoral degree in physics at West Virginia University, he has also had extensive experience teaching physics to high school students throughout the country.
CHARLESTON, WV – The 2013 session of the National Youth Science Camp starts today as delegates arrive at Charleston’s Yeager Airport and begin their nearly month-long experience with science enrichment. The students, two from each state in the United States and international delegates from nine countries, will study with preeminent scientists from around the world, who will discuss current topics in science and other disciplines and have ample opportunity for informal interaction with students attending the NYSC.
The program is held at Camp Pocahontas in Pocahontas County. In addition to STEM lectures and directed studies, delegates will participant in back-packing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and kayaking, and other outdoor adventures.
This is the NYSC’s 50th anniversary; it has challenged and honored over 5,000 participants since its inception. The program was started in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s Centennial. It was operated by the State of West Virginia without private funding until 1983. At that time, the National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF) was formed to plan, raise financial support for, and oversee the operation of the NYSC. The NYSC has been cited by alumni who are now leaders in science and tech as having made a major impact on their careers.
The first official event of the 2013 NYSC will be the Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture at 7:30 tonight in The Walker Theater at The Clay Center. Featured speaker, Dr. Paul Miller, former delegate and director of NYSC and current physics professor at WVU, will address the impact of science and technology on everyday life. Specifically, he will focus on how technology, medicine, and gadgets are often used freely without much thought to the scientific fundamentals that govern how these gadgets work. His lecture will also serve as a welcome to the delegates of the 2013 National Youth Science Camp and an invitation to explore everything science has to offer.
Before the delegates leave Charleston and head to camp, they will also have the opportunity to tour the laboratories of the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research, & Innovation Center (MATRIC) as well as tour the science labs in Kanawha Valley Community Technical College.
CHARLESTON, WV — On the occasion of the National Youth Science Camp 50th Anniversary, states, DC, and countries are offering congratulations. Created as a program on West Virginia’s Centennial Celebration in 1963, the NYSC is one of only a few programs that is still in operation today.
BRAZIL – During their pre-departure orientation at the United States Embassy in Brazil, the two delegates to the 2013 National Youth Science Camp met with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden. The National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education program for young scientists the summer after they graduate from high school. Students representing each state, Washington, DC, and countries around the world are challenged academically in exciting lectures and hands-on studies, and have voluntary opportunities to participate in an outdoor adventure program, gain a new and deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and establish friendships that last a lifetime. All participants attend free of charge.
Brazilian delegates Ana Ribeiro da Costa (left) and Manoela Reis (right) meet with Dr. Jill Biden (center)
Vice President Joe Biden meets with the Brazilian delegates to the 2013 National Youth Science Camp and a group of Brazilian Youth Ambassadors.
“Now, more than ever, our world depends on science. Yet in schools, we tend to do a poor job teaching science in a way that truly conveys its basic nature and fundamental importance. While people are happy to use gadgets and medicines that would not exist without science, few understand how completely science has changed our world,” Miller said. “I will talk about how science has changed, what we know about how people learn science, and encourage delegates, as opportunity arises, to share what they know with others.”
Dr. Miller teaches physics at West Virginia University. His interests include physics education, informal science education, and plasma physics. He specializes in the teaching of introductory physics for engineers and for elementary education majors, and he is the director of the WVU Learning Assistants program. He is a former director of the National Youth Science Camp and is currently involved with the education and outreach effort of the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics. Dr. Miller received his BS in physics at the University of Wyoming, where he also completed a BA in secondary science education. He received his MS in physics from the University of Michigan. Dr. Miller taught in high schools in Oregon, Maryland, and West Virginia before returning to physics to complete his PhD at WVU.
Dr. Ed Chan, 1978 delegate to NYSC from Colorado and physician at Denver VAMC, National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will lecture on the risk factors for non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease at 8 p.m., June 29 and NYSC. NTM are environmental bacteria commonly found in the environment.
In more informal discussions, Dr. Chan will talk about how cigarette smoke predisposes to tuberculosis (TB). “The overlap between cigarette smoke exposure and TV exposure is vast and may contribute to the large number of TB cases seen in the world,” Dr. Chan explained.
“I am eager to share my interests and work and get the thoughts of bright, young minds!” Chan said.
Dr. Mike Elsbury To Unlock Mysteries of Aether In Directed Study on Radio Frequency Engineering
Dr. Mike Elsbury, 1999 delegate to NYSC from Idaho and currently a senior electrical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, will present a directed study at NYSC July-8-10 entitled, “Unlocking the Mysteries of the Aether: Radio Frequency Engineering.”
During the directed study, delegates will explore major concepts of electromagnetic waves and propagation as they study the history of the field, from Maxwell’s equations through modern communications technology. They will then build and test their own FM transmitters similar to a music player adapter for a car stereo.
Elsbury recalled a unit leader during his camp experience telling him, “Success is not measured in taking adolescents who are lost and putting them on a straight and narrow path of drive and desire; true success is taking young adults who are blinded by a singular path and instilling in them such broad and varied interests that they leav here with no idea what they will do or where they will go, only that they will excel in accomplishing many, many great things.”
Dr. Rick Walker, 1964 delegate to NYSC from Ohio, will present, “Why We Will Never Find a Cure for Cancer and Why We Do Not Want To” at 9:15 a.m., June 30 at NYSC.
As a retired breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Walker hopes to share his 40-year experience in both a formal lecture and through many informal discussions. “I will attempt to give delegates a glimpse unto cancer genetics, genetic profiling, cancer immunology and philosophy of care,” he said.
Dr. Walker has been lecturing continuously at NYSC for 36 years. He is currently a part-time member faculty member in Biology at Hartford Community College in Bel Air, MD.