This is an unprecedented unique opportunity for our National Youth Science Foundation! The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has invited the NYSF to submit a proposal to assume ownership of the facilities of the Canaan Valley Institute near Davis, Tucker County, West Virginia; the NYSF must simply show that it has the financial means to maintain and operate the facilities for the long-term. The STEM Education Center would become the centerpiece of the NYSF’s future campus, the National Center for Youth Science Education (NCYSE). NCYSE is the planned future permanent home of the National Youth Science Camp and additional programs.

We need your enthusiastic support NOW in order to make this dream a reality!

Constructed in 2009 by CVI with $18,000,000 in funding from NOAA, CVI’s campus consists of 2 buildings on 37 acres; the Research and Education building is LEED-certified (Silver level).

  • Main Facility Size: approximately 25,000 sq. feet, with 120 person conference space which may be divided into three smaller rooms seating 40 people each.
  • Computer Lab: equipped with 39 computer stations, specifically designed for teaching computer-based classes.
  • Teaching Lab: accomodates 17 students; designed to serve a variety of instructional needs including equipment designed to simulate river and floodplain processes.
  • Research Lab: accomodates up to 4 independent researchers, with standard equipment and supplies for conducting environmental studies.

For more information and photographs: STEM Education Center

NOAA’s request for proposal requires that the NYSF present a financial plan that provides for operation and maintenance for the long-term. The NYSF needs to secure pledges totaling $150,000 for each of the next 5 years to qualify for this unique opportunity.

Please Pledge Your Support Today!

jm3 portraitJanuary 24, 2015 – Davis, West Virginia

United States Senator Joe Manchin will tour the Canaan Valley Institute and host a roundtable discussion with community leaders on the potential transfer of the facility to the National Youth Science Foundation. Senator Manchin will highlight the importance of STEM education across West Virginia and the country.

Location: Canaan Valley Institute, 494 RiverStone Road, Davis, WV

Time: 9:30 AM (tour), 10:00 AM (roundtable)

Resource Material: STEM Education Center a Path to the Future

Press Coverage:

Canaan Valley Institute

Canaan Valley Institute

The National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF) has been notified that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior will not pursue an opportunity to acquire the facilities of the Canaan Valley Institute near Davis, West Virginia. As a result, the NYSF will work closely with the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent of Schools, and other important stakeholders to advance STEM education in West Virginia. Leveraging its half century of experience with the National Youth Science Camp and with appropriate state and private support, the NYSF is anxious to work with representatives of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and CVI to insure that the facilities of CVI are preserved in support of STEM education.

We greatly appreciate the enthusiastic support from the Tucker County Community and especially the help of Senator Manchin, Senator Capito, Congressman McKinley, Governor Tomblin, the Tucker County Commission (Lowell Moore, Diane Hinkle, and Patrick Darlington), and Town of Davis (Mayor Joe Drenning and town council). Additionally, we greatly appreciate the great care and concern shown by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as they thoughtfully reflected on public comment as they considered their decision.

Bill Conner, NYSC 2013 Alumnus of the Year

The 2013 National Youth Science Camp Alumnus of the Year has a new venture to apply his talents and experience. Bill Conner, 1977 NYSC Delegate from Arkansas and NYSC 2013 Alumnus of the Year has a new global role as CEO of Silent Circle. Conner, the former Entrust CEO, Nortel President also joins the Board of Directors of Silent Circle and Blackphone.

GENEVA, Jan. 5, 2015 – Silent Circle today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed F. William “Bill” Conner as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. As CEO of Silent Circle, Conner also joins the Board of Directors of Blackphone.

Conner is one of the most experienced security, telecom and infrastructure executives having served more than 30 years in the industries. Before joining Silent Circle, Conner served as the founder and CEO of FWC Consulting where he helped organizations leverage his expertise in cybersecurity, SaaS, data networks, M&A, marketing and sales.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have someone of Bill’s pedigree join us,” said Mike Janke, Silent Circle co-founder, who will now assume the position of Chairman of the Board. “Bill brings a wealth of experience and has been a vanguard of three of the Digital Information Age’s most transformational technology shifts, having led key divisions at AT&T, taken Nortel into data with the acquisition of Bay Networks which was critical to repositioning the company in the industry and worked to secure digital identities with Entrust. Bill is the perfect CEO to lead us during this time of massive revenue, personnel and product growth, as we transition from a start-up to a global corporation with operations and employees all over the world.”

“Silent Circle is experiencing unprecedented levels of growth, in particular through the privacy-first Blackphone,” said Ross Perot Jr., the chairman of The Perot Companies and an investor in Silent Circle. “Bill’s appointment brings significant leadership, business acumen and experience across all of the industries that converge within Silent Circle – data, carrier and security. He is well positioned to guide the company through its next, exciting chapter.”

“Silent Circle has brought tremendous disruption to the mobile industry and created a dominant line of secure enterprise and consumer communications products that are challenging the status quo,” said Sir Peter Bonfield, former CEO and Chairman of the executive committee of British Telecom and who serves on the Silent Circle Board of Advisors.

“I am honored and excited to be asked to lead Silent Circle and join the Board of Directors for Silent Circle and Blackphone, ” said Bill Conner, Silent Circle CEO. “As the reality of the digital revolution takes place, digital privacy and security have become the number one priority for today’s enterprises, consumers and governments. Silent Circle and Blackphone have squarely positioned themselves as the leader in the digital vortex of privacy, security and communications.”

About F. William “Bill” Conner

Prior to founding FWC Consulting, Conner served as the President and CEO of Entrust for over 12 years. During that time, he led the innovation, creation and delivery of innovative software security products to help public and private organizations thwart advanced threats and securely enable business. The company served 5,000 organizations in 85 countries, and developed over half the world’s electronic passports. During his 10 years at Nortel, he served as the President, Enterprise Networks and e-Business Solutions; Chief Marketing Officer; President of Enterprise Data Networks, and served in various other leadership positions. Prior to Nortel, he held executive positions within AT&T.

He also personally sponsored the 2014 NYSC U.S. Senate Luncheon and was recognized as one of the top 100 Advisors to the United States Senate: Bill Conner Sponsors 2014 Senate Luncheon

About Silent CircleSilent Circle Logo

Silent Circle is a global private communications service headquartered in Switzerland, providing a revolutionary device to device platform enabling private and secure communications via voice, video, text and file transfer on mobile devices. Silent Circle was co-founded by Mike Janke, former Navy SEAL and security expert; Phil Zimmermann, the world famous creator of internet encryption for voice and data and 2012 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame; and Jon Callas, creator of Apple’s whole disk encryption and co-founder of PGP Corporation. For more on Silent Circle, go to:

For More Information
+44 (0) 203 003 6541

SOURCE Silent Circle


As many of you know, National Youth Science Camp delegates since 1963 have been selected by a process initiated by their State Governor. This happens at the invitation of the Governor of the Great State of West Virginia. Governor Arch Moore, Jr., served as the 28th and 30th Governor of West Virginia issuing those invitations during his years in office. Below representatives of the National Youth Science Camp honor Governor Moore for his service and support of the program.

Honoring Arch Moore JPEG

For more coverage see:

Important Links

National Center for Youth Science Education

In the 1980s, the National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF) committed to a bold plan to construct a National Center for Youth Science Education (NCYSE). The NCYSE will allow the NYSF to expand and improve its programs and become a focal point that encourages and inspires youth to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

In 2009, after a decade-long search, the NYSF purchased 111 acres alongside the Blackwater River near Davis from the Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) to serve as the future home of the NCYSE. This purchase agreement included assurances from CVI that the NYSF would have first-right of use of CVI facilities in the event that they became available and required important action by the NYSF set forth below. This agreement was a key facet in planning the future facility.

In 2010 the NYSF published its NCYSE Master Plan that called for the construction of critical spaces in support of the NYSF’s flagship program, the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) and other, new STEM-focused programs. See to review this master plan.

Entry to the NCYSE

Entry to the National Center for Youth Science Education

Disposition of the CVI Facilities

In 2009, with funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CVI completed construction of two buildings: the Research and Education Center and the Research Support Building.

Recently, CVI advised NOAA that financial pressure and limited business options required CVI to be relieved of its responsibilities in operating and maintaining these buildings and property. Based on the standing agreement with CVI, the NYSF immediately petitioned NOAA requesting that the NYSF be selected as the steward of this important education facility so that the NYSF could advance its plans to develop STEM education programs as a critical step towards the National Center for Youth Science Education.

While NOAA acknowledged in 2009 the NYSF’s right to use by virtue of its agreement with CVI, NOAA has provided the United States Fish and Wildlife Service the first opportunity to the CVI facilities.

Canaan Valley Institute

Canaan Valley Institute

STEM Education Center

Consistent with the NYSF’s long-term objective to develop the NCYSE on  its property adjacent to CVI, the NYSF would transform CVI’s research and education facilities into the STEM Education Center. Located within a ten-minute walk from the NYSF’s planned NCYSE, the STEM Education Center would accelerate the NYSF’s move to Tucker County and permit the NYSF to operate STEM education programs there as soon as 2016.

Programs and Plans

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), science and mathematics education achievement in West Virginia continues to lag far behind that of the nation as a whole. In grade 8, students in West Virginia scored lower than those in 44 states in mathematics and lower than 29 states in science.

According to Change the Equation (CTEq), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving teaching and learning in STEM, West Virginia must raise the acceptable achievement standards in mathematics and science, improve teacher preparation and support, and expand participation in rigorous courses in mathematics and science. Through its flagship National Youth Science Camp program and other innovative STEM experiences, the STEM Education Center would serve thousands of students each year.

The NYSF has extensive experience in operating STEM education programs in West Virginia, including:

Over its more than 50-year history, approximately 6,000 students have participated in NYSF programs, including:

  • Marissa Mayer (Wisconsin 1993) – President and CEO of Yahoo!
  • Wes Bush (West Virginia 1979) – CEO and President Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • David Thompson (South Carolina 1972) – Chairman, President, and CEO of Orbital Sciences
Students at the National Youth Science Camp in 2012

Students at the National Youth Science Camp in 2012

The NYSF expects to develop financial support through public and private initiatives to complete the necessary improvements at CVI and the NCYSE. The NYSF expects that the STEM Education Center would be recognized as a Regional Network Hub in the West Virginia STEM Network as proposed by the Governor’s STEM Council and endorsed by West Virginia’s State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano.

According to the Governor’s STEM Council Report, “The goal of a HUB is to amplify and accelerate the impact of existing STEM programs within a particular region. It is designed to support STEM programs and schools, increase the ability of existing STEM assets to generate regional impact, grow linkages between and support of existing STEM assets in a region, identify gaps in the system, and connect other STEM initiatives to that region’s STEM efforts.”

Youth Science Discovery Experience

Initiated in 2010 with financial support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Youth Science Discovery Experience (YSDE) is a STEM project based learning (PBL) program. Proven to enrich and complement traditional education, the YSDE bridges the gap between the classroom and the professional laboratory. the YSDE teams small groups of students with STEM professionals in an engaging and creative environment where students are free to explore and learn with expert guidance.

YSDE Students work at the Canaan Valley Institute

YSDE Students work at the Canaan Valley Institute

While in residence at the STEM Education Center, YSDE students would conduct research in STEM fields guided by mentoring professionals.  Research topics vary and have recently included biology, clean-coal technology, energy management, engineering, forestry, hydrology, and physiology.

At the conclusion of each ten-day session of the YSDE, research teams present their findings to peers, faculty, staff, and guests in an academic colloquium that reinforces the need for ongoing research and exploration. Teams keep online research logs and present their results in posters on the YSDE website. The primary research focus of the YSDE is complemented with guest lectures, whole-group problem-solving activities, and informal seminars. The YSDE also leverages local scenic areas for outdoor adventure activities,  including mountain biking, snowshoeing, hiking, and camping.

YSDE Students participate in a seminar on rockets.

YSDE Students participate in a seminar on rockets.

With full access to the CVI facilities, the NYSF would expand the YSDE to serve 21 cohorts of 40 students each allowing 840 West Virginia students annually to participate in this exciting STEM education program. Operating a program of this magnitude requires public support and funding. In 2014, the State Superintendent of Schools, included a request to support the YSDE in the West Virginia Department of Education’s budget proposal. While it was not funded, there is recognition that the YSDE can provide valuable assistance to the State of West Virginia as they work to meet important and national standards in science and mathematics education.

Economic Impact

The NYSF envisions two stages of development in Tucker County.

Stage One Milestones (completed by 2016)

CVI facilities would be transformed into the STEM Education Center and enhanced to annually support the National Youth Science Camp, one or two other summer programs, and additional activities throughout the year.

  • Securing sufficient funds (approximately $2,000,000) to complete renovations and and construction.
  • Construction of robust, temporary, seasonal housing (capacity 200).
  • Renovating or constructing sufficient sanitary services.
  • Enhancing food service capability to provide 200 meals, 3 times per day.
  • Reconfiguring CVI office space to provide education space during the summer and indoor housing for as many as 40 students during the winter.
  • Designating the STEM Education Center as a Hub in the West Virginia STEM Network as proposed by the Governor’s STEM Council.

Impact of Stage One

  • Annually serve approximately 1,000 students.
  • Create 40 seasonal jobs.
  • Create 10 to 20 year-round jobs ranging from the service sector (food service, maintenance, etc.) to professional. Some of these positions would be filled by current Tucker County residents.

Stage Two Milestones (2016 – 2020)

Remaining facilities would be constructed.

  • Securing sufficient funds (approximately $30,000,000) to complete NCYSE improvements and construction of facilities.
  • Extending utilities to the NYSF property on the south side of the Blackwater River.
  • Construction of permanent, four season facilities including the dining hall; student, staff, and guest housing; and other improvements identified in the NCYSE Master Plan (

Impact of Stage Two

  • Annually serve as many as 3,500 students.
  • Sustain 40 seasonal jobs and create 10 to 20 new year-round jobs.


NYSF facilities and programs will have a lasting and expanding positive economic impact on the Tucker County community. The NYSF has operated sessions of the Youth Science Discovery Experience at the Canaan Valley Institute. As the NYSF’s presence grows, so will the economic impact – both through employment opportunities and services.

Potential Adverse Consequences

If the NYSF is not allowed full access to the CVI facilities:

  • Development of the NCYSE will be significantly delayed and potentially jeopardized.
  • It will be necessary to fully fund, develop, and construct the NCYSE before moving NYSF programs to Tucker County.
  • Concerns remain over potential access to utility extensions (currently available on CVI property) as well as access to NYSF property via CVI roads that connect to WV Route 93 (Corridor H).

Important Contact Information

Tucker County Commission
211 First Street, Suite 307, Parsons, WV 26287
(304) 478-2866 ext. 207; Fax (304) 478-2446
E-mail: Joel Goughnour,

Dr. Kathyrn D. Sullivan
Administrator, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 5128, Washington, DC 20230
Twitter: @NOAA

Mr. Edward C. Horton
Chief Administrative Officer
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Secretary Sally Jewell
United States Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240
Twitter: @SecretaryJewell

Honorable Jay Rockefeller
United States Senate
531 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-6472; Fax (202) 224-7665

Honorable Joe Manchin III
United States Senate
306 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3954; Fax (202) 228-0002

Honorable Shelly Moore Capito
United States House of Representatives
2366 Rayburn H.O.B., Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-2711; Fax (202) 225-7856

Honorable David McKinley
United States House of Representatives
412 Cannon H.O.B., Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4172; Fax (202) 225-7564

Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin
Office of the Governor of West Virginia
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-2000 or (888) 438-2731

Dr. Michael J. Martirano
State Superintendent of Schools
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-2681
Twitter: @mjmsuper

Ronald G. Pearson
Chairman, Board of Trustees
National Youth Science Foundation
P.O. Box 1065, Charleston, WV 25324

Dr. Andrew N. Blackwood
Executive Director, National Youth Science Foundation
P.O. Box 3387, Charleston, WV 25333-3387
(304) 205-9724

When: 6 PM – 8 PM, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Where: Davis Volunteer Fire Department, 610 William Avenue, Davis, WV

Purpose: To allow public comment on proposals by the National Youth Science Foundation and the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge to the potential transfer of the Canaan Valley Institute property (2 buildings and 37 acres).

Moderator: Mont Miller


6:00 PM - Introductions
6:05 Background on Canaan Valley Institute
Jenny Newland, Executive Director
6:15 Proposal by CV NWR
Ron Hollis, Refuge Manager
6:35 Proposal by National Youth Science Foundation
Ron Pearson, Chairman
6:55 Audience Q&A Session (Line forms at podium)
1 Question and 1 Follow-up allowed (5 minute limit per person)
7:40 Comments
7:50 Summary
Collection of Written Comments

No cell phone use during the meeting. Phones must be turned off or on vibrate. Those asking questions are asked to stay on point. Time is limited.

Reference Material:

November 25, 2014 – National Youth Science Foundation today announced that John Giroir has been selected as the Foundation’s next Director of the National Youth Science Camp. Giroir, previously served as the President and CEO of the YMCA of Kanawha Valley.Giroir, John

The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC), a four-week program held each summer, was first held in 1963 in celebration of West Virginia’s Centennial. Hosting two students from each state, NYSC is a unique mix of cutting edge science and activities in the great West Virginia outdoors. Planned originally to be a one-time event, NYSC has continued over the years; in 2013, NYSC celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Located near the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV, NYSC is a unique place to learn about the beauty of the sciences and the beauty of the West Virginia outdoors.

The NYSC has had many recognizable names over the years involved in the program, including John F. Nash, Jr., Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (1994) and was featured in the movie, “A Beautiful Mind” (2001). Many more names are not so recognizable, but have had national and worldwide impact from their work in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The students who participate in this program are some of the best and brightest in the United States. Giroir was one of those students in 1989.

“John is a highly intelligent, talented, and experienced professional who will lead the National Youth Science Camp with a sense of history and a vision for the future. John was a Louisiana delegate to NYSC in 1989 and has served on NYSC staff and the NYSF before joining the YMCA of Kanawha Valley in 2000,” said NYSF Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Blackwood. “It is hard to describe the NYSC experience to people who haven’t been there. Can you imagine a place in the West Virginia hills that had Neil Armstrong describing how he would journey to the Moon, years before he did it?”

Giroir succeeds Desiree Henriksen, who served as the NYSC Director from 2012 to 2014. Giroir is the twelfth NYSC Director since it began in 1963.

“Having directed the National Youth Science Camp for ten years, I know what it takes to make a great program,” Blackwood said. “The NYSC is fortunate to have John accept this national leadership role. We are happy to have him join our team.”

“I am humbled at this unique opportunity to further the Mission of the National Youth Science Foundation,” said Giroir. “This is a homecoming for me and I am honored to serve in a role that I’ve held in such high esteem, having been a delegate from Louisiana in 1989 and working on NYSC staff many Summers. The NYSC is the reason I moved here over 20 years ago and why I have such a deep love for West Virginia.”

Media Coverage

October 3, 2014

Announcement: The National Youth Science Foundation seeks candidates for the position of Director, National Youth Science Camp. A full position description is provided below. This position is full-time, year-round and based at the NYSF offices at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston, West Virginia; additional 24/7 activities at the site of the National Youth Science Camp while the program is in session.

See for more information.

A very generous National Youth Science Camp alumnus has offered to match, dollar for dollar, all contributions received between August 8, 2014, and September 15, 2014 (up to $50,000)! Donations made by alumni count toward the $50 for 50 Campaign. Now is the time to make your contribution go twice as far! Click below to donate.

The National Youth Science Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization (Federal Tax ID Number 55-0630700). Contributions made to the Foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

If you would prefer to offer your support by check, please mail it to:

National Youth Science Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 3387
Charleston, WV 25333-3387

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