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West Virginia ready for 55th National Youth Science Camp delegates

Release from the National Youth Science Camp:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For the 55th year, two high-achieving recent high school graduates from each state and other young people from around the world will attend National Youth Science Camp, hosted each summer at Camp Pocahontas in Thornwood, West Virginia.   
In Pocohontas County, in the heart of the Monongahela National Forest, delegates will spend four weeks learning from accomplished STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals and experiencing intellectually-stimulating scientific activities outside the traditional classroom.  Meanwhile, they will develop appreciation for the landscapes and people of West Virginia, build interpersonal skills and step outside of their comfort zones by participating in outdoor activities like backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, and caving.
“I think NYSCamp is important because it helps you open your mind, overcome fears, and improves your teamwork,” said Javier Silva, a 2017 delegate from Chile. “Most importantly, it exposes you to diversity, both in culture and in knowledge. After this experience, you are a more open and complete person.”
National Youth Science Camp began in 1963 as a part of West Virginia’s Centennial Celebration. In 1964, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, a presenter at camp, told delegates about plans to put a man on the Moon. Five years later, just before realizing that dream, he and other astronauts about to embark on that mission sent a telegram to delegates: “We wish we had your futures.”

2017 delegates to National Youth Science Camp, hosted each summer at Camp Pocahontas in Thornwood, West Virginia, wade in Seneca Creek after a hike. The 55th year of National Youth Science Camp begins this week. NYSC photo
Over 5,500 delegates have participated and many have gone on to rewarding, challenging careers in STEM fields, solving problems and contributing to technological advancement,  economic growth, and scientific progress and understanding. Participants of years past have said the bonds they formed became lifelong friendships. They also become ambassadors for West Virginia and members of a robust professional network of former delegates. Many volunteer their time as well. Dr. Julie Robinson, formerly chief scientist for the International Space Station, has been both a delegate and a presenter.
The National Youth Science Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to honor, sustain and encourage youth interest in science education and thoughtful scientific careers, plans, conducts and fundraises for the National Youth Science Camp. These future STEM leaders are selected on merit, based on their achievements, with the program provided to them at no cost, including travel.

A delegate rock climbs the Via Ferrata during National Youth Science Camp in summer of 2017. The National Youth Science Foundation conducts and fundraises for camp, which is held each year in the Monongahela Forest. NYSC photo
“Participants come to camp as recent high school graduates, with already long lists of accomplishments, demonstrable aptitude for in-demand careers, curiosity and enthusiasm,” said Dr. Andy Blackwood, Ed.D., executive director of the National Youth Science Foundation. “They leave with confidence they can face the unknown, renewed excitement for the study of the natural world, and deeper understanding of their own vast potential.”
Delegates will fly in to Yeager Airport in Charleston on June 27. The public is welcome at the free, kick-off event, the Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture held at the University of Charleston’s Geary Auditorium, June 28 at 12 pm. The new director of West Virginia operations for Dow Chemical, Tim O’Neal, will give the kick-off lecture. The delegates will travel to Camp Pocahontas following the event.
On July 18, delegates will travel from Pocahontas County to the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., for a luncheon in their honor hosted by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D- WV.
Delegates will travel back to Charleston on July 20, attend a farewell banquet at the Valley of Charleston Scottish Rite on July 20, and fly out on July 21.
To apply for the National Youth Science Camp, go to To learn more about the programs and work of the National Youth Science Foundation, please visit
Media is welcome at both kick-off events. Opportunities for in-person coverage are also available. 
Please contact 304-205-9724 extension 1 of [email protected] for more information.

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