RIPLEY - Three local high school students represented Wood County last month at the annual West Virginia Youth Science Camp.
The two-weeklong, all-expenses-paid, residential science honors program, was held in July at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley. The camp integrated a broad science curriculum with art, music and traditional summer camp recreational activities.
Kate Clowes of Parkersburg, Noah Mancuso of Vienna, and Sarah Moinuddeen of Vienna were among 77 rising ninth- and tenth-grade scholars who participated in the program. Delegates exhibited leadership abilities, superior academic proficiency in science and math, and a willingness to explore various topics with peers from around the state. Participants also were required to have completed their freshman year of school and be rising sophomores.
Photo by Heidi Abrahamsen
Noah Mancuso of Vienna contemplates how to finalize construction of his model bridge during an engineering directed study at the West Virginia Youth Science Camp.
"The directed studies showed me a lot of different ways science is used in life, so they gave me new ideas for what I might want to do when I grow up," Clowes said. "One of my favorite experiences from camp is getting to know other people from all over the state that are interested in science and learning and getting to do new things with them."
Visiting scientists presented lectures and hands-on directed studies to introduce the students to a variety of scientific career options. Lectures 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.
"The deer necropsy and fisheries directed study showed me things I would have never seen in a classroom," Mancuso said. The camp "has challenged me to think outside the box and to be creative."
Students also had opportunities to take part in more traditional camping activities, such as hiking and exploring.
"I really enjoyed the variety of lecturers and directed studies we had. It opened my mind to how many people are out there who love math and science as much as I do," Moinuddeen said.
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.