Preparing for First Overnight Expedition

June 18th– The third full day at Camp Pocahontas saw delegates finish up their first directed study block. With their first major camp event behind them, delegates will begin preparing for their first overnight expedition, whether it is hiking, climbing, caving, or biking. Many here are looking forward to getting more in touch with nature.

“I’m excited about the scenery for sure, and I like exercise a lot,” said Jack Arnes, a delegate from Nebraska, “The quiet will be nice too; being out in nature gives you a long time to think.”

Additionally, Ultimate Frisbee teams have started to form and many delegates are excited to test their strength, speed, and skill in glorious competition. Ultimate Frisbee is the de facto camp sport, and a large number of the students have been practicing a variety of throws both for the competition and for their own enjoyment.

Lectures today were presented by Dr. Karla-Luise Herpoldt and Dr. Alyson Wilson. Dr. Herpoldt gave the delegates sage advice for their college and post college lives while discussing her own undergraduate and graduate experience as well as her innovative research in vaccines.

Second Full Day at Camp Pocohantas

June 17thDelegates entered their second day in West Virginia’s Camp Pocahontas. Directed studies delved deeper into their subject areas, and many students began hands-on experiments after being introduced to their areas of study yesterday.

A variety of seminars ranging from Latin dancing to logic problems and crayon melting helped delegates unwind or work their brain in creative and new ways.

“Acquiring different skills and knowledge gives the students access to new perspectives and the tools to analyze and understand them,” said Lenin Silva Gutierrez, the Logistics and Operations Assistant, “After exhaustive reflection, the student is capable of developing valuable perspective, reflection, and communication skills.”

In addition, delegates attended a lecture about how the human body reacts to the microgravity of the space station from Dr. Julie Robinson, the Chief Scientist of the International Space Station, as well as a lecture about innovative ways to heal spinal fractures using balloons from Dr. Sheila Stevens.

Many delegates took their late night snack to one of the lower fields, where they laughed and swapped stories as lights from the fireflies danced above them.

First Day in Camp

The first day in camp delegates were busy having fun and learning. Throughout the morning and afternoon there were sports, music, lectures, seminars, and directed studies conducted by guest speakers and staph. Topics ranged from solar to disk golf to tiny house design to music composition and even architecting tabletop RPGs.

The first lecture at Camp Pocahontas was given by Shiva Rajagopal, a Lord of the Rings fan and firmware developer at Fitbit. His lecture, titled “Things on the Internet,” covered the evolution of the internet-of-things (IOT). Many of our devices are small & portable and transmitting data via wifi and bluetooth to a cloud of servers. Shiva had an interactive demonstration of encrypting this data stream with many lord of the rings references.

Dr. Katie Inderbitzen held a directed study on scientific drilling of the ocean floor to study Earth’s ancient history. Delegates made observations of seafloor samples to infer a sequence of dramatic events in the past.

Underwater basket weaving was hosted in the art shack by Ms Karla-Louis Herpoldt and Katie Howell. After crafting the baskets delegates had the option to paint them as well.

Delegates Spend Morning in Charleston and Depart for Camp Pocahontas

National Youth Science Camp delegates spent the morning at the University of Charleston, participating in educational programs and talks hosted by the UC College of Pharmacy, attending the annual Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture, and relaxing on the campus green. After lunch, delegates and staph boarded busses and motored down to Camp Pocahontas, where they’ll be spending the majority of camp.

Delegates listened to lectures and participated in hands-on activities spanning a wide variety of pharmacy-related subjects.

Jon Boggs and Dan Carder were the speakers at the Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture, discussing the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud lawsuit from both ethical and engineering standpoints.

Delegates and Staph alike battled it out in a game of Ultimate Frisbee on the University of Charleston green.

Arriving at Camp Pocahontas, delegates began moving into the cabins they’d be calling home for the next three and a half weeks.

Welcome Gaspar Uriel Derisi!

Gaspar Derisi

City:  San Rafael, Mendoza – Argentina
School:  PS-29 Del Carmen Secondary School
College Plans:  Buenos Aires University
Major:  Nanotechnologies
Professional Plans:  Materials Engineer

Gaspar will represent the country of Argentina this summer! He has won the Education Ministry Award, participated in National Science Clubs twice, two-time participant in the National Math Olympics and pre-selected for the Panamerican Math Olympics. Gaspar place 2nd and 3rd in teh Pierre Auger Observary Science Fair and National Science and Technology Fair. He is also involved in Basketball, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis.

Congratulations, Gaspar!

Welcome Yumara (Yu) Vaca!

Yumara Vaca

City:  Cochabamba, Bolivia
School:  Hughes Schools
College Plans:  Undecided
Major:  Undecided
Professional Plans:  Researcher, Philosopher

Yu will represent her country of Bolivia this summer!  As Valedictorian, she is an AP Scholar and participated in the National Olympics in Mathematics. She holds 1st Place in both the Science Fair and Math Fair and an Honor Award for Meritorious Participation as logistic Secretary at the MiniMun HS United Nations Bolivian Model. Yu is active in Choir, Soccer, Student Government and dance including Bolivian Folk, Jazz and Ballet.

Congratulations, Yu!

Welcome Pedro (Peter) Xavier Paulino!

Pedro Paulino

City:  Stamford, CT
School:  CEFET High
College Plans:  Undecided
Major:  Engineering & Economics

Peter will be representing Connecticut this summer! Among his many honors, he is a six-time awarded “Best Delegation” in Rio MUN Circuit, was selected to represent Brazil in the London International Youth Science Forum. Peter placed 2nd in QUANTA Science Olympiad and was awarded the silver medal at the International Mathematics Olympiad. He was a finalist at the Quanta International Debating Competition and two-time gold medalist at the Brazilian National Delegation in Quanta International Competition in India. Peter is also involved in Student Government, Tennis, Model United Nations (President) and International Federated Chess Players.

Congratulations, Pete!

Welcome Michael Yukun Yang!

Michael Yang

City:  Matthews, NC
School:  Charlotte Latin School
College Plans:  Stanford University
Major:  Undecided
Professional Plans:  Science Researcher

Michael will be representing the state of North Carolina this summer! As an AP Scholar and member of the Governor’s School, he will be graduating with honors. Michael is a National Merit Semifinalist, National Merit Finalist and Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist 2017. Michael is also involved in computer programming and plays the flute.

Congratulations, Michael!

Welcome Steven Rui Cen!

Steven Cen

City:  Portland, OR
School:  Westview High School
College Plans:  University of California, Berkeley
Major:  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Steven will represent the state of Oregon this summer! An AP Scholar, he is a member of the USA Computing Olympiad Platinum Division and is a USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Semifinalist. Steven holds Piano Syllabus Level X with distinguished Honor with Oregon Music Teachers Association. He is also active with swimming (Varsity and State), Westview HS Computer Science Club and is Programmer of First Tech Challenge Robotics and software intern at Oregon Health and Science University and also with Portland State University in Android App Development. Steven also participates with Beaverton Young Entrepreneur’s Academy and volunteers with Music Theory and Piano at Ethos Music Center.

Congratulations, Steven!