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Sequim student picked for national science camp

Ashiyah M. Cays-Vesterby, a senior at Sequim High School, has been named by the Washington Department of Education to attend the National Youth Science Camp, held July 1-25 near Bartow, W.V., in the Monongahela National Forest. Two students are chosen to represent each state.

Delegates attend the camp the summer after they graduate from high school. They must have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, leadership in school and community activities, and a genuine interest in the sciences.

The camp is an opportunity to explore new subjects, share knowledge and interact with a diverse community of guest lecturers. Some past lecture topics have included nanobiotechnology, exploring Mars, hydrogen fuel technology and forensic anthropology.

Laboratory activities have included analysis of data from the nearby Green Bank Radio Telescope and gene isolation and cloning. Outdoor activities include such things as caving, kayaking and rock climbing.

The students take a trip to Washington, D.C., where they tour scientific research centers (National Institutes of Health, Goddard Space Flight Center, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, National Zoo). They are treated to behind-the-scenes tours of research facilities, observe advanced technology used to conduct cutting-edge research and attend lectures given by research leaders and program directors.

Delegates also visit local monuments/memorials and have a day to explore the museums of the Smithsonian Institute. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) hosts a luncheon and his fellow senators are invited to meet with the delegates from their states.

Cays-Vesterby has received numerous awards for her scientific research including being named Gold Medalist at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair and attending the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2007 and 2008.

She also was selected to attend the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in 2008 and 2009.

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