Ashiyah Cays-Vesterby, a 2009 graduate of Sequim High School, was selected to represent Washington at the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia from July 1-25.
Cays-Vesterby joined 109 other top high school graduates representing the United States as well as students from nine other countries at the four-week program, now in its 46th year. The camp integrates scientific programming with opportunities for delegates to explore music, art and the outdoors.
Each year, scientists from various disciplines travel to the camp to present lectures and directed studies. This year's lecture topics included: Global Warming, Genomic Medicine, Radio Astronomy, and Energy Sustainability.
"My time at camp has allowed me to be exposed to different ecosystems," Cays-Vesterby said. "My travels across the state have helped me to realize the need for greater understanding of natural science as a system and encouraged my love of the outdoors."
Delegates had the opportunity to dissect a human hand, discuss bioethics, explore forensic science techniques and search through the DNA sequence of a genetic disease.
In addition to learning about groundbreaking scientific research, delegates also explored their natural surroundings through an extensive outdoor program of hiking, caving, mountain biking and rock climbing. The delegates choose from an array of afternoon seminars ranging from ultimate Frisbee and swing dancing to discussions of philosophy, travel, religion and culture.
"The salsa dancing seminar was immensely interesting," Cays-Vesterby said. "I'd always wanted to try salsa and I found it very enjoyable. I want to continue dancing now." Cays-Vesterby is planning to study environmental science/creative writing at Evergreen State College this fall.
Contributions to the National Youth Science Foundation make it possible for all delegates to attend NYSC free of charge, including round-trip transportation.
For more information, see www.nysc.org.
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