Paula Pacurari, a 2010 graduate of Morgantown HS from Morgantown, West Virginia, was selected to represent West Virginia at the National Youth Science Camp® (NYSC) this summer from June 29 to July 23. Pacurari joined 109 other top high school graduates representing the United States as well as students from nine other countries at the prestigious four-week program, now in its 46th year. The camp, located in the beautiful and rustic setting of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, integrates scientific programming with opportunities for delegates to explore music, art, and the outdoors.
Each year, eminent 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. Throughout camp, a Directed Study series provided extensive “hands-on” experiences in specific fields. According to Pacurari, “I love the outdoors, so the overnighters have made my admiration of nature grow because I was able to be in my comfort zone with so many new friends. I was happy to teach my new friends facts about my home because it was foreign to them. The physical toll of the activities was amazing as well. We, as humans, were made to be experiencing life outside.” 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 consisting of hiking, caving, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The delegates may choose from an array of afternoon seminars ranging from Ultimate Frisbee and swing dancing to discussions of philosophy, travel, religion and culture. Regarding these experiences, Pacurari said, “I know that I definitely want to be a doctor. I want to impact people’s lives in a positive way so that their lives may lengthen. As for new ideas, I want to explore more cutting edge plastic surgery and hopefully research and create newer methods.” Paula Pacurari is planning to study Biomedical Engineering at West Virginia University 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, please contact:
Andrew N. Blackwood, Ed.D.
National Youth Science Foundation
P.O. Box 3387
Charleston, WV 25333-3387
(304) 342-3326 voice
(866) 833-0875 fax