Sheena Sharifi, a 2010 graduate of Tracy HS from Tracy, California, was selected to represent California at the National Youth Science Camp® (NYSC) this summer from June 29 to July 23. Sharifi 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 Sharifi, “The directed study on human hand anatomy by Dr. Fredrick Walker was something I’ll never forget. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle dissecting a human hand, much less figuring out how the tendons work. But it ended up being amazing; the human design is way more intimate and intense than I ever imagined.” 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, Sharifi said, “I would say the best part of camp is getting the opportunity to meet delegates from all over the country and the world. How many 18-year-olds can say they have friends from each state in the nation and internationally for places like Europe and South America? Each person has their own style, culture and way of being and I feel blessed to be in a place with so much diversity.” Sheena Sharifi is planning to study Biology at University of California-Los Angeles 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