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2010 National Youth Science Camp®
Delegate Press Release 2010

Information and Photography ready for release and publication.
Ponni Vel

Ponni Vel



High School:
Charter School of Wilmington

College Plans: Columbia University
Major: Environmental Engineering
Professional Plans: undecided
Interests: Music- Flute, Kpop (Korean Pop Culture), Reading

Ponni Vel, a 2010 graduate of Charter School of Wilmington from Hockessin, Delaware, was selected to represent Delaware at the National Youth Science Camp® (NYSC) this summer from June 29 to July 23. Vel 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 Vel, “I love all the people at the National Youth Science Camp. Not only is everyone interesting and intelligent, but they are all genuine, nice people. While that may sound like a general compliment, I really do just love having fun with everyone here. Even though we are all strangers, I feel as if we have known everyone for a long while. This is especially notable when we all share our utensils and cups on overnighters ... something that I don’t even do at home with my family.”  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, Vel said, “My interest in studying Environmental Engineering has grown throughout my experience at camp. Being surrounded by so many knowledgeable peers and teachers has shown me the importance of the collaboration of fields to achieve the common goal of a better world.” Ponni Vel is planning to study Environmental Engineering at Columbia 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.
Executive Director

National Youth Science Foundation
P.O. Box 3387
Charleston, WV 25333-3387
(304) 342-3326 voice
(866) 833-0875 fax

Ponni Vel

(click image to download high resolution version)

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