CHARLESTON, WV—The US Department of State has awarded the National Youth Science Foundation a $150,000 grant for support of the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). The funds will support participation at the camp for two students from the following eight countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The NYSC is an honors program sponsored by the State of West Virginia and individuals and corporations that believe it is important to encourage the most talented and gifted science-inclined students to achieve their full potential. The month-long program focuses on four primary academic program areas: natural science, physical science, computer science, and applied arts.

Delegates to the NYSC participate in lectures, interactive seminars, directed studies, and a backcountry adventure program, which includes backpacking, caving, rock-climbing, mountain biking, and kayaking.

Ms. Mariana Dominguez Ponce, a 2011 delegate to the NYSC from Bolivia, said the NYSC helped her prepare for her future life. “The time I spent at camp was by far the best month of my life. I met people from all around the world, people who came from different places, in different sizes and skin colors, who had different beliefs and culture, but were just like me.

“Having the opportunity to be with people that feel passion for science and being able to talk to students with the same interests, to hear from teachers about their experiences and learn from their wisdom helped me prepare for my future life,” Ponce said.

Ms. Tamy Covacevich, a 2011 delegate to the NYSC from Chile, said the experience challenged her in every way, both physically and mentally. “I greatly appreciated the opportunity that enabled people life me, an international student, to meet friends sharing the same interests and motivation for learning,” she said.

The NYSC takes place in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest at Camp Pocahontas in Bartow, WV. It culminates in a three-day trip to Washington, DC, to study national science concerns and for behind-the-scenes visits to sites such as Oribital Sciences Corporation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences and national museums. A highlight of this trip is a luncheon with members of the United States Senate, hosted by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV.