Some of the brightest young minds in the state are learning more about science this week. Seventy-seven students from 38 counties are taking part in the first West Virginia Youth Science camp at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County.

Allison Greenberg is the director of the camp. She says the campers are getting lessons from some of the best scientists around the country.

“We bring in scientists from different fields to give lectures to the students and do hands-on activities with the students,” Greenberg said.

The program is sponsored by the state Department of Education and the National Youth Science Foundation. Greenberg says the goal is simple.

“Our hope is that they will continue to have that passion for science and really see what is out there when it comes to different careers in science and what’s possible,” she said.

The program is geared toward rising sophomores.

“The students are still in high school so there’s still a lot of science learning they have yet to do in their high school career,” according to Greenberg.

The week isn’t filled with stuffy lectures. The campers are busy with hands-on lessons.

“We have one staff member that’s teaching the students how to make bio-diesel out of french fry grease,” Greenberg said.

On Wednesday, the campers were hiking and biking in Kanawha State Forest and taking in a show at the planetarium at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston.

Camp wraps up on Saturday. Greenberg hopes the teens will let the lessons they learn at camp motivate them into careers in science.