written by Laura Stowater, original article can be found here.

I recently spent over three weeks in your fine state of West Virginia thanks to an opportunity through the National Youth Science Camp. As a recent high school graduate from rural Iowa, I had never been to West Virginia. While I was there I had the opportunity to experience mountain biking, cave exploration, and backpacking. I learned from lecturers, staff members, and the other delegates about topics like gravitational waves, neuroscience, sloth paleontology, acrobatic yoga, how to crochet, and so much more.

This experience showed me about how different STEM fields touch all aspects of our lives from medical devices to satellites. The experience also taught me about how to collaborate with peers with diverse experiences and how that can enrich whatever we pursue. I realized at camp the joy of living in the moment because we had limited access to the daily schedule, much less a long term schedule, and I hope to take this concept back home.

As a proud citizen of your great state, I want to thank you for your support of the National Youth Science Camp and I encourage your continued support of this worthwhile organization.

Laura Stowater

Algona, IA