Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Sarah Hodierne of Ashley Ridge High School from Summerville, represented South Carolina as a delegate to the 2013 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). Hodierne joined 121 other top high school graduates representing the United States and nine other countries at the prestigious four-week program, now in its 50th year. The NYSC, 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, delegates are able to attend lectures and directed studies led by top scientists and professors from all over the country. This year’s lecture topics included: cancer research, genomic medicine, radio astronomy, and energy sustainability. Throughout camp, the directed study program allowed delegates to have extensive hands-on experience in specific fields that interest the delegates individually. Delegates had the opportunity to dissect a pig’s heart, discuss bioethics, construct robots, and study cybersecurity measures.
In addition to learning about groundbreaking scientific research, delegates explored their natural surroundings through an extensive outdoor program consisting of hiking, caving, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The overnight backpacking trips provided delegates an opportunity to bond and appreciate the simplicity of nature. Delegates also chose from seminars ranging from Ultimate Frisbee and swing dancing to discussions of philosophy, travel, religion, and culture.
Hodierne said, “The NYSC has opened my eyes to so many new perspectives. Meeting delegates from other countries only shows me how much more I want to study abroad. I also have gotten the chance to hear about how real scientists apply what they study in school which is inspiring.”
Hodierne also included, “I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone an embrace the challenge at hand. I tried to many new things that I never would have on my own. When faced with something scary like rock climbing I trusted the other delegates to hold the ropes so I could conquer the wall.”