WVYSC bikers take a break and pose for a photo op at Lake Rollins.
Monday began with a lecture on The History of Canaan Valley given by Dr. Ed. Michael, retired professor, WVU. He emphasized the past and present ecosystems and the potential of major future events involving specific wildlife populations within the valley.
It was the last day for the directed studies, so delegates in the Rocketry studies headed out across some very wet fields to test their rocket designs and met with some interesting degrees of success. Others test-drove robots, programmed computers to play sounds in the speakers delegates made days earlier, or wrapped up the courses on Microbiology, Water Quality, Scientific Drawing, and Outdoor Survival.
The afternoon offered seminars with topics like Thermal Heats Shields, Giga-Panning, Biking, Ballroom Dancing, and Blood Typing. Rain chased the Corn Hole Tournament indoors where it was concluded as the Perocious Red Pandas claimed the title by defeating the A-Team. An after dinner performance was given by Aurora Celtic band. Delegates will return home on Tuesday, July 23.
During his lecture entitled Scientific Thinking and Everyday Life, Dr. Paul Miller, Teaching Assistant Professor, WVU, demonstrated a speaker made with a Starbuck’s cup which delegates made in the Introduction to the Arduino Microcontroller Directed Study, see photo above. He stated that, “Now, more than ever, our world depends on science,” as he discussed how science works and what we know about how people learn science. He encouraged delegates to share what they know about scientific thinking with others around them.
Following lunch, Seminar options included Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Veterinary Medicine, Fishing, Biking, and Gel Electrophoresis, to name a few. The semifinals of the Corn Hole Tournament saw the advancement of the A-Team and the Perociuos Red Pandas; the final will be held Monday at 4 p.m.
Dr. Karen Knee, Assistance Professor, Environmental Science; American University, presented the evening lecture, Hydraulic Fracturing: How Could it Affect Water Supply and Quality? After giving a general overview of the science behind fracking, she explored ideas of how additional scientific data could be collected and used to make informed decisions about the increasingly important technology. She answered numerous questions from a very interested audience. The evening ended with a snack, cabin meetings, and a good night’s sleep, so delegates would be ready for the final full day of camp.
The day began with a lecture, Coal and West Virginia, Where We Are Now and Where We Are Going, given by Gene Kitts, Senior Vice President, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, Alpha Natural Resources. He expressed the challenges and concerns related to global climate change and other environmental issues. Delegates began the second series of Directed Studies with topics including Introduction to the Arduino Microcontroller, Rocketry, Arts and Bats, Introduction to Scientific Drawing, Taking the Pulse of Water Quality, and Microbiology.
The afternoon offered seminars with games, the arts, music, and sciences, and the conclusion of the Bridge Design Competition. The winning bridge supported 524 times its mass before finally torquing and collapsing.
Following dinner, a talent show highlighted many talents, skills, and some silliness presented by the delegates and staff members. S’mores snacks were provided around a camp fire as campers continued the evening with songs and fellowship. Team Pending and the A-Team advanced to the Final Four of the Corn Hole Tourney; play will continue today, weather permitting.
Friday was a great day for a field trip. Following breakfast, students boarded buses and departed for either the Kanawha State Forest or the downtown Charleston area. Students in the forest hiked or biked along the park trails, and lunch was provided in the forest. Students on the downtown trip began at the West Virginia History Museum at the Culture Center then traveled to the Clay Center for lunch and an afternoon of doing hands-on science, visiting the art museum, and watching a Whale movie shown on the giant dome screen.
Following dinner, a lottery was held for the new Directed studies which start on Saturday. The after dinner entertainment featured flute playing, Yodel-Boxing (a blend of yodeling and beatboxing), and a game of Harry Potter 20 Questions. The lecture was given by Dr. Mark Williams, URS Corporation, who explained energy extraction and conversion to produce electricity. The evening concluded with a snack and cabin meetings. Due to the field trip and evening rain, there were no Corn Hole Tourney games.
Jerry Westfall, from the WV Division of Natural Resources, delivered the morning lecture on WV Deer Management. Details included life history, historical population and exploitation, recovery and over-abundance, and management methodologies. Students wrapped up their first Directed Studies and continued the afternoon with new seminar choices such as Water Safety, DNA Extraction, Programming, World Dance, a GPS Scavenger Hunt, and Hiking.
It was a great day to modify the schedule a bit and break the heat with a picnic dinner and some time in the pool. No day at the pool is ever complete without the traditional Catch a Frisbee While Jumping from the Diving Board game. And, the Corn Hole Tournament continued with close games as two teams, CBC (Chicken in a Biscuit Crackers) and Perocious Red Pandas, advanced to the quarter finals.
The evening provided a lecture, Some Science of Taste and Food by Dr. Rebecca Falin as she explained the chemistry and physiology of taste. Free time and snacks were provided before the day was closed with cabin meetings and lights out.
The day began with a lecture as Rob Stull and Athey Lutz of Green Rivers, LLC, emphasized the natural systems of rivers and streams as they explained geology and physics of Stream Restoration. Students continued the Directed Studies they had started on Tuesday. The afternoon provided new seminars to explore which included topics in the sciences, outdoor recreation, and performing arts. By the late afternoon, the Corn Hole Tournament was well underway.
The evening’s after dinner entertainment consisted of a music performance which encouraged a sing-a-long by the delegates and poetry recitation. Then, Dr. Ricardo Valderi, Associate Professor from the University of Arizona, lectured on the science of baseball. This was followed by a spectacular sunset, some free time, and a continuation of the Corn Hole Tournament. After a nutritious snack, some very tired delegates headed to their cabins after a full day.
Delegates had their first full day of activities! The day began with a lecture by Dr. Martin Christ of the WV Department of Environmental Protection on the Clean Water Act. Each delegate then attended a directed study that thoroughly explored a topic area and provided a hands-on experience that will continue over the next couple of days. After lunch, they were given the opportunity to participate in many athletic, academic, and musical activities. They were also introduced to some of the camp traditions at dinner. Afterwards, Patricia Morrison of the Fish and Wildlife Service gave a lecture on bat acoustics and a demonstration using newly developed monitoring equipment. The delegates discovered that many little brown bats and Indiana bats inhabit nearby.
Delegates arrived to the Cedar Lakes Conference Center where staph were anxiously waiting to unpack their stuph, hand out name tags, and begin frisbee lessons. After signing away all cell phone privileges for the next 9 days, they said farewell to their parents and were given tours of the facilities. The rest of the evening consisted of a directed study lottery, an interactive lecture by snake expert Roy Moose, snacks, and cabin meetings.
Welcome to 2013 West Virginia Youth Science Camp’s web site. As WVYSC progresses, we’ll be posting updates here, so check back once the program gets underway. If you are looking for information about summer camps, applying to WVYSC, or just more background information, check out the National Youth Science Foundation, keep exploring this site, or get in touch.