Alec Pankow

alec-pankowState/Country: Alaska
Hometown: Ketchikan
High School: Ketchikan HS
College Plans: University of Puget Sound
Major: Biochemistry
Professional Plans: Undecided
Interests: Camping, Chess, Hiking, Music, Reading, Running, Sports

Press Release
CHARLESTON, WV – July 21, 2012 – Alec Pankow of Ketchikan HS from Ketchikan, Alaska, represented Alaska as a delegate to the 2012 National Youth Science Camp® (NYSC). Pankow joined 119 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eleven other countries at the prestigious four-week program, now in its 49th 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, scientists from various disciplines travel to the camp to present lectures and lead directed studies. This year’s lecture topics included: global warming, genomic medicine, radio astronomy, and energy sustainability. Throughout camp, Directed Studies provided extensive hands-on experiences in specific fields. Delegates had the opportunity to dissect a human hand, discuss bioethics, explore forensic science techniques, and search through the DNA sequence of a genetic disease.

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 delegates chose from seminars ranging from Ultimate Frisbee and swing dancing to discussions of philosophy, travel, religion, and culture.

Pankow said, “Caving was such an incredible experience. It was something I had never tried and forced me to surrender my body and mind to the cave. As a long, lanky person, fitting through tight spaces and navigating narrow tunnels was a grueling experience. It was also one of the most satisfying.”

Pankow also included, “Attending the NYSC has been a transformative experience. I have had to adapt to the quirks of each day and respond with the passionate energy for life and learning that everyone here shares. I know I will take some of that energy with me when I leave. That is how NYSC has affected me.”

The National Youth Science Camp is operated by the National Youth Science Foundation. For more information, please visit Click the photograph below to download a high resolution version suitable for publication.


Contact Information
Lynne D. Schwabe, Director of Development, (304) 997-4346

National Youth Science Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 3387
Charleston, WV 25333-3387

Alec Pankow, a delegate from Alaska, tries out rock climbing at a rockface near to camp. Camp presents not only intellectual challenges through its academic activities, but also offers physical endeavors should delegates choose to pursue them.