Ben Mertens

ben-mertensState/Country: Arizona
Hometown: Phoenix
High School: Arizona School for the Arts
College Plans: Georgia Tech
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Professional Plans: Veterinarian or Engineer
Interests: Movies, Music, Reading, Running, Sports, Traveling, Videohaving fun

Press Release
CHARLESTON, WV – July 21, 2012 – Ben Mertens of Arizona School for the Arts from Phoenix, Arizona, represented Arizona as a delegate to the 2012 National Youth Science Camp® (NYSC). Mertens 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.

Mertens said, “One of the hardest outdoor activities was hiking, but my group and I got through it by having fun while doing the hike.”

Mertens also included, “I think the NYSC is important because it brings amazing people together that can become, hopefully, lifelong friends.”

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

Ben Mertens carries his state’s flag alongside his fellow Arizona delegate during the morning flag raising. Delegates volunteer to represent their states in such a respectful manner.