State/Country: New Mexico
High School: Albuquerque Academy
College Plans: Vanderbilt University
Major: Computer Science
Professional Plans: Undecided
Interests: Biking, Camping, Hiking, Movies, Music, Photography, Running, Video, Programming
CHARLESTON, WV – July 21, 2012 – Jeffery Gao of Albuquerque Academy from Albuquerque, New Mexico, represented New Mexico as a delegate to the 2012 National Youth Science Camp® (NYSC). Gao 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.
Gao said, “For me, the most physically demanding outdoor activity was kayaking. I had never kayaked before, and at first, my paddling was inefficient and I tired myself out quickly. As I got more tired, my form got worse, and I paddled more efficiently and my arms became more tired. However, as time went on, I learned to kayak better, and the activity became much easier.”
Gao also included, “I was privileged to attend a directed study in which three others and I formed a team to dissect a human arm. At first, I had a very hard time doing so, since I kept reminding myself that the arm came from a once living human being. However, I slowly learned that the dissection was something that I could do, and my apprehension faded. I continued to respectfully dissect the arm and managed to learn a lot about the form and function of the hand and arm.”
The National Youth Science Camp is operated by the National Youth Science Foundation. For more information, please visit www.nysf.com. Click the photograph below to download a high resolution version suitable for publication.
Lynne D. Schwabe, Director of Development
firstname.lastname@example.org, (304) 997-4346
National Youth Science Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 3387
Charleston, WV 25333-3387
Jeffrey Gao, from New Mexico, leans over a piece of radio equipment and carefully solders. In this directed study, a radio was assembled from lesser parts with the goal of explaining the radio both in terms of parts and conceptual technology.