CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Top students from across the nation arrived at Yeager Airport Wednesday to participate in the annual National Youth Science Camp, where they will learn and do research in the fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.
Two students from every state and even some international students will stay at Camp Pocahontas in Pocahontas County for one month as they collaborate in the annual camp, which has been taking place in the mountain state since 1963.
Camp participant and Charleston local Joseph Clark said it is an exciting time meeting so many new people from different places.
“Everyone just really seems happy to be here, they were asking me how bad my flight was and I just told them I had to drive 15 minutes,” Clark Said. “It is going to be great showing all these people around West Virginia and kind of seeing them experience it for the first time.”
Quinn DelVal, a former delegate from North Dakota and participant in the NYSCamp, now finds himself working with the same students he was excited to be apart of just a few years ago.
DelVal said that this event is great when it comes to exposure for West Virginia.
“I think it is great PR for West Virginia,” Delval said. “A lot of these students come having not heard anything about West Virginia, I certainly came in 2014 not ever thinking of West Virginia as a vacation spot or place to live, but my opinion of the state has been drastically changed.”
DelVal said the rolling hills and mountains of West Virginia compared to the flatness of North Dakota was one of the main reasons he likes West Virginia so much.
“West Virginia is uniquely beautiful,” DelVal said. “Especially Camp Pocahontas where we live for three and a half weeks. It is really just a rustic and gorgeous place to get to live for a few weeks.”
Students have traveled from countries like Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador to take part in what DelVal called a whirlwind of emotion and excitement.
“You just have so many new experiences happening all the time,” DelVal said.
The delegates can expect a months worth of lectures from experts in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. As well as directed studies from the same experts giving presentations. Students will also take advantage of West Virginia’s terrain with physical activities like hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and more.