An Elkins High School sophomore represented Randolph County this summer as a delegate to the 2013 West Virginia Youth Science Camp. Walter King, 15, of Elkins, joined 48 other top high school students from 28 West Virginia counties for the event.
The camp is a nine-day residential program located at the Cedar Lakes conference center and integrates scientific programming with opportunities for delegates to explore music, art and the outdoors.
"I found out about the West Virginia Youth Science Camp from friends who attended the West Virginia Governor's School for Mathematics and Science," Walter said. "Some of my friends said it was fun, so I applied to go."
Walter King, 15, of Elkins, works to design a bridge during the 2013 West Virginia Youth Science Camp. He was one of 48 students attending the camp in Ripley.
Walter said he enjoys math and science, and has had classes in algebra, geometry and physical science.
"We did lots of fun things at science camp," he said. "We had seminars on a wide variety of topics and participated in lots of outdoor activities including hiking and biking. The outdoor activities were my favorite."
Walter said other projects included making rockets, building small model bridges and completing DNA extraction. He said he would encourage students to look into next year's camp.
"Attending science camp is a great opportunity to have fun and meet new people," Walter said. "It also incorporates new topics and the opportunity to learn about many different things. People should sign up and go."
A career in the sciences is one of the options Walter is considering for his future.
"I think I will study engineering," he said. "I am not sure which division of engineering, but definitely engineering."
Each year, scientists from various disciplines travel to the camp to present lectures and lead directed studies. This year's lecture topics included gene expression, surgical advances, forensic science, fuel cells and marine archeology.
Directed studies provided extensive hands-on experiences in specific fields. Delegates had opportunities to build rockets, engineer heat shields, learn the science of music and the science of baseball, analyze water quality and design bridges.
In addition to learning about groundbreaking scientific research, delegates explored their natural surroundings through an outdoor program consisting of hiking and mountain biking.
The delegates chose from seminars ranging from ultimate Frisbee and ballroom dancing to plant taxonomy, chemical reactions and designing thermal heat shields.
The West Virginia Youth Science Camp is operated by the National Youth Science Foundation.
For more information, go to the official website at www.nysf.com.