Astronomy Lecture Kicks-off NYSC

CHARLESTON, WV — June 21, 2011

Some of the brightest students across the nation and around the world will arrive in Charleston, June 30, for the first lecture of the 2011 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC).

Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Best will be featured speaker for the Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture at 7:30 p.m. at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in downtown Charleston. He will present “To See Farther, To See Further,” discussing the need for reflection on issues science students face as they enter into higher education.

Best is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Shepherd University and the founding director of the Shepherd University Observatory. He participated in the 3-D Hydro research group at Indiana University developing accurate computer models of protostars and conducted research on white dwarf structure and galactic evolution at Penn State.

Best is the first of the series of guest lecturers in store for the delegates of the NYSC this summer. The remainder of this month-long science education program will take place in the scenic mountains surrounding Camp Pocahontas in Thornwood, WV.

Besides lectures, the delegates will also experience directed studies led by visiting professionals and a challenging outdoor program including biking, caving, and rock-climbing. A highlight of the camp is a trip to Washington, D.C. for the Senate luncheon hosted by West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV.

The NYSC encourages recent high school graduates to mature in their field of study while having fun in a unique community of like-minded students.

“I know that it will be a life-changing experience, and I can’t wait to spend my summer in West Virginia,” said 2011 Kentucky delegate Erika Oliver. “I expect to learn from other delegates as well as the instructors.  Hopefully this experience will clarify or reinforce my future plans.”

The opportunities the NYSC provides have been described as “once-in-a-lifetime” by past alumna Julie Barrios.

“This program is unlike any other. My experience at camp has given me the tools to use my knowledge, talents, and gifts to improve the world I live in,” she said. “I learned as much about myself as I did about science.”

The nationally recognized program, which has been in existence since 1963, selects two representatives from each state and will host delegates from eleven other countries this year. The NYSC is made possible by the support of the National Youth Science Foundation.

The Martha Wehrle Opening Lecture is free and open to the public.

More information can be found at


Contact Information:

Julie Barrios, Public Information Coordinator, NYSC
Lynne D. Schwabe, Director of Development, NYSF
(304) 997-4346


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