(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad announced today that Adam Michael Zaccone and Maya Frances Amjadi have been selected as the two most promising young scientific leaders in Iowa’s 2013 high school graduating class. At the invitation of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia, they will participate as delegates in the 50th year of the National Youth Science Camp held near the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia. Dylan T. Beyhl (Davenport), Macy Lynnae Murray (Keokuk), Eva Shelton (Williamsburg), and Megan Marie Valentine (Dubuque) have been selected as alternates.
Adam Michael Zaccone, of Harlan, is ranked first in his class at Harlan Community High School where he is captain of the football, wrestling and soccer teams and is active in vocal and instrumental music. Adam was Mayor and State Party Chairman runner-up at Hawkeye Boys State. He has participated in summer engineering and robotics programs at Iowa State University, University of Iowa and Kansas University. Adam aspires to become an engineer and then enter politics. In his nomination letter Adam wrote, “I think that blending the understanding of science and politics is a unique skill that I have the aptitude and desire to pursue…The amount of science based majors in elected positions is staggeringly small. People with science based educations are able to help make important scientific decisions that affect our world.”
Maya Frances Amjadi, of Cedar Falls, is ranked first in her class at Cedar Falls High School. Last summer she completed a paid internship at the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research. At Cedar Fall High School she is Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, a leader of the school’s film festival and on the school Tennis and Speech teams. Maya is also a World Food Prize Global Youth Institute Borlaug Scholar. Maya, who plans to become a physician, wrote “…of my many interests I know I want to study math and science because they are the most compelling to me. I believe they are my best tools for doing the most good in the world.”
Established in 1963 as a part of West Virginia’s Centennial Celebration, the National Youth Science Camp is an annual summer forum where two delegates representing each state exchange ideas with leading scientists and other professionals from academic and corporate worlds. Lectures and hands-on research projects are presented by scientists from across the United States who work on some of the most provocative topics in science today – topics such as fractal geometry, the human genome project, global climate change, the history of the universe, the fate of our rain forests, and robotics. Delegates to the NYSC are challenged to explore new areas in the biological and physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. Delegates also present seminars covering their own areas of research and interest.
The National Youth Science Camp’s diverse academic program is complemented by an outdoor recreation program, which leverages the Science Camp’s location in the Monongahela National Forest. The Science Camp’s outdoor program offers backpacking, caving, rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking.
Maya and Adam will be flown to Charleston, West Virginia, on Wednesday, June 26, and will return home on Saturday, July 20, 2013, after participating in this innovative educational program. The National Youth Science Foundation®, based in Charleston, West Virginia, covers all expenses, including travel.