Five (5) local students are representing Trinidad and Tobago in the 2022 Virtual National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). The representatives are Rajeev Dwarika, Brianna Merritt, Megan Modeste, Sabihah Mohammed and Akilah Bonnette. The camp started on June 27 and ends July 20. On July 6th, the students paid a courtesy visit to the U.S. Embassy for a group photo opportunity with Ms. Rose Rodgers, Assistant Public Affairs Officer and Ms. Kirsten Michener, Public Affairs Officer (U.S. Embassy Port of Spain) and Mrs. Marleen Lord-Lewis (NIHERST President).
Every year the U.S. Embassy and the National Institute for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) accept applications from sixth form students for a scholarship to attend the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia, USA.
Established in 1963 as a part of West Virginia’s Centennial Celebration, the National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education programme that honours and challenges graduating high school science students. Scientists from across the nation present lectures and hands-on science seminars, as well as interact informally with student delegates. Delegates are challenged to explore new areas in the biological and physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. Opportunities are provided for delegates to present seminars covering their own areas of interest and research.
Get to know our representatives:
Rajeev Dwarika is a 6th Form student from Shiva Boys’ Hindu School. He has a passion for electronics and spends his free time building his next invention. He is the recipient of the Bronze Standard of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, 2022, Awardee of the IStructE, 11th and 12th Secondary School design building competition, 2020 and has participated in the Australian Math Olympiad. At Shiva Boys’ Hindu School, he is a Public Relations Officer and a volunteer at the Sixth Formers Association as a Mathematics tutor. He is also the Designer/Editor of the Interact Horizon Newsletter, 2021.
- Brianna Merritt is a 6th Form student at San Juan South Secondary who dreams of a career as a chemist. She will also like to share her knowledge and love for Chemistry as a teacher one day. She was awarded the prize for Top Performance in C.X.C. for Chemistry and Spanish in 2020.
- Megan Modeste is a 6th Form student at Bishop Anstey High School and an aspiring Paediatric Otolaryngologist. She has represented her school at the Australian Math Olympiad and is a Peer Helper. In 2019 she was the winner of the VENTURE Credit Union’s Essay Competition. She is also a Micro Entrepreneur making custom pieces at Meg’s Crochet Creations and a dancer who participated at the NGC Sanfest in 2017
- Sabihah Mohammed is a 6th Form student at St. Augustine Girls’ High School who hopes of becoming a pathologist in her future. The recipient of the Good Citizenship Award at her school maintains top marks in her science subjects. Not only academically inclined, she is an avid swimmer, cricket player and has received many awards on her schools’ Sports Days.
- Akilah Bonnette is a 6th Form student at Bishop Anstey Trinity College East. Her future career goal is to further her studies in either psychology, genetic engineering or plastic surgery. She is a member of the School’s Visual & Performing Arts club, Debate club and Rotaract club. She is an avid dancer and musician playing the piano and steelpan participating in the Bishop Anstey High School Steel Ensemble, placing 3rd in 2019 and 5th in 2020 in the National Secondary School Panorama competitions. She is also a qualified music tutor.
In its 59th year, the NYSC has traditionally been a residential Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programme in the eastern mountains of West Virginia, United States, designed to honour and challenge rising STEM leaders and provide them with opportunities to engage with STEM professionals and participate in exciting outdoor activities. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the 2022 NYSC will be an entirely virtual experience.
Support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (https://eca.state.gov/) of the U.S. State Department and the National Youth Science Foundation (http://www.nysf.com) allows all delegates to attend the NYSC programme free of charge. For more information about the programme, please see http://www.nyscamp.org.