For Immediate Release
May 16, 2007

State Board of Education announces Illinois' most promising youth scientific leaders

Will serve as states' delegates to National Youth Science Camp

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education today announced two Illinois high school seniors have been selected as this year's most promising young scientific leaders for Illinois. The two students from Buffalo Grove and Lockport will represent our state during the 2007 National Youth Science Camp this summer in West Virginia.

Kathy Huang of Buffalo Grove and Roger Podwysocki of Lockport will participate as delegates in the month-long 44th session of the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) held near the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Meng Kang of Peoria; Catherine Che of Makanda; Yanfen Li of Savoy; and Hon Lung Chu of Chicago have been selected as alternates.

“We are honored to have two of our students participate in the National Youth Science Camp,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch. “This opportunity allows Kathy and Roger a chance to immerse themselves in the world of science and math and will offer them insights into future careers.”

“I am inspired by the thrill of discovery to pursue a career in scientific or mathematical research,” said Huang, who is a senior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. She has already studied with leading researchers at Northwestern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The world around me has piqued my curiosity…I have always wondered how things around me work,” said Podwysocki in his application who is attending Lockport East High School. “The thought of a career based on applying these strange insights into the workings of the universe makes me feel as if I would be following in their footsteps…(and) are what drive me to pursue the sciences.”

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.

Huang and Podwysocki will fly to Charleston, West Virginia, on June 27 and will return on July 23, after participating in the camp’s educational program. The National Youth Science Foundation, based in Charleston, West Virginia, covers all expenses, including travel.

More information is available online at and