Discovering Montana

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For Immediate Release - April 21, 2000
Contact: Anastasia Burton
Press Secretary
(406) 444-5523

Two Montana Students Selected To Attend National Youth Science Camp

(HELENA)---Governor Marc Racicot announced today that Megan Leigh Mobley of Olive and Mary Jean Van Auken of Fairfield have been selected as two of the most promising young scientific leaders in Montana's 2000 high school graduating class. At the invitation of Governor Cecil Underwood of West Virginia, they will participate as delegates in the 37th session of the National Youth Science Camp held near the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia.

Governor Racicot said, "I am delighted Megan and Mary Jean have been selected for such an exciting opportunity. Our students have always been high achievers in science and math, and these two young people prove just how good our schools are in Montana."

Megan attends Powder River County District High School and plans to pursue a career in environmental research. Her four-year straight A record demonstrates a high level of academic achievement, and Megan is preparing for her college coursework by completing a rigorous high school program in both science and math. She enjoys many school and community activities, including volunteer work at the local library and elementary school.

Mary Jean is a senior at Fairfield High School and is planning a career in biotechnology. She placed first in the 2000 Fairfield Science Fair and received a silver medal in the "Physics Lab" event at the Montana Science Olympiad in 1999. She was selected to teach junior year students in Algebra II because of her academic prowess in math and science. Mary Jean is president of her local Future Farmers of America chapter. Her writing has been published in A Celebration of Young Poets.

Established in 1963, the National Youth Science Camp annually provides for 102 student delegates -- two from each state and the District of Columbia -- a four-week summer forum where delegates exchange ideas with leading scientists and other professionals from across the nation who work on some of the most provocative topics in science today, like fractal geometry, global climate change, and robotics.

Delegates to the camp are challenged to explore new areas in the physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. Delegates also present seminars covering their own areas of research and interest. The camp's academic program is complemented by an outdoor recreation program, which takes advantage of the camp's location in the Monongahele National Forest.

The application process for the National Youth Science Camp is a joint effort between the Governor's Office and the Office of Public Instruction. Montana high school principals receive information packets and applications each January. Interested students can also visit the National Youth Science Camp web site at


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