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Torlakson Announces California's National Youth Science Camp Delegates


By: California Department of Education (CDE)

SACRAMENTO March 29, 2013 - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that Arashpreet Kaur Gill, a senior at Tracy High School in Tracy (San Joaquin County), and Veronica Alissa Rivera, a senior at Claremont High School in Claremont (Los Angeles County) have been selected as California's 2013 National Youth Science Camp delegates.

"As a science teacher, it's a thrill to be able to send these two young scientists to this outstanding program," Torlakson said. "I'm sure these students will represent California well, and sooner than we think—make important contributions to the future of our state."

Arashpreet Kaur Gill, who would like to pursue a career in medicine, has been active in scientific and mathematical research for years. In 2011, she attended the Research Mentorship Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she studied the reproduction of specific cells in the heart of an embryonic zebrafish. After she presented her findings, UCSB faculty selected her to be the university's representative to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's symposium.

Gill carries a 4.43 grade point average and has been a top student in International Baccalaureate biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses. She has participated in Scientifically Speaking, the Academic Decathlon and the Science Olympiad programs, among many other activities, societies, and organizations, garnering numerous awards and honors.

Rivera has earned a 4.23 grade point average and is interested in pursuing a career in mathematics and science. She has excelled at Claremont High School, where she expanded beyond its math courses and enrolled in and completed Calculus II and Calculus III‒Multivariable Equations at Pomona College before her junior year in high school. At Claremont High, she was co-founder of the Robotics Club, founder of the Physics/Engineering Society, among many other clubs and organizations, and has earned many awards and honors.

Last August, Rivera co-authored the paper, "Quantum Enhancements of Involuntary Birack Counting Invariants" after completing research at Claremont McKenna College.

In the event that one or both delegates are unable to attend the camp, which will be held June 26 to July 20, 2013 in the eastern mountains of West Virginia's Potomac Highlands, two alternates have been selected: Eleanor Ruth Mudica, a senior at John Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena (Los Angeles County), and Grace Annette Pan, a senior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, (Contra Costa County).

The National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education program for young scientists the summer after they graduate from high school. Students from around the country are challenged academically in lectures and hands-on studies, and have opportunities to participate in an outdoor adventure program.

The National Youth Science Camp is made possible through the planning and fund-raising of the National Youth Science Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to honor, sustain, and encourage youth interest and excellence in science by conducting comprehensive informal science education programs that provide opportunity for constructive interaction with others and emphasize the social value of thoughtful scientific careers.


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