Two Vancouver students from Eric Hamber and Churchill Secondary will be heading to the Silicon Valley of Finland this summer for the Millennium Camp, an innovative program founded and run through the University of Helsinki.
Both Hamber's Jasper Chapman-Black and Churchill's Vivian Lee were selected out of 1400 applicants to be among 60 secondary students from dozens of countries around the world to attend the camp.
During the annual camp, scientifically and technically oriented youths get an opportunity to spend a summer's week with like-minded peers. One of the aims of the camp is to allow budding scientists to network while still in school and to help them kick off a career in science and technology. During the all-expenses paid camp, campers will conduct scientific sustainability projects under expert guidance, while also learning about Finnish innovations and research carried out by businesses and universities.
Chapman-Black says he's already gotten a lot out of the Millennium camp opportunity, even before getting on a plane to Finland.
"I've already contacted many other campers via social media," he says. "These kids come from all over the world, Nigeria, Singapore, Brazil, and are super smart. All our conversations so far have been really interesting, and I hope to build international friendships with like-minded students."
Lee says she also has great hopes for the camp.
"From my participation in this camp, I hope to explore the integration of various fields of science, learn from influential experts, and share my passion for biology and chemistry with youths from around the globe," she said. "Just within my theme group alone, I am currently collaborating with five highly passionate students from Turkey, Thailand, Brazil, India, and Israel. I am more than elated to meet other innovative students and researchers that share the same interest!"
Chapman-Black says he thinks his natural curiosity and strong programming background (highlighted earlier this year with an impressive showing in the University of Waterloo's Junior Canadian Computing Competition) helped him win a coveted spot. Lee feels her curiousity, willingness to ask questions and a solid grounding in academic formatting and citation gained through her IB program and independent work helped propel her application to the next level.
"Prior to conducting my research, when I held no knowledge on the application prompt, I've scheduled meetings and spoke with teachers in the geography and science department. I really appreciate their help and I am looking forward to sharing my experience at the camp when I return," says Lee.
Chapman-Black also says he's looking forward to hopping on a plan to the camp this June and is particularly excited about experiencing Finnish culture and the positive impact it can have on project collaboration.
To learn more about the Millennium Camp, click here.