PHS Students Attend Physics Inspiring the Next Generation Camp in West Virginia

Perry Local Schools commends students, KJ Oestereich and Sallie Piatt, for being chosen to attend Physics Inspiring the Next Generation (PING), a “STEMtastic summer camp program” at Green Bank Observatory (GBO) in Green Bank, West Virginia, which is the home to the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope and a site of international research in radio astronomy. “We are so proud of KJ and Sallie for pursuing their science dreams and taking the opportunity to spend their summer learning about physics,” said Perry Local School District Superintendent Scott Beatty. “We are happy to have these students attend Perry High School and are very excited to see what the future holds for these bright and talented young ladies. It is great to see more students interested in STEM!” Approximately 25 incoming freshman students who are interested in science, engineering and math were chosen to attend the summer camp program. Students helped conduct research activities at the national research center by observing the universe with a 40-foot diameter radio telescope. Participants worked in small teams supported by an undergraduate student mentor and an observatory staff scientist, which included former Perry High School physics teacher Nate Van Wey. KJ and Sallie were part of a team that used two different radio telescopes to investigate and research the area near the center of the Milky Way. “It’s pretty neat to have two of our own here, mixed in with students from California to Virginia,” said Van Wey. Students stayed on the campus of Green Bank Observatory from July 22 – Aug. 3. Throughout the nearly two-week camp, students participated in many educational activities, including ecological stream studies, digital signal analysis, bench experiences building electronic circuits and coding activities that complement the primary research theme. They also had the opportunity to enjoy other activities like swimming, hiking and dancing. All activities took place on the Green Bank Observatory campus under the supervision of staff. If you are interested in learning more about PING, visit

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