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Through the eyes of a student: NSTA 2013


Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/05/22/through-the-eyes-of-a-student-nsta-2013/

This week’s guest blogger is Savona O’Brien, a senior at Paw Paw High School, located in rural West Virginia, USA. Savona has been participating in the GLOBE program for two years, and feels it’s a wonderful program that more students, teachers, and schools should participate in.  Through her participation in GLOBE and GLOBE’s From Learning to Research project, Savona was given the opportunity to attend the National Science Teacher’s Association Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, USA in April.  She was willing to share her experience to inspire others to attend such meetings.

In late April I was given the opportunity to attend the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  Before I left for the conference, I thought about what my expectations would be, as I had never attended a meeting like this.  I hoped that attending NSTA would be an unforgettable experience. I had never traveled to San Antonio, let alone Texas, and found this very exciting. I thought that I would have the opportunity to meet new people and have many new experiences. I was excited about attending the conference and being able to see all of the other booths and some of the presentations. I felt so very fortunate to be able to attend this conference, and looked forward to taking full advantage of what the conference offered once I got there.

And those expectations were absolutely met. Attending NSTA was a great opportunity and I will never forget it. It was really neat to be able to tour around the conference and see different types of science being utilized. Most importantly, presenting at the GLOBE booth was very neat. Performing the experiment about soil permeation was a big learning experience, and allowed me to meet and interact with people I otherwise would not have.

Savona and other students at the GLOBE Booth at NSTA
Savona and other students at the GLOBE Booth at NSTA

An experience at the conference I will never forget is meeting people from all across the country, and some from other countries. I was able to talk to people from Canada, United Kingdom, India, and the United States. This was unforgettable because, had I not attended the conference, I would not have been able to meet these individuals. Through a few of these people, I also learned about various scholarships and college programs, both of which are crucial to any high school student planning on attending a college or university.

By attending NSTA I learned that there is a very large group of people dedicated to science. This is crucial because science is the backbone for a lot of other fields of study, as well as being a part of everyday life. I also learned that there is nothing quite like meeting someone who is familiar with the same areas across the country as you are. This was a very neat conference, and presenting at the GLOBE booth was also a huge learning experience because it allowed me to broaden my horizons on the topic of soil.

I would tell other students who would like to attend a similar meeting or conference to absolutely jump at the chance to do so. This presentation was one of the most amazing experiences I have had, and would love to do it again. I would also tell students to not be nervous about presenting in front of a large number of people, because oftentimes it is in their head and there is nothing to worry about.

Suggested activity: Have you ever attended a meeting like this?  What was your experience?  We’d love to hear about it!  Leave us a comment, send us an email or leave a post on our Facebook page.  And be sure to attend the 2013 GLOBE Virtual Student Conference.  There are many great projects by students from all over the world on the GLOBE website. 

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