As the anticipation for my departure grows, homegrown outreach becomes ever more important. Friday, May 4th and May 11th I was able to visit Walter Johnson and Table Rock Middle Schools to give an educational outreach presentation about my upcoming expedition to Antarctica to join Dr. Amsler and others from University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). Almost all these young girls and boys will be my students next year, or sometime in the next four years. It was soooooooooo much fun giving the presentation to these students, from the ooooohhhh’s and aaaaahhhh’s while showing the slides about penguins and seals, to the students wanting pictures and asking questions, it was a wonderful experience.
Haming it up with Walter Johnson students (no stage fright here).
Ooooooooohhhhhhs and aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhs.
The enthusiasm that these students showed, lets me know that science is still something that ignites the imagination – just like it did for me 30+ years ago when I was close to their age and Mount Saint Helens erupted, and my friend Pat Burke’s Aunt Franie had to come and live with them for a little while. I was in such awe of the pictures and stories she would tell us. Everyday that I teach, I hope I can be this type of inspiration to my students. Science is something that should be alive, real and tangible experiences. This is why I am so excited about my PolarTREC expedition. I will be able to show past, present, and future students science in action and take them to a place many probably never dreamed of going. I have already heard stories about how this experience is impacting students, the young lady who won the flag contest for Walter Johnson Middle School is super talented, but very shy. I asked her to come up on stage with me when my presentation was done and she had the biggest smile on her face when her fellow classmates were cheering her on. Her teacher told me that is the most outgoing they had ever seen her and that is what teaching is all about.
So proud of this young lady overcoming her shyness and stage fright.