Alex’s Experience at Science Online ’10

2010/02/10
By Alex

Alex presents her game, "Body Pod", during our session at Science Online '10.

Science Online is surely an experience my classmates and I will always remember. It was a fun, enriching experience that I’m sure is one of the highlights of my 2010.  Against all odds, the tangible feelings of nervousness and inadequacy from the terrifying plane to hotel bus ride melted away as we made our way through Sigma Xi.

Not exactly looking forward to a weekend of boring lectures and concepts you need a PhD to comprehend, my 14 year-old mind rebelled against Science Online. But, much to my surprise- Ms. Baker and Dr. Ward were right. Despite my obvious lack of a college diploma, I somehow understood what was going on. And seconds after the beginning of Carl Zimmer’s presentation on journalism in science (which eventually turned into a session on ‘duck sex’), I realized I could do more than learn to understand science and technology- I could learn to love it, too.

Nothing can beat the rush when you realize “I get it!” and that you’re excited about science. And ever since I returned, all I want to do is get everyone else excited about science. My main goal: to remind people that science isn’t all memorization and structure. Science is a way to change the world- whether it’s through blogging and video games, or journalism and duck sex jokes. All I can hope for is that Science Online will continue to grow along with an appreciation for science among students.

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  • http://www.ualberta.ca/~mshanaha Marie-Claire Shanahan

    Thanks Alex for sharing your thoughts about Science Online with the world. I really enjoyed your presentation and learned a lot from you and your classmates. Keep up your infectious love of science!

  • Anna

    Alex, Great blog post! When first learning about the Science Online Trip I was hesitant. I also had the same concerns that you mentioned. Your blog made me realize how you don’t necessarily have to be an expert. It would help, but it’s not essential. From hearing about everyone’s experiences, and looking at pictures and videos, it made me want to go. I’m sure it is nerve wrecking, but it seems like an amazing experience that won’t occur anywhere else. There aren’t always chances to do projects like this, and work with specialists in these fields. Your post opened my mind to participating in a project like this the next time it comes along.

    For others who went on this trip, can you share the experiences you working with professionals and different forms of technology?

  • Anna

    Alex, Great blog post! When first learning about the Science Online Trip I was hesitant. I also had the same concerns that you mentioned. Your blog made me realize how you don’t necessarily have to be an expert. It would help, but it’s not essential. From hearing about everyone’s experiences, and looking at pictures and videos, it made me want to go. I’m sure it is nerve wrecking, but it seems like an amazing experience that won’t occur anywhere else. There aren’t always chances to do projects like this, and work with specialists in these fields. Your post opened my mind to participating in a project like this the next time it comes along.

    For others who went on this trip, can you share the experiences you had working with professionals and different forms of technology?

  • Carl

    Alex, great post! I completely agree with you about how you thought it wouldn’t be the most fun thing in the world, but it turns out it was. We got to listen to brilliant scientists talk about topics relavent to today’s society. Out of all of the presentations that I went to, I really enjoyed the presentation about education the youth of America. The lady giving the presentation passed out books that she wrote about marine biology for children. Looking through the book, I was inspired to go out and buy it that it was so cool. The pictures.
    To answer Anna’s question, there was this competition to win 10 FlipHD cameras. Out of the 10 cameras given away, 6 were won buy our school; Alex and I each won one.

  • Deanna

    Alex great post, and I’m glad you and the other had a good time on the Science Online trip. From reading your post and hearing such fun stories about this trip I makes me want to go. At first when Ms. Baker spoke to us about it in class I was judgmental and knew I would never be able to keep up with the ongoing conversation on scientific topics, but from reading your post, seeing pictures and videos, and hearing other talk about this trip I’ve realized you don’t need to be an expert in the scientific field. It sounds like all of you guys had a great time and came back with a lot of wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the Science Online trip.

  • Joseph

    Nice job Alex! I would have to agree when you said nothing is better than an “I get it”. I love to learn about new things in science. When I learn about a topic that I am really interested in, I pay extreme attention and get an adrenaline rush. I was so excited to go and I filled out the form, but then my mom told me we have important plans for the weekend. All of the presentations and lectures sounded really cool, and the trip sounds like something you wouldn’t pass up. Even though science can bore me sometimes (I will admit), I love learning new things within the subject. Learning science can not only help enrich you capacity of learning, but it can teach you to change the world. I agree with Alex 100% when she said that students need to grow an appreciation for science. I will surely not pass up on this trip next year, no matter what (I am booking the trip in my schedule for next year). It is amazing how we are the only high school kids there, and how from the videos and comments that I’ve seen, we new a lot of things and were hogging the lime light because our students (my classmates) were so smart. Everyone I asked about the trip gave positive reviews. I am not lying when I say that I didn’t hear the least bit of negativity about this trip.
    For anyone who would like to answer this, what was the most interesting part of the trip? Was it having a discussion, learning a lecture, or just joking around about something science related (duck sex)?

  • Marielle

    Great post Alex! It is great to hear about your trip to North Carolina for Science online. It sounds like it was alot of fun. You guys got alot of oppertunities from this. It’s nice to hear that you didn’t have to be an expert on your topic. I was afraid to sign up because I thought it would be scary. Upon hearing about your experiance at Science on line I wish I had signed up. You got to listen to alot of influencial scientists talk about your topic.

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