MA – NSTA travel day & State Capitol

Leave a comment

April 6, 2014 by Dr. G

On Wednesday, April 2, I headed out again for another conference – this time, to Boston, Massachusetts, for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference.  With a focus on K-12 teachers, the NSTA conference “offers the latest in science content, teaching strategy, and research to enhance and expand your professional growth.”  The conference is filled with oral presentations that last a half hour to an hour, given by teachers, college faculty that work with pre-service and in-service teachers, administrators, scientific suppliers, and non-profit organizations.  There are thousands of people that attend this conference, so I’m sure I will be overwhelmed (yet again!) with information and ideas.  I’ll be giving an oral presentation myself, as well as hosting a table to represent an organization that I’m a part of, the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association (PAESTA) – more of that in my next post!

Interestingly, my travels in 2014 have brought me to two state capitals – Austin, TX, and Raleigh, NC.  In both cities, I was able to visit and tour the capitol buildings (see my posts for Austin and Raleigh).  And, it just so happens that Boston is the capital of Massachusetts, so guess where I headed….  I had seen the outside of the Capitol Building before, but I had never been inside.  I arrived at the building 10 minutes after the last tour of the day had started, but I was able to quickly find the group and join in.  Referred to as the Massachusetts State House, I was fascinated by not only the age of the building but by the historical significance of the many artifacts and symbols that are still in the building today.

The Massachusetts State House!

The Massachusetts State House!

The Great Hall, which is a new addition to the State House, complete din 1990.  Hanging in this room are the flags of each city in the state of Massachusetts.  The one in front on the left is of Springfield - the city where I was born!

The Great Hall, which is a new addition to the State House, completed in 1990. Hanging in this room are the flags of each city in the state of Massachusetts. The one in front on the left is of Springfield – the city where I was born!

The State Senate Chambers (not in session on this day).

The State Senate Chambers (not in session on this day).

A clock with an interesting story!  At the time this clock was designed, the nation had not yet settled on a national bird.  Since the leading candidates were the turkey and the bald eagle, the artist designed a creature that had features of both animals - so what you see here is not a real animal but parts of two different ones!

A clock with an interesting story! At the time this clock was designed, the nation had not yet settled on a national bird. Since the leading candidates were the turkey and the bald eagle, the artist designed a creature that had features of both animals – so what you see here is not a real animal but parts of two different ones!

We were even able to step inside and watch the State House of Representatives while they were in session (no photos could be taken from the public viewing balcony, though).  It was a fun and informative tour, and it actually has me thinking of what capitol building I can travel to next…

But in the evening, I went to the convention center to pick up my name badge and program book – time for the conference to begin!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Follow me on Instagram

Today I attended a conference event like no other I've attended in all of my meeting experiences.... the Ocean Sciences Storytellers program! #OSM20 connected with 10 public libraries in San Diego and arranged for ocean scientists to participate in a storytime event for kids! We each received an ocean-themed book to bring to the library, to read, and then to donate to the library's collection. Wendy from @sdpubliclibrary Central Library led an amazing storytime, with three of us from Ocean Sciences (Riley, Heather, and myself) reading books and talking about our lives as oceanographers. We sung songs, danced to Baby Shark, and more, with over 20 kids and their adults that drove them there (the kids were less than 6 years old)! Soooooo much fun in such a great space! #storytime #drseuss #thelorax #library #storytime #storytellers
Tuesday at #OSM20 ended with back-to-back-to-back events for me! I presented my poster on using quilts for scientific storytelling (Stitching Hope for the Louisiana Coast). There was so much interaction with attendees, hearing their own quilt stories - and so many people asked to film me descirbing my quilts, and I was even interviewed for a podcast! Then it was off to the NASA Earth Science Division Town Hall to hear the latest-and-greatest from NASA. And the day wrapped with with a student/alumni reception with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (@umiamirsmas), where I earned my PhD in marine geology & geophysics.
The Exhibit Hall at any meeting, including #OSM20, is always an interesting experience, filled with scientific instruments and visual displays you may want but have no room/no need for (or cannot afford), booths of universities promoting their graduate programs, the NASA hyperwall you wish you could just sit in front of and be mezmerized by all day, and book publishers with so many amazing books you wish you had time to read.... except there is one I am going to shameless promote on behalf of my brother-in-law. Richard J. King wrote Ahab's Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby Dick. In this book, Rich details what was known about whales and natural history back in Herman Melville's time, and what events from Melville's own life experiences influenced the writing of his classic book.Be sure to pick up a copy at The University of Chicago Press booth! (*photos of the @uchicagopress booth taken with permission)
As a blogger for @americangeophysicalunion I am able to attend press events and briefings at #OSM20 (it is a great opportunity for me to gather information to later blog about). I started Tuesday morning learning about Oceanography in Space, and how Earth's ocean can act like an analog for oceans in space. I honestly wasn't aware of how many oceans exist on the planets/moons in our solar system, and why we need to understand our own ocean better (what's at the bottom, ocean circulation, life at vents and other regions, etc.). So many missions I'll now be paying attention to - Dragonfly, Europa Clipper, Jupiter ICy moon explorer (JUICE), and Cassini-Huygens... The best take-home message for me was that oceanographic knowledge is needed for planning these forward missions, but we can then reverse engineer to study our own ocean. Going to space let's us go back and look at Earth.
In addition to the three(!) sessions I was chairing on Monday, I was able to attend a few others, such as this #OSM20 Town Hall on the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. I had attended a Town Hall back in 2018 at the AGU Fall Meeting on the same topic, and I'm really looking forward to celebrating all-things ocean in 2021-2030! Alas, this session didn't seem to provide quite the information the audience was looking for - such as, how can we become involved? As the IOC still needs to approve the plans to oversee official activities, we were challenged to think about getting knowledge needed to make decisions for sustainable development, and how to elevate programs that are already taking place. Seems like we shouldn't wait for 2021 - contributions, collaborations, and communications can/should certainly be taking place now. The ocean can't wait for us.
%d bloggers like this: