Hello world. I have been neglecting my blog for far too long and there are no excuses. My plan is to at least put out one new blog each month. That being said, I would like to make this my start, my do over.

I would like to start by talking about my summer experience. This past summer I was allowed to attend the International Marine Conservation Congress in St. Johns Bay, Newfoundland. This is a marine science conference that was one of the most exciting times I have had at a conference. I met some of the most amazing people while I was there like Samantha Oester, Keni Rienks, Edd Hind, David Shiffman, Amy Freitag, Brett Favaro, Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley, Andrew Lewin, Andrew Thaler, Ken Hall, Matt Tietbohl, Vanessa Robetizch, Marianne Teoh and Michelle LaRue (I know there are so many others that I didn’t list here but they are just as awesome!). These are just some of the many fantastic people I was able to meet in real life and some for the first time to make new friends.

My experience at this conference was eye opening. I had the opportunity to talk to so many scientists about what they do, how they use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in their work. It was definitely worth it! The conversations I had helped me to better understand, to better be able to help my students do what scientists do. My highlight was being able to present a poster and have some great conversations about how I am working with scientists to make connections and impacts with my students. Many times I was able to have conversations that helped me to better understand how the scientists use the nature of science to investigate and do their work.

As a science educator, being able to spend time with practicing scientists was very refreshing. It was a great way to help me professionally better my science skills and knowledge. I hope I was able to make a good impression on many of the scientists that I met that we, science educators, are doing our best to help our students to better understand the process of science.

I am hoping that these new connections and friendships will allow me to keep expanding my professional relationships working with science professionals. These connections will only further help me to better serve my students. One of the neatest things about working with practicing scientists is I get to see how the NGSS is being used in their practice which only helps my students through new opportunities such as virtual talks (Skype) and/or mentorships with science fair projects.

I can’t thank Samantha Oester enough for allowing me to attend and encouraging me to present. It was through her generosity and encouragement that I was able to attend such an awesome science conference and make so many new friends. Thank you.

Currently I am looking forward to the next similar opportunity.