Lots of stuff going on lately and I keep forgetting that I need to update my blog – oops! Two weekends ago, I was invited to judge Toshiba Exploravision projects for NSTA. The Exploravision contest asks teams of K-12 students to imagine future technologies based on current science. There were over 3000 projects submitted from all around the US and Canada. The judges were science teachers, mostly from the DC Metro area. The projects are divided into regions for judging. For each region the judges selected the top four projects plus a proportional number of honorable mentions. All total, I read probably 300 or so projects over the course of the weekend. Some were very entertaining as well as very imaginative. It was a long weekend, but I had a great time and made a little extra money so it was all good.
Last Saturday, I attended a Smithsonian Resident Associates workshop on Writing Nonfiction for Kids. Like many people, I have this idea that I would like to be a writer. I can’t imagine being a novelist, but nonfiction seems like something I could do. Nonfiction for kids may be my thing. I am envisioning science books for kids about all sorts of interesting topics. The workshop was really interesting as well as full of helpful ideas and tips. Margie went with me so that made it even more fun and we went to lunch at one of my favorite DC restaurants, Teaism. Combined with the perfect weather, brilliant blue sky and cold enough to be nice, but not frigid and it made for a perfectly wonderful day.
Monday of this week, the Fellows got a special treat – a tour of the NBC Washington studios and presentation about NBC Learn. We started our day in Studio A, which is where Meet the Press is broadcast from as well as where one of the Kennedy-Nixon debates occurred. The NBC Learn team told us all about that project, which aims to make years worth of NBC news footage available for use in the classroom. It is an amazing resource. In addition to the old news footage, they have also developed some original content – most recently the Science of the Winter Olympics in partnership with the NSF! After learning all about NBC Learn and offering our advice to the team from the educators’ point of view we were taken on a tour of the studio. Among the highlights of the tour were the control room, editting suite, and broadcast studios. We got to watch as one of the MSNBC anchors did a live teaser from a small studio.