Science. Adventure. Fun!

This year, I was blessed with a full scholarship to attend the Key Issues Institute in Keystone, Colorado {Thank you Duke Energy!!!}. I applied for the Duke scholarship in hopes that I could share the curriculum and experience with my STEM Academy students.

This amazing conference is put on by the Keystone Science School and is basically a week-long immersive learning experience where we learn how to better incorporate project-based learning and local environmental issues into our classrooms. KSS operates on the motto of “Science. Adventure. Fun” and that is exactly what this trip has been so far!

I arrived out here in Colorado late last night after 16 longggg hours of flight delays and traveling.  I was exhausted, but as soon as I stepped into the conference room, the passion and excitement of my 32 fellow educators from around the country filled the room and reassured me that all that travel was worth it.

Today’s adventure included learning how to begin an Issues Unit in the classroom, how to use a GPS locator, Geocaching (which is basically a scavenger hunt using GPS), team-building exercises, and lots and lots of mountain photos!! {Seriously, I can’t stop taking pictures. I’m such a tourist!} I know I’m out here to learn, but this honestly just feels like the best summer camp ever.

My favorite part by far has been getting to know my fellow educators out here. There are teachers from all grade levels, all backgrounds, and all different parts of the country, including Kentucky, Florida, New Jersey, and California! They are all experts at what they do, mostly in science fields, so its humbling to be a part of this incredible group. The collaboration and relationships among participants is something that seems to make this particular conference so special year after year.

We wrapped up the night taking in the most amazing sky I have ever seen! Being out here away from all the light pollution, it feels like you can see every single star in the sky. All the starts, a few plants, and even a few bands of the Milky Way galaxy. Using their telescope, we were even able to take a closer look at Jupiter and its 4 moons!

Well, it’s been a very long, exciting, and tiring day out here in Colorado, so I am finally heading to bed at almost midnight (2am ET….ugh jet lag!). Looking forward to more Science, Adventure, and Fun tomorrow!  Until then….


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