This is a group post written by the teens on the ScienceOnlineTeen planning committee.
Naseem, 16 years old:
What is ScienceOnlineTeen?
Imagine a bunch of people from all walks of life with one interest in common -science- all in one place at the same time. These people are not ordinary; they each offer unique experience ranging from learning/teaching in the classroom to contributing to the real science world of journalism, communication and technology. ScienceOnlineTeen is a worthwhile learning, teaching, and engaging experience organized for teens by teens.
We plan to bring scientists of all ages together with students and teachers, from the beginners to the experts, to discuss a variety of topics related to science communication in education and technology. We will do this through engaging, casual conversations. ScienceOnlineTeen is not a conference; it is an unconference based off of the original ScienceOnline conference.
The goal is to provide a welcoming, approachable environment for budding young scientists to gather together, find others just like themselves and to learn how to improve their science communication skills from the experts by attending sessions in actual classrooms. ScienceOnlineTeen is meant to provide a friendly and safe atmosphere for mingling and connecting between teens and adults that, at the end of the day, can form into future internships, partnerships, and other windows of opportunity for its attendees.
Erik, 19 years old:
The History of ScienceOnlineTeen
It all started back in 2009. Stacy Baker, now our ScioTeen adult leader, was my then high school biology teacher. For our class, she had her students write blog posts on biology related topics (basically anything we teens found interesting that had a bio twist) to our blog, Extreme Biology. This was inventive and powerful enough to get herself, and a few students (myself among them) invited to present at ScienceOnline09. So, we piled onto a bus, and headed south with literally no idea what we were in for.
We were greeted by the epicness that is ScienceOnline and the people that make it happen. Believe me when I say, as a high school freshman I was starstruck and mind-blown, and I totally look like a lost puppy in half the pictures we took. More importantly, I experienced firsthand how powerful an open, almost familial space like ScienceOnline can be. I started blogging for myself soon after, and was back last year with Ms. Baker and the crew for more.
Now, four years after that first conference, ScienceOnline is a full-fledged organization that’s branching out. ScienceOnlineTeen is one of the first manifestations of that growth, which is really exciting, and a little terrifying!
Samm, 16 years old:
Look Who’s Coming
To kick off the first ever ScienceOnline Teen Conference, we have recruited top-notch moderators to run our sessions. Here are just a few. Hilary Mason, our keynote speaker, is the chief scientist at Bit.ly, and co-founder of HackNY. Mason will focus on how the science of studying data can help us understand human behavior through the lens of social networks, and how technology can give teens amazing powers that will enable them to advance in the world.
Another talented moderator that will be attending ScienceOnline Teen is Henry Reich. For any student interested in science, Reich is a superstar. Creator of the Youtube series, Minutephysics, Reich posts short, entertaining, and educational physics related videos. Some of my favorite segments include, “Is it better to walk or run in the rain” and “Is there poop on the moon?” Call me a nerd, but when I am bored, I sit down with my laptop and watch about ten consecutive Minutephysics videos.
John Borthwick, founder and CEO of betworks, will also be a moderator at our conference. Betaworks is an Internet media company. Borthwick’s session will focus on how social media is impacting our everyday lives, especially when it comes to communication. Borthwick has given us three, week-long internships to be given away at the conference. How cool is that?!
Charles Choi is a science journalist and writer for Scientific American. Having also written other publications such as the New York Times, Science, LiveScience, and New Scientist in London, and awarded the Sam Bronstein Prize in journalism in 2000awarded the Sam Bronstein Prize in Journalism in 2000, Choi definitely has a lot of experience in his field. He will share some writing tips when it comes to blogging and journalism and share his experiences as a journalist.
Katie McKissick is a former high school biology teacher. She maintains a blog called Beatrice the Biologist, in which she strives to make science “fun and interesting for the casual reader.” She has a sense of humor and there is no doubt in our minds that her session on science cartoons will be lively and enjoyable.
The SciBulletins team manages an online program on the American Museum of Natural History’s website, called Science Bulletins. This program updates readers on the latest stories and developments in fields of science such as astrophysics, and makes reading science pleasurable. The interactive media and visualizations that the SciBulletins team provides is top notch and they have helped make SciBulletins into the success that it is today. Teachers from all over, such as my astronomy teacher, rely on SciBulletins for resources and the information that it provides is both accurate and reliable. Don’t have time to visit a science museum? Try SciBulletins; it is just a click away!
Hanna, 18 years old:
How to get involved
Personally, I love science in all its forms (especially my favorite, computer science) and learn best in a fun and hands-on environment. If you’re like me, ScioTeen is the place for you.
This is an invitation to all high school students and teachers to experience ScioTeen for yourselves. If you want to learn more, visit our Learnist Board to read even more about who’s coming and what awesome sessions to expect.
Now onto the more official stuff... Teachers: visit our website for more info. Don’t forget to register and reserve your spot! Students: get excited and spread the word! Tweet us @scioteen and tell your friends about Scioteen.
Live too far away to attend the event? Participate virtually on the day of the event via online streaming (more info about this will be added to our webpage soon).
ScioTeen is a completely unique opportunity and like nothing else you’ve ever been to. Embrace and develop your love of science while surrounded by other students who are just as passionate as you are. We hope to see you in April!
For more information about ScioTeen including how to become a sponsor, participate at the event, or propose a session, please contact the adult organizer, Stacy Baker, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Previously in this series: