IJAS Members Share Their Stories

McKenna in San Diago

McKenna in San Diago

McKenna with her poster at the AmJAS/AAAS Annual Meeting

McKenna with her poster at the AmJAS/AAAS Annual Meeting

McKenna Templeton
Iowa Delegate to the 2010 American Junior Academy of Science Annual Meeting

As we landed in San Diego... I was in awe to see half a dozen skyscrapers, swimming pools in every neighborhood, and boats in the harbor.  Ms. Schiller out of the blue, "Look at the palm trees!"  This is when it dawned on me... "PALM TREES ARE REAL!"  I had never seem the ocean or palm trees before.

My hotel room over looked the harbor and the U.S.S Midway.  Needless to say I felt very safe.  The opening ceremony was on the U.S.S. Mid Way, which was amazing.  It is hard to think something that massive could exist, let alone float. 

The next day we set out early for whale watching.  We were at the edge of our seat while coasting out of the harbor.  We sailed 10 miles off the bay in to Mexican waters.  The view was great, except it was missing one thing... whales. Nothing was visable for miles... UNTIL " WASHUSH!!!!!!!!!!" A water blow.   We got to see its back. 

 After whale watching, my group set out for Scribbs Research Institute.  This is a graduate college for Marine Biology.   Currently, my tour guide was surgically implanting tracking devices in sharks to observe their migrating patterns.  We got to walk on the beach. It was that moment in my life when I truly realized, "Science really does pay off."

 The next two days were filled with suits, fancy meals, presentations, and pictures.  It was a very good educational experience for me, because I got to talk to people in my field of research. 

I hated to go home!  I am so glad that I was able to have this experience! Thank you IJAS! 

- McKenna Templeton

More photos

AmJAS group on whale watching tour

AmJAS group on whale watching tour

Clockwise from top left: Alicia Schiller, McKenna, Raph, Pearl, AmJAS representative

Clockwise from top left: Alicia Schiller, McKenna, Raph, Pearl, AmJAS representative

Raph and McKenna

Raph and McKenna

Pearl

Pearl


Michelle Hu
Ames High School
2014 IJAS Delegate to AmJAS Annual Meeting in Chicago

"The American Junior Academy of Science is really an experience that if possible, all young scientists should be able to have. It's truly an experience that gives high schoolers who may be unsure about pursuing scientific fields in the future a great look at the road ahead and give them a chance to experience it first hand.

One amazing aspect of the conference was the fact that despite us being high schoolers, we were not left behind in the scientific sharing of the AAAS conference. Being able to view the posters our peers made as well as have group sessions where we were able to listen to presentations about their projects was phenomenal. It was a great way for us all to not only spread the research that we had done but also learn more about something others were doing.

Also, being given so many opportunities to meet people from around the country was albeit scary at first, ultimately a very amazing experience. I met people from states all over the country - some of which I still communicate with today! Being in the same conference, you really are able to find people who share the same interests as you. Making connections at this conference are super easy and extremely pleasant.

But most importantly, the experiences were just incomparable. Not only were we able to tour the campuses of nearby colleges (prestigious ones, might I add), but also having the experiences of being treated to such lovely meals, having a banquet at the Field Museum, and eating breakfast with some inspiring scientists were just amazing. Not only that, but being able to hear lectures from Steven Chu and Alan Alda are really once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Overall, the AJAS conference that I was given the honor of attending granted me 5 of the best days of my life. It was not only extremely educational, but fun and inspiring.

Thanks for everything, Iowa Junior Academy of Science!"

Sincerely,

Michelle Hu