Last Thursday I had the opportunity to evaluate presentations from students at the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA). It is their version of Extreme Makeover Science Fair Edition. Topics that I got to hear presented on were:
The Profitability of Private Equity
Determining Heat Load of Infrared Laser Radiation through Direct and Side-Firing Optical Fibers
Chest CT Imaging Findings in Patients with Localized Sarcoma
I even saw a presentation given by one of my former students from my first year of teaching on understanding the formation of Toroidal-Spiral particles.
It was amazing research that they have high school students doing. I had a really good time there seeing what kids are capable of doing.
During our time walking the halls one of the people I was with pointed out Dr. Leon Lederman who is a Nobel winning physicist. He and Einstein definitely had the same barber. He wasn't breaking any stereotypes about brilliant scientists. I told one of my friends I was with that I was going to go over and say hello. Before making this list I probably would have just looked at him across the room and thought it was neat to be in the same room as him. I decided that I was going to go over and say hello. As I got over to him I said hello, shook his hand and surprisingly our conversation was in the area of sports (thank God!). He's a big sports fan and we had all just seen a presentation on baseball statistics and how certain stats influence winning percentages. We only talked for 2 minutes but I was really happy that I made the decision to walk across the room to say hello.
It wasn't a goal of mine, but I was proud that I was able to do it.