Monday, August 8, 2011

ISAS 2011 Academy 2 Day 7

Today, the first ISAS summer Academy of 2011 came to a close as students, parents, mentors and honored guests attended a VIP luncheon in Boise State University’s Student Union Simplot Ballroom. All the hard work that the students had put into their projects this week was finalized a couple hours prior to the luncheon. Leaving the students with enough time to rehearse their presentations before parents, friends, and other important persons marched into the ample ballroom in Boise State's Student Union Building.

Students saying gathering before presentation

Peter Kavouras giving Opening Speech

As observers of the students throughout the week, it was amazing to watch a group of high-schoolers from across an entire state gel so quickly and design an original mission to Mars, all while experiencing countless different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opportunities. What these students have achieved in the past week is astounding. Idaho is truly fortunate to be one of only five states to take part in the High School Aerospace Scholars program. The state is also exceptionally lucky to have such amazing students within its borders. Idaho is very fortunate indeed to not only have such an exceptional program for its students, but also to have such bright minds that are willing to partake in such a program that will inevitably change them for the better.

ISAS stage

After the teams made small presentations in the ballroom's lobby, they started to come in with their teams, preparing themselves to give an even more in-depth presentation to the avid audience that lay before them. Although before their actual presentations, the students were preceded by Peter Kavouras, Director of ISAS, who gave the introductory speech and read a letter from governor Butch Otter that congratulated the students on their hard work and determination during their week at ISAS.

After hearing what the governor wished to say to the students, all those in attendance ate delicious pasta and chicken with all sorts of sides. The ballroom filled with the sounds of clinking silverware, conversation, and music as a commemorative video of the 2011 Academy played on a screen in the background. Once the meal was completed, each team stepped up to the stage in order to present their respective components of the mission accompanied by a Prezi presentation. The parents listened carefully and in amazement. Here in front of them were their high school children, the same children who were dropped off at Boise State University one week ago, presenting revolutionary ideas as professionals. To witness such an event, parents could not help but feel proud as their children displayed a striking maturity and air of success, uncommon in the typical high school student.

The luncheon came to a close with the presentation of diplomas and prepared speeches by a few of the students who were adamant in sharing their experiences with all those present.

Following the student's testimonies, a short video was played in which the students were congratulated by the head coordinator of the High School Aerospace Scholars program: Linda Smith. Now with ISAS 2011 Academy 2 ending this week, many of the people that have been involved with this program are glad to yet again view another batch of bright, young minds coming through this Academy with a new outlook on their academic careers and also with an even bigger network of people, all ready to help them out when needed.
This last blog concludes the coverage for Camp 2. A more "live" version of the days' events are being uploaded onto the ISAS Summer Academy Facebook group and page, as well as to Twitter at ISAS_Academy. All of the staff at ISAS wish them good luck and are proud of all the work they have done.

--Andrew Schrader, Jaime Guevara, LaCinda Villanueva--

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