Finding my place (in a survival suit)

It’s our third day, and I’m finally blogging!  I feel like it’s taken me this long to get my bearings—after meeting everyone the first night onshore, I was feeling like “Why was I selected?”  There are such accomplished, amazing teacher participants and faculty I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up.  Now I’ve found my groove.  The first day, still on land, we discussed the nature of science, including the fact that scientists work together.  This is so contrary to the American concept of doing-it-yourself that even though I have heard it a million times, I still feel like I should be able to answer everything on my own or I’m not a good teacher/geologist.  However, in our discussions yesterday (our first attempt to decode what the standard core tests indicate) I really got to see—and hopefully, finally internalized—that none of us (not even the faculty) can interpret this data in a vacuum.  We need multiple minds working on it to remember all of the factors, and keep one person’s biases from unduly influencing our interpretation of the data.  This is actually empowering, because I don’t have to know everything to be a valuable part of the team.  This is one of the concepts I need to bring back to my 8th graders—how to be part of the team,  and the importance of sharing ideas instead of working in isolation.

Of course, one of my skills is volunteering to demonstrate the survival suit at our safety talk (see photos).