BFA High School Students Present Research at World’s Largest Scientific Conference

Target 2 – Leadership in a Student Centered Learning Environment. FWSU will foster development of teacher & student leaders who provide innovative opportunities for local and global student-centered learning.

Action Step- Ensure students and staff take an active role shaping their learning using rich, authentic questions, problems they identify, and diverse resources.

Indicator of Success – Student voice will have the power to impact the perceptions of others.

High School students Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee with science teacher Tom Lane and parent Teresa Larose traveled to San Francisco, CA to attend the American Geophysical Union Fall Conference (http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2014/).

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 “With nearly 24,000 attendees, the AGU Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world. Now in its 47th year, the AGU Fall Meeting is the best place to present your research, hear about the latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the field, and network and make connections that can enhance your career.”

(Science Teacher Thomas Lane and students Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee during registration for AGU Fall Conference in San Francisco, CA)

(Science Teacher Thomas Lane and students Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee during registration for AGU Fall Conference in San Francisco, CA)

With support from the Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) Program at Saint Michael’s College and the help of BFA science teacher Tom Lane, Rebekah and Sophie have been collecting water samples for Phosphate and Total Suspended Solids analysis, measuring temperature and stage at Mill Brook (by BFA) and Black Creek (near East Fairfield) for the past year. This data collection is part of a larger program examining how phosphate gets into Lake Champlain. The student’s research, which looked at the movement of phosphate from riparian zones into streams, found an interesting correlation between soil type and phosphate level.

Attending AGU gave Rebekah and Sophie the opportunity to communicate their findings at the highest level. Go to https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/meetingapp.cgi#Paper/24303 to see a copy of their abstract accepted by the Bright STaRS Program at AGU.

(Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee stand with their poster prior to their presentation time on Thursday, December 18 at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA)

(Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee stand with their poster prior to their presentation time on Thursday, December 18 at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA)

In addition to presenting their research during their four days at the conference Rebekah and Sophie viewed posters and attend oral presentations from some of the 25,000 scientists in attendance. They also attended lectures by a number of keynote speakers. The lecture by Jeffery Sachs (Director of the Earth Institute and Professor at Columbia University) was thought provoking. “The experience was overwhelming with the amount of new information being discussed regarding all aspects of the Geosciences.”

(Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose answer questions and explain their research to Postdoc Fellow Santosh Panda from the University of Alaska Permafrost Lab.)

(Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose answer questions and explain their research to Postdoc Fellow Santosh Panda from the University of Alaska Permafrost Lab.)

“I’m very proud of the work Sophie and Rebekah have done.  Presenting research at AGU is a big deal!”

In addition to attending the conference the group found time to explore San Francisco and some of the surrounding area.

(Teresa  Larose, Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose standing among giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.)

(Teresa Larose, Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose standing among giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.)

(Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee at the Christmas tree in Union Square downtown San Francisco, CA)

(Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee at the Christmas tree in Union Square downtown San Francisco, CA)

Congratulations to Rebekah and Sophie on their exciting accomplishments!

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