Stories from the Field

2018 Shenandoah Scholars: Science Symposium

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The 2018 Shenandoah Alcoa Scholars in Washington, D.C.

On Friday, our 16 Scholars traveled to the National Park Service's National Capitol Region office to present their science investigations. The presentations covered a range of topics from plant and animal life in the park, to questions about the chemistry of the streams, and even the effects of rain on group morale!

The presentations were structured as a science symposium, in which three Scholars with similar research projects each presented their posters, and then returned to the front of the room as a group to be asked questions about their research. The Scholars did a wonderful job explaining their research and methodology, the importance of their findings and ways they would continue their research if they had a longer time in Shenandoah National Park. 

Among the attendees were Kayla Branch, Grant Administrator of Alcoa Foundation; Autumn Saxton-Ross, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of NatureBridge; Maricy Schmitz from the Embassy of Brazil; and Ásdís Hreinsdóttir, the Ambassador's Assistant for Iceland! Maricy asked great questions of the Scholars and spoke of the need for more scientists and scientific research, and had a chance to meet Henrique, our Scholar from Brazil.
One of our Icelandic Scholars said it was a great surprise when one of the audience members (Ásdís) said "Hello" to her in Icelandic. We are so thankful for all of the people who attended the presentations and made the science symposium such a success, and the Scholars for all the hard work and intention they put into their projects.

After presentations, the Scholars traveled to Rock Creek Park for lunch, and then hiked the trails and cleaned up trash in the park as part of their stewardship project. They then spent the afternoon at the National Zoo, and ended the evening walking through the National Mall by the FDR and Lincoln Memorials at sunset.

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