I spent the past five days in Bethesda, Maryland, attending the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. High school presenters from all over the U.S. came to share their scientific research, inventions, and projects at the symposium. It was held in a conference center hotel and was fully sponsored—lodging, travel, everything—by the Armed Forces.
Because of how close it was, we were able to visit Washington, D.C. twice during our stay in Bethesda. The small group of us from Minnesota ran through monuments and museums, took plenty of pictures, did the typical touristy stuff, and had a good time. It was my second time in D.C. and I still got to see and do new things.
Nights in the hotel were always spent studying for upcoming AP exams, finals, and homework though, but 30 Rock breaks and Internet surfin’ were sprinkled throughout.
It was a great experience and welcome break from the grind of late senior year.
It was inspiring to mix with both the high school students behind top-level projects as well as the actual, professional scientists who came to speak with us. Our proximity to Washington, D.C. gave us the chance to visit historic sites while also underscoring the importance of innovation to the nation’s future.