Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Travel Journal: Ohio

Kristin and I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to represent eCYBERMISSION at the National Rural Education Association's (NREA) 2009 Annual Convention. While we were there we hoped to connect with rural school administrators, teachers, business and industry leaders interested in maintaining vital rural school systems across the country.

Rather than take the very early 5:30 am flight from Baltimore to Cincinnati on Friday morning, we decided to head out on Thursday afternoon and we're glad we did! After quickly checking into our hotel, we headed out for a quick bite to eat at the Cock & Bull English Pub in Covington. The neighborhood locals were out and the vibe was relaxing and friendly.

Our Friday morning started with a visit to Hughes STEM High School near downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. We met with Kelly Obarski, Assistant Academic Director, and discussed the program at Hughes STEM High School and how they might be able to utilize eCYBERMISSION within their school. Hughes High School is a part of the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN), which is a collaborative aimed at building and connecting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching and learning capacity across the state of Ohio. The vision of Hughes STEM High School is to offer innovative programs and to promote economic progress by providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue post-secondary opportunities and more specialized STEM careers.

We moved on to the NREA conference at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, a beautiful National Historic Landmark with restored French Art Deco. The NREA's 101st Annual Convention and Research Symposium "Rural Schools: Serving All Students" brought together leaders in rural education systems and engaged private sector representatives to discuss the issues and possible solutions for maintaining strong and vibrant rural education systems and communities. In between the educational and research symposium sessions, we met with a number of leaders from various school districts. We met people like:
While the attendees we met with come from different communities and different parts of the country, they held in common a commitment to providing outstanding educational opportunities to their students regardless of their socio-economic background or geographic location. We will continue to work with these and other attendees as they spread the work about eCYBERMISSION.

Throughout the program's history, eCYBERMISSION winners have come from diverse geographic areas, including many rural communities. We are proud to help serve the rural educational community and look forward to continued participation from students across the U.S.

We had a fantastic experience in Cincinnati and know the rest of the team is excited about their upcoming travels. Next up? Maryland, Alabama and New England!

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