There are trees in New York. Really.

There are trees in New York. Really.

I’m honored to be here at the Science Online Teen conference. Stacy Baker graciously invited me to come down on behalf of Learnist. I took the commuter rail down early this morning, and had just enough time to enjoy some coffee after getting off the 125th Street platform in Harlem, but not quite enough time to take the pilgrimage I’ve always wanted to take to the Apollo Theatre, just around the corner. After all, I’m here to pay homage to science, after all, not music. Maybe later, if I’m good.

I arrived at the Upper East Side efficiently after a wonderful stroll past the flowering trees–I was here in Manhattan about a month ago for Startup Weekend Edu, but it wasn’t time for the trees to flower. Just time to take part in one of the coolest contests in the world. Today, the weather’s good, the trees are flowering, and, if I’m not mistaken, I think I might even have seen a couple New Yorkers crack a smile. I always try to tuck my smile away before getting off the train here so I can’t be recognized as a foreigner.

My destination today–the Convent of the Sacred Heart School. I found it easily–it’s the real-life “Mr. Monopoly” mansion, donated to the school at end of the Gilded Age. I’m immediately finding myself distracted by all the teens buzzing around, excited about science. On a Saturday. I wish I could have brought a busload of my students.

I walked around studying “my stuff.” History, architecture, imagining this mansion in full swing. Then I got busy. I am honored to go to three workshops today that will be uniting teens with real scientists and educators changing the landscape of science. I’ll be making some Learnist boards, connecting with some scientists who love historians, I hope, and talking to a whole lot of teens who will be changing the landscape of our nation. We need them. We need them to do great things. We need them to transcend the boundaries of their education and ask the key questions, like “Why?” and “Why not?” So, if you will kindly excuse me, I’ll go meet some inspirational people, and later today, I’ll tweet out some Learnist boards, and maybe even write an article or two about these teens.

Wherever you are, enjoy this weekend–it’s a glorious day in Manhattan for learning about science and paying homage to some really inspiring teens.