The following blog post has been written by Suhani Karanjawala and Reena Shah; Two students from the Montgomery High School located in New Jersey, who attended the International Space Station Research and Development Conference, alongside their teacher and mentor, Daniel Lee.
At the conference, we attended many technical workshops and listened to keynote speakers present new developments on the ISS and in the space industry. The experience was extremely valuable for us, as students passionate about aerospace, and it helped deepen our understanding of the field as a whole. We learned about different aspects of the field that we don’t typically see being part of a high school club. Talking to aerospace professionals allowed us to apply our knowledge from working with MaxIQ directly to the industry. Throughout the conference, we also learned about projects done by high school and college students on the ISS which was inspiring to see. This was a privilege as in the future we hope to stay in contact and work with other students as well as professionals. This will allow us to continue to broaden our understanding of aerospace as well as work with others just as passionate about the field as us.
Students at Networking Reception
One highlight at the conference for us was attending the Women’s Networking Breakfast. Not only was it inspiring to see many influential women in attendance, but it was also educational as talking to the women present allowed us to learn more about the industry and about life in general. We particularly enjoyed the “hands-on'' activities at this breakfast such as the Cat’s Cradle activity. Each pair of women would tangle a piece of yarn in the Cat’s Cradle pattern and then work together to untangle the yarn piece. This activity, amongst others, allowed us to better connect with the other women at the conference while teaching us about the trials and tribulations of life. The networking breakfast in particular allowed us to meet with a variety of different women with different backgrounds, something we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to do during the conference itself.
Students at Women’s Networking Breakfast
Overall, it was a privilege to be a part of this conference. From being able to learn from the best in the industry, and connecting with other ambitious high school students, the ISS R&D conference proved to be a valuable experience for both of us!