Out here in San Diego, I spent the day busting myths in the new Discovery booth at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference! Busting myths? Well, that’s our theme this time around because Adam and Jamie, the Mythbusters, are going to be the keynote at the presidents dinner! We unveiled a brand new booth at the conference and buzz there has been incredible.
My trip to NSTA began with a bang. A couple hours after I landed in sunny california, I got a call saying to swing by a VIP reception that we were sponsoring. At first it didn’t seem all that different from any other reception I’ve been to, until Chris pointed out to me an interesting looking fellow in a bow tie. He looked familar, but at first I just couldn’t place the face. When he smiled though, it clicked into place. Bill Nye the Sciene Guy! A few minutes later, Bill welcomed everybody to the reception and toasted one of the award winners. Of course, the DEN crew couldn’t resist getting a photo with the legendary scientist.
Friday was spent hanging out at the booth itself. The new booth is absolutely amazing. There is a huge screen for doing presentations and plenty of seating. Well, it seemed like plenty of seating, but every presentation we did wound up having about 30 more people than we had seats for! There were incredible crowds to check demonstrations of unitedstreaming, Discovery Health Connection, and the latest product that we began demonstrating on Thursday, Discovery Education Science Connection. It was an interesting dynamic during the presentations. About half the people were familiar with the products and just huge fans, and the other half had heard about people raving about how much they loved sites like unitedstreaming and wanted to know what was so great about them.
Of course, the theme of each presentation was Mythbusting. For example, one of the Myths was "The sun will shine forever". Like the Mythbusters, the Discovery presenters had to use the tools at hand to figure out whether the Myth was true or could be busted. Since this is a science conference, everyone in the booth was decked out in official Discovery lab coats. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me asking whether they could buy the lab coat right off my back. Lucky for them, we were giving them away! Anybody who attended a presentation had a chance to answer a few questions correctly and get a Mythbusters themed labcoat for free! They were a huge hit at the conference and we saw people walking around wearing them all day long.
I did get a few interviews in for a future DEN podcast and heard plenty of stories from teachers about how they’re using Discovery tools to make learning come alive for their students. It’s always a great feeling when somebody comes up to you at a conference and spends ten minutes telling you how much they love your products. Looking forward to doing more of the same today! Of course, the big thrill is going to be seeing the Mythbusters speak tonight! More to come from NSTA 2006!