On this beautiful Monday morning, about 150 educators from around the globe descended upon Chicago for the annual DENSI group outing. This trip consisted of a visit to The Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium, both within a short walk from one another on the banks of Lake Michigan. At The Field Museum, attendees had a chance to visit exhibits about North American Indians, Ancient Egypt, Africa, numerous animals, and the most famous of all, Sue! Sue happens to be the largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found, and she did not disappoint. It was exciting to wander around the museum and see groups of yellow shirted educators, connecting with each other and enjoying the displays.
The Adler Planetarium gave this group a chance to explore our solar system in a scale model, and several DEN friends enjoyed taking a #napchat on the giant sun. There were exhibits on moon missions, telescopes, and astronomy, to name a few. The highlight of the planetarium was the show Planet Nine, which described why Pluto was taken out of planethood, as well as what could exist beyond Pluto. The ninth true planet, perhaps? In true DEN fashion, the entire group gave the traditional greeting to the live narrator of the show. Echoes of “Hi, Steve!” will linger in his memory for a long while.
To wrap up the day, attendees participated in an escape room created by the extraordinary T.C. Conway. It was exciting for these educators to collaborate and solve puzzles that were challenging and logical. Most groups escaped with only a short amount of time left!
Tomorrow is the first full day of sessions, and with the talent and expertise lined up, it will be hard for these attendees to choose their sessions. Fortunately, there will be a Google doc with resources. Be sure to follow along on Twitter with the hashtags #densi2016 and #notatdensi2016.