Adventures of the Mind: A Top Student Summit

175 students met with professors and professionals in areas such as technology, literature, science and art at an 'Adventures of the Mind' summit in Montana. The students who were chosen to attend were picked because they showed an ability to think creatively and be passionate about the process of learning. Some of the professionals that mentored the students included Bonnie Dunbar, a former NASA astronaut, and Jack Horner, a professor in paleontology at Montana State University.

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The Importance of Mentoring

The 'Adventures of the Mind' summit encourages students who show promise in a particular area of study to interact with professionals and educators in a wide variety of disciplines. The goal is to provide these students with feedback on their current work and give advice in regards to career paths. Mrs. Dunbar knew at a very young age that she wanted to be an astronaut. Her eighth grade teacher provided her with the support she needed and suggested she enroll in ninth grade algebra. Because she received that important piece of advice and support, she wants to give back to students who are on the brink of choosing a career path or are undecided about future plans.

Jack Horner, a regents professor in paleontology at Montana State University, was a talented student with a love of dinosaurs who also happened to be dyslexic. At school, Mr. Horner flunked out of almost every class. However, he showed tremendous talent at building science projects and was able to distinguish himself from other students at science fairs. Mr. Horner is an example to the students at the 'Adventures of the Mind' summit that pursing one's goals with passion and hard work can overcome any obstacles.

Building for the Future

Brandon Ford, a student at West Philadelphia High School, was chosen to attend the summit because of the work he and his mechanics team did on designing an electric car, which was subsequently entered into a competition and made it as far as the semifinals. Brandon's team was the only high school participant to make it that far. Currently he is working with other students on developing another plug-in, electric car that is built with off-the-shelf, affordable parts. Brandon estimates that this new model car should be completed by the end of the next school year.

Brandon is typical of the students attending the 'Adventures of the Mind' summit. He is extremely talented and ambitious but also has interests in other areas. When he was very young he was fond of drawing. As a result, he is looking forward to meeting with some cartoonists at the summit, which gets at the goal of the summit. The mentors are available to provide these students with feedback and guidance on their areas of expertise. The students can then make informed decisions about their career options.

Learn how the Education Innovation Summit is helping shape the future of education by emphasizing an entrepreneurial approach.

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