DO-IT Trio Does Texas
Congratulations to staff member James O'Connor, DO-IT Scholar Justin, and DO-IT Ambassador Anh who were invited to present DO-IT at Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair in Fort Worth, Texas in May. Anh is from California and has a mobility impairment; Justin, from Florida, is blind; and James has dyslexia. They shared information about the DO-IT program and adaptive technology, and acted as role models for students pursuing science. They shared experiences with participants from around the world. They also took part in an international round table discussion and an opening ceremony at the world's largest honky tonk. Following are several candid accounts of their adventure.
- I just want to thank DO-IT for giving me the opportunity to speak on their behalf at Intel International Science Fair in Forth Worth, Texas. James, Justin, and I had a blast representing the DO-IT program. We were scheduled to do only one "shop talk" but we were asked to do another talk later in the week. Our first "shop talk" was on Monday and our second one was on Thursday. We were nervous on Monday; we did not know what reaction we were going to get from the audience. In addition, we did not know how well we were going to do. Luckily, somehow we all made it through. During our second "shop talk" we were more relaxed because we knew what to expect from our audience. I feel that we gave it our best during both presentations.
During our stay in Texas, we visited the town of Fort Worth and were able to participate in events planned for us. Intel was a great host. They rolled out the red carpet for us and treated us like V.I.Ps. Intel put us up in the most expensive hotel there is in Forth Worth, the Worthington. Just to give you a sense of how prestigious the hotel is, a can of soda in our mini-refrigerator was $2, and the cheapest room there was $135 per night. Not only did Intel pick up the tab for our hotel and airfare, they also gave us spending money so we could eat anywhere in Fort Worth. And, I tell you, we ate some interesting meals. For example, we went to Razzoo, a Cajun restaurant, our first night and we had Fried Gators. Yes, you heard me right, I said we ordered Fried Gators. I was skeptical at first, but I figured what the heck and joined them. Believe it or not, it was pretty good.
In conclusion, we had an awesome time in Forth Worth. It was a great experience for the three of us and I hope we can do it again in the near future.
- I had the time of my life. I had more country than I knew what to do with. I loved every minute of it. There wasn't a day when I didn't have something that I was interested in. Anh, James, and I went to a western store. I felt this cape thing. I thought that it was pretty cool. Before James or Anh could say anything, my money was out and in the clerk's hand. When we were leaving the store, James and Anh were laughing at something. I could not figure out what in the heck they were laughing at, so I simply asked them. They told me that they were laughing at nothing. When we were totally out of the store, I asked James, "I want to know what you think about this cape? Not what I think." He said that he thought it was a girl's. So we took it back. I learned one lesson from that. Never just flip the pages if you can't read the book. The only way that I could conclude this message is to say, "I never had a better time than this experience. It was for sure a good one."
- What an experience! Not only did I get to talk and share DO-IT with people from all over the world, but I also had two friends accompany me. The main focus of the trip was presenting DO-IT to teachers, students, and accompanying adults at Intel's International Science & Engineering Fair. Who could ask for a better place to present? During both presentations we had international audiences. With Justin and Anh along, people definitely knew about DO-IT by the end of the week.
The DO-IT presentations were the main focus of the trip, but there was a lot more, too. We visited "Billy Bob's," the world's largest honky tonk. Justin was in heaven at this place. Then there was Razzoo's, a Cajun restaurant. I think Justin and Anh about cleaned them out of gator. How about Justin's shopping? Keep an eye on this guy. The best experience was just hanging out with Justin and Anh. All this and I was still getting paid! Life is good!!!