Monday, July 8, 2013

state conference 2013

This year I brought nine students to the state conference and all them competed in STAR Events. I am proud to say I had one national qualify and another gold medal winner.  I was looking forward to attending Nationals all year, but I had to make the hard to decision not to go since I would be very pregnant by July.  This was the first year I brought a male student to the conference.  I was a little nervous about this at first but everything was fine.  He decided he wanted to have a room to himself and was willing to pay the whole cost, and although he is autistic, he grew socially, independently, and educationally over the weekend.   

Again, I volunteered to be an event chair for Advocacy.  I am ready to learn a new event in the coming years.  This is one of the best ways to become more comfortable with the events. It is so much fun to talk with students before and after their events.  We were located in a hallway were I was able to stop students heading to their events and ask them questions.  It was fun to give them a little boost of confidence before they headed to their judges.  Because of all the interaction between students, judges, and getting a deep look at many projects, this is the best way to learn about STAR Events and feel more confident in explaining the events and rubrics to potential competitors in future years.  

Luckily, I did not have trouble getting students interested in competing at state. I was pleased with the number of students I had this year. I do not put much pressure on students because it really needs to be their drive that gets a good project done.  I set a deadline before registration was due for them to meet with me with detailed plans for how they would get their project completed. I checked in with all of them about a month later. The week before state, each group presented in front of our members and we used the judge’s rubrics to give them feedback.

As far as recruiting ideas, we will update our display board to be used at “Club Rush” in August.  When we returned from State this spring, it motivated a few new students to consider joining the chapter next year.  I personally encourage those students who really stand out as potential assets to our organization and those who need something positive in their lives.  My biggest advice to newer advisers is to jump right in and get involved at the district and state level because the teachers you will work with are very helpful and the more you learn, the more comfortable you will be in getting your students involved.