BCCE 2012 is just around the corner at Penn State University. Opening ceremonies begin on July 29th and the conference runs through August 2nd.
I have been registered. I just made my housing plans. Now I need to get to work on formalizing my two presentations that I will give. I will be sharing an inquiry activity that I created through the Target Inquiry program at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. I am also involved in a symposium for new chemistry teachers. I am joining other veterans to share some of the gems we have picked up, lessons that work well for us, tips and hints for organization, grading, demos and other items that will hopefully be valuable for the newer teachers.
I look forward to seeing colleagues and meeting new people. It is a great chance to find new ideas and get fired up for the upcoming school year. I encourage you to attend with a group or as an individual. If you have not attended before, the Web site and schedule can seem overwhelming. My suggestion is to just register (make sure to sign up for the ice cream social and other free activities), make your housing plans and travel arrangements and then just show up. The atmosphere is friendly, welcoming and helpful. We are all there for the same reasons and it is easy to meet new people and figure out your schedule as the week progresses.
For 1st timers: Staying in the dorm is pretty cool if you go with the right mindset. Being in such close proximity to other attendees is great, but you need to remember that it is not a hotel. You do need to bring some basic supplies that are not required in a hotel. You usually don't get the shampoo, soap and soft towels. My only regret when I stayed at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX for the 2010 BCCE was that I didn't bring my own pillow. I didn't miss the soft carpet or t.v. provided by a hotel because I was so busy with activities and hanging out with colleagues that I just needed the room to catch some sleep.
I have never been to Penn State or spent any time in Pennsylvania. I see some suggestions on the BCCE Web site, but I would love some personal recommendations for things to do while I am there. If you have any, please post as a comment to this blog.