MILWAUKEE -- Some of the most-respected scientists in the country - from schools like Princeton and MIT - showed up to work with students at Bay View High School Monday night. The students didn't just gain a new appreciation for science, they learned something important about themselves.
Presenting their research on topics many of us have never heard of, to expert scientists who are in Milwaukee for a National Physics Conference, was intimidating to say the least.
"They are the probably the smartest people we will ever meet in our entire lives," says student Evelyn Tinoco. "I was like, geez, I'm going to have to talk to them about my research?"
Through that interaction, the freshmen and sophomore students gained confidence in their own abilities.
"People were like wow, you really know your information!" Tinoco says. "When they came in the classroom and were preparing us, asking me stuff, and I answering it right on the spot, I felt really smart!"
"It's been an amazing experience," says student Brantavius Gilmore.
It's an experience that shows this diverse group of students that they can be the next experts.
"This isn't a field reserved for an elite few," says Arturo Dominguez, the Science Education Senior Program Leader for Princeton University's Plasma Physics Laboratory. "This is a field that anybody can get into if you're excited about it, if you put effort into it."
"I plan to go to college for the things I want to do," Gilmore says. "I'm going to go to college for Business and Engineering."
"I want to be somebody in life," adds Jimmy Garcia. "There's so many things I want to accomplish, and I'm happy I got to do this. I feel special for doing this, because I've never been included in something like this before."
The students will be meeting with the scientists again this Friday at the National Physics Conference at the Wisconsin Center. That event is free and open to the public on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6-8 p.m.