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Missing Week of School for Excellent Opportunity??

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Replies to: Missing Week of School for Excellent Opportunity??

  • ENsMomENsMom Registered User Posts: 256 Junior Member
    So many valuable suggestions here! My apologies for not responding sooner -- I have been swamped getting all our ducks in order to obtain the visas for this trip -- as luck would have it, found out just this week that my D's passport expires within 6 months so had to be renewed on an expedited basis in order to obtain the foreign visa! Somewhat of a bureaucratic nightmare, but so far, so good.....

    I am hoping that we do not have to go to battle with our school regarding this absence, but am preparing for battle just in case! I have found our school district's policy regarding "excusable absences" and the section I believe will likely apply in our case is the following:

    "7)For justifiable personal reasons, including,but not limited to, an appearance in court,
    attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion,
    attendance at religious retreats, attendance at an employment conference, or
    attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by
    a nonprofit organization when the pupil’s absence has been requested in writing by
    the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative
    pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board."

    I believe that my D's absence should be excused under 'employment conference' (she is technically an employee of the medical center and is receiving a stipend) or possibly under 'educational conference' even though it is not for legislative or judicial processes (why the limitation, I wonder?????).

    I have had a little talk with my D about her time management while we're traveling, i.e., that as much as both she and I will want to see the sights in our free time, that keeping up with her schoolwork will have to be her priority. I also said that I will run interference and speak with the head of her group if she has to skip a conference event here or there in order to stay on top of her schoolwork. As we all know, these types of events are also full of lunches, evening banquets, etc. etc., and she may have to take a pass on one or two of those.

    I must thank everyone as well for their congratulations and wishes for a great trip! We are very happy for our D -- it is nice to see all of her hard work over the last few years result in such a nice recognition and further opportunity.
  • ENsMomENsMom Registered User Posts: 256 Junior Member
    And mimk6, thanks for the kind offer of assistance!!! I hope I won't have to take you up on it, but if I do, I will!
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,632 Senior Member
    Good luck on the trip! It does sound incredible.

    QuantMech - I'm not sure about the absence policies at our district. I know that college trips are discouraged... but really kids need to see at least a few of their colleges when in session, so we went. And class was missed for school sponsored events (music trips, state meets for EC, etc). For DS, most of that stuff happened in Spring semester - I remember one particular week close to IB exams where he was saved by 2 day unexpected school cancellations (construction snafu).

    He's a bright and capable kid (my bright disorganized kid had to drop out of IB). But fall semester senior year was brutal. Hmmm...just remembering now that part of the hassle due to needing to rewrite IB Extended Essay (his EE advisor was new). That put an extra crunch on college apps.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    Many academics have tenure before they are invited to speak at international conferences. The invitation is a big deal.

    It IS a big deal for a highschooler! I think it's fabulous she's going to do this. Though I am surprised you said this Quantmech as it makes me realize your field is very different than mine. Is your's engineering (going by your title)? In our field, undergrads at int'l conferences is not at all unusual, and it's very much the norm at the masters' level. Now highschool student, that is unusual!
  • QuantMechQuantMech Registered User Posts: 7,820 Senior Member
    Yes, I think my field (quantum mechanics) is very different from yours, starbright. It would be quite rare even for a postdoctoral research associate to speak at an international conference--give a poster session, yes, but not give a talk.

    It is basically unheard of for undergrads to speak at an international conference, in my field. I have never even known an undergraduate who spoke at a regional meeting of a professional society, let alone an international conference. Master's level students wouldn't speak, either.

    Ph.D. students do give poster sessions, but hardly ever give talks, except in regional meetings with a common-interest focus. When a Ph.D. student wins a national award, the student is invited to speak at a national meeting following the award (by which time, the person already has a Ph.D.)
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    ^ Ah it could be because only those with PhDs in hand could know enough to actually present something in quantum mechanics! :)

    But also maybe different terminology along with norms? To be 'invited' in our jargon, means as say a keynote speaker or to be on a special panel at an international conference (that sort of thing is for senior folks usually). But that would be quite different than say having a paper accepted at a conference for presentation (where the authors decide among themselves who will present).

    Sorry to sidetrack this thread, I just was very curious!
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,165 Senior Member
    It took many years in my professional life before I could speak in front of large audience. I couldn't imagine doing it when I was in high school. Kudos to OP's daughter.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,308 Senior Member
    So glad you are going ahead with the trip. Sounds like you can make it an excused absence, if not, don't worry. Her teachers may let her get work done ahead of time, take quizzes if it means the difference between a mandatory poor grade or a good one. This experience trumps anything HS can offer.
  • bears and dogsbears and dogs - Posts: 3,076 Senior Member
    It happens to some teens. some genius, like the astrophysicist who is the director of the planetarium at AMNH.
    he was only teen, HS student when gave lecture at the international conference.
    We don't know what OP' D exactly did or took part of.
    maybe after the thing is done, can hear the report?
    Like, this Canadian girl was 12 year old when crashed into Earth summit conference and gotten standing ovation.
    Which eventually gotten her to Yale, but who knows what happened afterword.

    When there is a chance to do amazing thing, you just want to do it.
    You never know.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 12,169 Senior Member
    ^^Severn Suzuki is still an environmental activist, involved in many causes and does speaking engagements around the world. Her activism at 12 was certainly admirable but not at all surprising, given the fact that her father was, and is, one of the world's most compelling and 'active' environmentalists.
  • mimk6mimk6 Registered User Posts: 4,162 Senior Member
    QuantMech - I'm not sure about the absence policies at our district. I know that college trips are discouraged... but really kids need to see at least a few of their colleges when in session, so we went

    It's unbelievable to me that any school would not understand the need to visit on admit days when you are deciding where to spend four years, often at great cost. Recently I learned that for complicated reasons, our school was going to have Senior Awards Night mid-April. I explained to the college counselor and the principal that this was a big mistake because a lot of the kids getting the most awards would be away at Admit Days and that they needed to be. They changed the date. The principal understood that most of the kids at our school can't visit all the schools they apply to prior to applying, but need to see them before they decide. I don't know how they will count the absences. I do remember that my daughter missed about seven days of school visiting colleges some years ago and her teachers were supportive and understanding.
  • QuantMechQuantMech Registered User Posts: 7,820 Senior Member
    Re post #37: This is a little off-track of the OP's concern (sorry), but just to respond to starbright's question about conference organization:

    For the major international conferences in my field, scientists are generally invited to speak, based on the organizers' knowledge of their work, before they have even supplied the title for the talk. If the number of speakers is small enough, it may happen that all of the talks are "plenary." If there are more speakers, then there are simultaneous sessions with invited talks.

    Some of the conferences take applications for talks, in addition to issuing invitations. The application will usually consist of the title + a one-page abstract--and this is supplemented de facto by what's known of the person's work. In this case, the organizers identify another group of speakers, who may be classified as "invited" speakers or may be classified as giving a "contributed" talk. In the latter case, they may have about half the time of an "invited" speaker. Often, they are young faculty members. Post docs are occasionally among the speakers, but this is a relatively rare event at conferences outside the U.S. It's very good for the post doc, because it generally creates a lot of "buzz" for the person and significantly improves their odds of gaining a good faculty position in the next year.

    It sounds rather hierarchical when I write it down--but I think that it's more the case that it takes a while for knowledge of someone's accomplishments to percolate through the research community. (And it takes a while to accomplish a body of work.)

    In what I suspect is another real difference, the deadline for submitting papers for the conference proceedings generally is set for six months to one year *after* the conference. The Gordon Research Conferences have no proceedings, and in fact one is not permitted to refer to results revealed at these conferences, prior to publication of the results.

    Practically all of the conferences have poster sessions. Boards (similar to movable vertical chalkboards on frames, but made of a porous material) are placed in a large room, and the people presenting posters have an allocated space to put up material about their work. Grad students and post docs generally give the posters, although I have seen very well established scientists giving posters at some of the conferences. Sometimes the members of the scientific organizing committee will give a poster--for a combination of reasons. Organizing the conference is a lot of work (!) and they may not know in advance whether they will have time to prepare a formal talk. Also, it shows the young scientists that their work is valued, even if they are not giving a talk.

    At national professional society meetings, the split into "invited" and shorter "contributed" talks is generally followed as well. One of the societies traditionally allows any member to give a talk--however, good scheduling is not guaranteed. In some areas, an advanced graduate student might give a contributed talk at a national professional meeting (of a society that does not allow everyone to talk). However, this would be scheduled for one of the simultaneous sessions, with an attendance of 20-25. Grad students are more common as speakers at the regional meetings, or in specialty sub-field meetings. Both grads and undergrads give poster presentations at these meetings.
  • bears and dogsbears and dogs - Posts: 3,076 Senior Member
    That^is good to know.
    I know it isn't your field, but you might then know about how that 12 year old thing happened?
    alwaysamom
    I knew her dad pulled all strings so she and her friend could be there, but the video I saw, some of the (quite few, actually) leading countries representative's seat was vacant, and whom there seemed either inattentive or did not know what was going on when she started to talk.
    I did not know that back then but now I understand English bit better, her speech sounds pouty (is it a right word?) and one side-accusational, like we are just kids, this is all your fault, do something!
    Is there possibility that her "child" ness was what added to her celebrity status then?
    It gives me a bit of creep.
    Her adult act as TV nature program anchor was kind of sad to watch. It is hard to keep it all together if it was started too soon.

    OP doesn't have to worry about that, good thing.
  • QuantMechQuantMech Registered User Posts: 7,820 Senior Member
    Different fields, different rules. A very young speaker at an eco-conference won't be able to say anything that people don't know, but could help to publicize ecological concerns--as well as reminding people that we have the Earth in trust for future generations.

    Can't think what a 12-year-old, even a very brilliant one, would say at a conference on quantum mechanics. There are not many Intel winners in this area, because the learning curve is pretty lengthy. It's just a different field. Not saying that it's better than other fields! A number of other areas, where there are Intel winners, have much more immediate impact in improving human life.
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