Published: May 23, 2023
Ms. Sperling writes:
I finished an EdD this winter and I did my dissertation in STEM/ engineering education for girls and underrepresented minorities. I’m back to teaching high school and now on Devil Dragon Balloon Team for the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project so my students and I will be launching high-altitude balloons into the next two eclipses. We’re also returning to present at this winter’s AAS - inspired by my time in NITARP.
If it wasn’t for NITARP, I wouldn’t have done any of this! Doing NITARP gave me a firsthand look into research that gave me the confidence to go back for another graduate degree. NITARP also pushed me to do more with academic writing/ conferences and that was a first step to realizing that I wanted to present at conferences and apply for grants (I’ve done a number in the years since). The people I met through NITARP introduced me to ballooning and encouraged me to try it in my classroom. I also talk to the members of team cosmic dIRt regularly (one at least weekly) and they are still my most important professional network. Yay NITARP!