NAHS EF Global Student Leaders Summit focus was "The Future of Energy. A group of eleven New Albany students, former students, teachers and adults experienced first-hand how important renewable energy is for our environment and our economy. The leadership conference was inspiring and innovative. Students met world-renowned leaders, scientist, and entrepreneurs including the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the US Ambassador to Iceland, Robert Cushman Barber, and physicist Dr. Steven Chu. Dr. Chu was the co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 and served as the United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013.
Students were separated in to teams during the student leadership summit. The teams consisted of individuals from all over the United States and Iceland. Within their teams, students were introduced to the design thinking process and had to develop a real solution for today's energy challenges. The ideas were shared with all the other participants, staff, teachers and honored guests during the "Invention Village". One of our New Albany HS graduates, Sam Luther, currently an engineering student at OSU, helped lead and advise the team that won the most popular vote for their design. Their prototype will be displayed at the Nobel Museum with designs from top researchers around the world.
During the summit it was intriguing to listen and talk with the Icelandic students and teachers as they shared their culture, education, language and history of Iceland. (Takk means Thanks in Icelandic language). We had the privilege of touring the towns of Reykjavik and Keflavik and we swam in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, whose geothermal waters from a nearby geothermal power plant helps treat skin ailments with its mineral-rich waters.
The group had a special impromptu visit with NASA when we discovered one of their research teams eating breakfast with us at a hotel. Josh Willis, the lead scientist, and his team agreed to give us a private presentation on their research which is titled "OMG" - Oceans Melting Greenland. This was an amazing opportunity for all of our students. Check out the link below.
A few symbolic experiences on the trip included riding Icelandic horses during a snowfall and photographing the Northern Lights. We also discovered the black sandy beaches, explored geothermal activity and watched the waves crash on the lava rock formations. We crossed the bridge between two continents at the Mid Atlantic Ridge.
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