For the 2nd time in the last 3 years, I've lucked into taking someone's spot at the 12th Annual Space Exploration
Educators Conference (techinically it was the 10th annual a couple of years ago).
Two years ago one of our 4th grade teachers was going to attend but unfortunately for him his wife was due to have their 4th child at the same time. Oh, she tried to push it out a week early, but thanks in large part to my constant urging to "Squeeze those legs together, keep it in", she didn't deliver until two days before the conference, so I went in her husband's place.
This time we have a 3rd grade teacher who can't attend and I am going in her place. Two years ago I met other Science teachers from around the country, some of whom had even paid their own way and taken personal leave to attend. There was a rumor that some teachers from China were in attendance. It was at this conference that I learned how to make a hovercraft, a skill I will be presenting at a Regional Science convention in a few weeks (with of course a few modifications).
The great thing about this conference is NASA treats the teachers as if they were royalty. SpaceCenter Houston is shut down for the 3 days of the conference and you are treated to a night of dinner and dancing, including an all astronaut band, on Friday night.
Hopefully, I'll have a better hotel experience than the last conference I went to. I'm hoping for a real internet connection in my room and a bar with some good vodka, not the rotgut the Texas Museum crowd forced me to drink at the last conference. Hopefully I'll have some pictures too.