As an event organizer, you make hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions small and large. It’s nearly impossible to anticipate the impact of each of these decisions.  For VizLiteracy 2012, we decided to open up the event not just to adults, but to students.  We didn’t promote the event specifically for students nor did we actually expect that any would show up.  Since visual literacy and thinking is for everybody, why not keep it open, right?  Well, much to our surprise one student did register…not a college student or a high schooler, or even a junior higher.  Instead, 9-year-old Emily Torrance was the hit of the event, actively participating in sessions throughout the day.  Each of the facilitators commented on how smart she was and commenting on her insight and participation.

So, sure, showing up is great, but what impact did we really have? You rarely hear about it from adult attendees more or less a student, but Emily took it upon herself to blog (!!!) about the experience in a post titled “Special Thanks To…

We’re not sure quite yet what we’re going to do next year related to students, but Emily’s experience and feedback opened our eyes to many possibilities.  Thanks to you Emily!  By the way, you can call me Tom.

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