It was April 18th, 2008. Boryana, Phillip, and I were in Varna, Bulgaria to present our project on the topic of “Electrical current in electrolytes”; we had been working on this project since the beginning of the school year. Our project was one of the few selected for the final stage of а National Innovative Teaching competition. The goal of this competition was to increase students’ interest in physics through a more interactive way of teaching and expand their knowledge in the subject area.
Our project got rejected the year before, but we didn’t give up. The three of us teamed up again in the beginning of the year. Boryana, our physics high school teacher, structured the material to use computer simulations of physical experiments and follow the curriculum to provide students with the opportunity for self-study. She had taken the bus to come to my house to work on the final touches of the website on a Saturday. She was one of the most dedicated teachers I had in high school.
We did a complete revamp of the website and added more animations to visualize the processes and the conditions for the flow of electric current through electrolytes on the level of molecules and ions Phillips did an outstanding job with the animations. We knew we were winning this year.
It was 9:50 AM. It was our turn to present. We took the floor and started our presentation. Suddenly, everyone was looking at me and Phillip. I took a deep breath, smiled, and calmly began presenting. Back then, I still did not know the day we spent in Varna would bring more than just a trophy and warm memories.