Nobel Conference

The Nobel Conference 55

Location: Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN)
TopicClimate Changed: Facing our Future
Dates: September 23-25, 2019
Registration: Appleton Education Foundation will again help facilitate registration and transportation for a multi-generational group of community members from the Fox Cities, Shawano, and Two Harbors, MN.
Cost: Community members  pay their own way while all participating high school and college students (both public and parochial) and educators receive scholarships (from the EMMA Nobel Education Fund) to cover their full cost to attend.

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Vision: Multi-generational community exposure to cutting-edge science and its societal and moral impact.

Story: Ellen Mielke Moore Anderson (EMMA) was a teacher who lived in Two Harbors, MN and had a passion for intergenerational education. After several years of attending the annual Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College with students and fellow teachers, she encouraged her brother, Dr. John Mielke, to join her.  John and Sally Mielke attended and were hooked. In 2008, they provided funds so that a small group of teachers and students could share in the experience, and in 2010 encouraged adult members of the community to add an additional intergenerational value to the experience. With the unfortunate passing of Ellen in 2011, the Mielke Family Foundation approved an annual gift to the EMMA Fund within AEF to honor her legacy via the continuation of this intergenerational opportunity for residents of the communities it supports (Appleton and Shawano).  Ellen also left her own legacy by designating an additional annual gift to Two Harbors High School from the EMMA fund within the Mielke Family Foundation – so that all three communities can continue to participate and grow from this shared cultural experience.

Eighty-five people attended the conference in 2018. Attendees include students and faculty from Appleton’s public and parochial high schools, Lawrence University, Fox Valley Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, Shawano High School, and Two Harbors High School, as well as members of the Appleton Downtown Rotary Club and other interested community 17-Nobel-Groupmembers from Appleton and Shawano.

To learn more about the Mielke Family and history of this trip, download this two-page handout.

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Learn more about Conference 55



Registration form: educators and students

Registration form: community members


Download FAQs for the 2019 experience.


“Enlightening, energizing and inspiring describes my first experience at the EMMA/Nobel Conference in 2017.  This intergenerational conference hosts thought leaders and researchers from our nation’s top ranked institutions as presenters.  It’s a terrific opportunity for community members to learn more a topic they may not know much about, and it’s a chance to interact and share ideas with educators and students from the area.  I’m looking forward to the next conference and encouraging friends to join me.  Every detail of the trip is taken care of by the planning committee.  The cost is so reasonable, the value so great!” – 2017 Nobel Conference attendee, community member

“Once again, thank you for generosity including the including the UW Fox students in the Emma/Nobel experience.  The intellectual curiosity that stems from this experience is outstanding.   Aside from the educational aspect, thank you for being such an inspiring couple – your generous nature, kind words, and active minds push me and remind me to be a better person.  I hope my husband and I can have the relationship you two demonstrate!” – 2017 Nobel Conference attendee, post-secondary educator

“The Nobel Conference meant so much to me.  This was the first time I ever went on a trip without my family.  It was very neat to get to know other people and to room with someone I knew.  I am no longer scared of going on a trip without my mom and dad!  It was amazing to see the speakers and learn from them!  I enjoyed every bit of this trip.  Thank you so much.” – 2017 Nobel Conference attendee, student

“Having the ability to listen to these people who are the top in their field was amazing. I even got to have conversations with some of the community members, high schoolers, and students from my own class that I never would have been able to without this trip.” – 2015 Nobel Conference attendee from UW-Fox Valley

“My experience at the Nobel Conference was a once in a lifetime opportunity, from start to finish. Traveling to a new state to listen to the brightest in their field with a great teacher and peers. Everything was such an enjoyable experience.” – 2015 Nobel Conference attendee from UW-Fox Valley

“Everyone was very inviting and friendly. The food and transportation that was provided for us was wonderful.” – 2015 Nobel Conference attendee from Fox Valley Lutheran High School

Learn More

Copy of FullSizeRender(3)Since 2008, 862 students, educators, and community members have participated in this unique experience that is as much about the bus ride and camaraderie as it is about the Nobel learning. In 2012, a committee of past attendees came together to help John and Sally organize this event, again to ensure that the legacy of this dynamic experience can continue long into the future.

Watch a video created by a UW-Fox Valley student detailing the history of the EMMA Nobel Conference trip.

To learn how to participate in this community event, contact the AEF office at 920-832-1517 or email.

For more information about the 2019 Conference – including presenters, schedule, past conferences, the Nobel Conference Vision and more – visit the Nobel Conference website.