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The final work week is over. I didn’t actually do much work this week, but I view that as a good way to end the internship. For the most part I wrote a paper on the Summer AAPT Conference that gave a brief description of some presentations I saw. I also included a small section about the poster session and some of the other things going on during the conference. I also worked on my final presentation. For my presentation I intend to use a power point and some internet files to show what I did during this internship. I will also show my favorite advanced lab video, and discuss what it is I did to format the video. The hardest part about the final presentation will be to keep it between 8 and 10 minutes.
During the week I also spent a few days around Capitol Hill. The first day I was there I got a shave at the Capitol Barber, which sadly was only a dry shave, and then I attended a Capitol Tour with some of the other interns. This was a great tour given by the two interns from SPS working on the Hill. The next day I was there I went to a presentation from the Committee of Ways and Means sponsored by Pepsi Co. (primarily it was for Gatorade) about eating staying healthy. The reason I went was because Kevin Durant was there taking pictures with people and signing autographs.
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The AAPT summer conference was a blast. I think the main reason I enjoyed it was because of the weather in Portland. Finally some cool weather like I am used too. The rest of the conference was also fun. The plenary sessions were interesting. I enjoyed the first session on laser technology the most. I also enjoyed several biophysics sessions throughout the conference. One thing I didn’t seem to have any luck on was the 10 minute sessions. Every one of these I attended was horrible. Most either didn’t seem to have a point, or didn’t have time to show what they were doing. They could have been designed for interested parties to then continue correspondence with presenter which would explain what I saw, but otherwise I think they were poorly done. The last show of the night was spectacular. I am a big fan of physics one liners and the group putting on the show had quite a few of them.
I didn’t spend much time walking around Portland. I did go to the water front a few times, and I meandered around the downtown area for a few hours. I am happy to say I went to Voodoo Donuts and tried a maple bacon bar. I can only describe it as interesting. I also had a blueberry glazed donut which was excellent.
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Well it is almost time for the AAPT summer conference. This week was spent finalizing everything that needed to be done for this year’s summer conference in Portland. I had to finish the section I was on for cataloging along with finishing uploading all of the videos for both YouTube and TeacherTube. Luckily it wasn’t too bad of a rush because I had most of these things done.
Another thing I had to do was design a poster for the conference. The hardest thing about doing the poster was getting all of the information various people wanted to see on there. The ComPADRE people wanted certain information, the SPS people wanted other information, and I wanted it to look a certain way. Luckily you can fit a lot of stuff on a big poster. I think everyone was happy with the final results.
During the weekend I went and saw Arlington Cemetery with many of the other interns. It is a really interesting place, but very somber. I did find something ironic about the cemetery though. There is a statue to President Taft and very close to it a gravestone for a separate family of Tafts.
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Another week goes by. This week happened to include the 4th of July. The other interns and I went down to the Washington Monument to see the fireworks. It was an impressive display of colorful explosions. It was invigorating seeing the fireworks at the Washington Monument because it was so close to were the fireworks were being launched you could feel the concussion blast on your face when the fireworks blew up. I also spend most of the weekend seeing places around the city I haven’t yet. This included the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, and a statue of President Taft.
For things that I did at work last this week it was a pretty slow week. I spent the week preparing videos for editing by getting the format I was using approved, or changed as needed. I experimented with different rendering formats to put video on the backup video site teachertube. There was also a presentation from Chad about how to use UStream to stream and record videos for the upcoming AAPT summer meeting. This also consisted of answering some logistic questions internet access, being able to plug into a power outlet, and positioning. I also continued cataloging web pages for Physics Today, I am almost done with the multimedia section of the webpage.
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This was an interesting week. I met Bruce for the first time in person. He was here for the new faculty conference at ACP. I found out that so far things seem to be going well in terms of what I have done and what he wants done for ComPADRE this summer. There is a composite video on the ComPADRE YouTube channel now. It consists of two advance lab videos that were put together with a basic fade transition and the ComPADRE logo in between the two videos and at the end. By the end of the summer the plan is to have the summer AAPT conference, or at least parts of it, up on, and to have the entire advance lab collection to be edited and up.
There was also a BBQ at Fred Dylla’s on Thursday. It was an enjoyable time with lots of food and company. I also went on a tour of NIST Friday. NIST was awesome. There was so much going on there in the small section of the facility that I saw I can only imagine what else they are researching. There was an interesting focus on bringing biology into circuits for some of the labs. I find this very interesting because of the possibilities something like that would have. Also the nanofabrication lab was cool. There is some of that going on at the University of Wyoming, but nearly to that the scale shown at NIST. It was nice to see what a big budget facility can provide compared to a low budget university.
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Week 4 is done. This week involved something new for me, video editing. I have never done any video editing before so it was a new experience. I have tried four different editing programs so far and I would say that they all do the same thing, but in different ways. I do like the multi-track editing style that these programs use because if allows you to see all of the different things happening at a specified time. So far I have limited myself to playing with the basic functions of cutting parts of video, transitioning from different video, and adding text. I didn’t realize how long it took to add subtitles to a video, I spent 40 minutes adding subtitles to a minute long clip.
This week also included the annual ACP picnic. It was an enjoyable time of eating and entertainment. There were some open mic performances, which consisted mostly of people singing, then there was an egg relay race. I don’t know who the other floors (I think one was AIP) were but my floor won, go AAPT, proving that the 5th floor is the best floor.
There was also an egg drop this week. It was a fun watching various designs succeed, but it was even better watching them fail. There were about 7 different designs and in the end three of the designs succeeded in surviving a fall from the 5th floor.
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This week went by rather quickly. Some decisions were made in terms of Compadre video hosting and we have moved on to video editing. Compadre will use YouTube as the major source for hosting its video, but will have a backup site, most likely TeacherTube, for when problems inevitably arise as they always seem to do when technology is involved. I have moved from cataloging individual pages of websites to cataloging entire websites. The first one I get to work on is The Physics Classroom which has been recently given to Compadre to maintain.
On Friday there was an outreach opportunity which I attended. The outreach involved doing two sets of demonstrations which consisted of one for high school students involving lasers and one for 3rd grade students involving lasers and rolling motion. My involvement in these demonstrations was limited as generally I went to take pictures, even though I forgot to bring the camera for half the demonstrations, but I had fun shining lasers on things. This was an enjoyable outing in which I think some of the students enjoyed.
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I just finished the second week here at the ACP building. It was an eventful week for me a ComPADRE. I catalogued several things for the website, and did research on various forms of web hosting. Through my research I have concluded there are far too many websites that will host videos. I have found around 30 free sites that will host the video, and none of them are as good as YouTube. There are also various paid services than range in price from $3.50 a month to $250.00 month. I have also been looking at a few other options for online video.
Outside of work I didn’t do much of anything this week. On Saturday I joined some of the other interns in visiting the National Natural History Museum in the Smithsonian. After spending several in the museum I still didn’t get to see all of it, so I may have to go back near the end of the summer and see the exhibits I missed. I was able to watch the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley cub which was enjoyable. Go Hawks!
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This was a fairly slow week, being the first week, so I will make this quick. I flew out to DC from Denver international on Saturday. I got to know most of the other interns over the weekend by going out to eat at some Thai place on Sunday. On Monday there was an orientation that we went to. It was an enjoyable experience where we did some activities, met a lot of people, and ate lunch. After the lunch we each went where we were going to be working and settled in. I am luckily on the 5th floor of the building which has a great view.
Once work began it was really laid back. One Tuesday I enjoyed a SKYP teleconference with Bruce Mason about what I was going to do over the summer. The plan is for me to do research on various web streaming outlets, recording devices, and possible software to put interactive labs and conference recordings online. Along with this I am going to be cataloguing various resources for the ComPADRE web site. The rest of the week was laid back as I surfed the internet for information, or ask various members of the AAPT staff questions about places to look, what type of resources were available, and where would I find good food around ACP.
I did learn one interesting thing about the DC transit system during this week; it hates me. I think everyday I have some problem with the metro. These problems range from one of the metro cars being down, my fare card getting stuck in the entrance/exit gate, or there is just no room for more people on one of the trains I need to get on.
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