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2012 SPS National Interns
2012 Interns | Past Interns | About the Program

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Name Matthew Goszewski
Grove City College
Internship: APS PhysicsQuest
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Hi, my name is Matthew Goszewski. I have just finished my Junior year at Grove City College, where I am studying Physics/General Science/Secondary Education. I have always loved to help people learn about science and I hope to become a high school physics teacher. I am from Buffalo, NY and a big fan of our hometown sports teams: Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. Watching baseball is also one of my favorite pastimes.

~Matthew

Name Matthew Goszewski
Grove City College
Internship: APS PhysicsQuest
Follow SPS on: Twitter Facebook YouTube Photobucket The Nucleus Email and Share
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Week 9 Final Reflections

Week 1, June 8, 2012

This has been an amazingly fast week that was filled with great times. To start at the beginning, I traveled to DC with my parents on Saturday to move into the GW City Hall Apartments. The apartments on the hall are all very spacious and had a nice lay out. Upon moving in the first person I met was a girl, Katie, who lives on the same hall but is interning at the Smithsonian gardens. Shortly after that, my roommate, Allen Scheie arrived and the organization of our apartment began. After moving furniture and investigating the kitchen we set off to find some grocery stores to fill up our empty cupboards.


Sunday came around and Allen and I went out to Capital Baptist Church for the morning, we had known a lot of other Grove City College alumni had attended the church and it was nice to see some familiar faces in the DC area. (Allen and I are both Physics majors form Grove City College and had known each other before coming to this internship program). Sunday was also Allen’s birthday so we went out with friends to an Ethiopian restaurant, which was the first time I have ever had Ethiopian. The food was great and spicy plus we had a ton of leftovers to take back to the apartment, which means we didn’t have to cook for a few nights. Back at the apartment, all of the other interns had arrived and a few of us spent the afternoon walking around the national mall. I also got a chance to meet up with my roommate from GCC who is also interning in DC this summer. Sunday night we finally got all of the interns together and went out to TGI Friday for our first group dinner.


Monday started the first workweek at the internship. All of the interns except Binayak, who was here last year, traveled to the American Center of Physics building for the morning orientation where we got to meet a lot of the staff members that we would be working with this summer. The highlight of this morning was being able to meet Dr. John Mather, a Nobel Laureate and sponsor for two of the science policy interns. I had a chance to sit next to him at lunch and talk about Physics Education Research I had all been a part of this past year as well as what my plans were for the future. He was extremely interested in hearing from all of the interns. He also talked to us a lot about the research he had done to receive the Nobel as well as the NASA project that he is currently working on now. After lunch the orientation came to close and we all split off to head to where our respective interns were being hosted. Ryan, Shouvik, Mellissa, Meredith and I are all in the ACP building. Unfortunately Becky Thompson, my mentor, was out at a conference in New York so I spent the day with Mellissa, Meredith, and Gary White working on the SOCK project.


Tuesday I was finally able to meet Becky and get started with the APS Physics Outreach PhysicsQuest project. I spent the day learning about the PhysicsQuest program and exploring the PhysicQuest projects that had been done before me. Wednesday I met with Becky and we began to talk about this year’s theme, hydrodynamics (fluid mechanics). She shared some of her ideas about what to do in this years’ PhysicsQuest kit and I began to do some research to find different types of activities that I could start to develop to go along with them.

Thursday had to be the most fun day this week. While working today I got to sit at my desk and try out some of the physics activities I had researched the day before. I built a Viscometer out of a dish soap bottle to measure the different viscosities of several household fluids. I quickly found out that it is nearly impossible to rinse all of the dish soap out of the bottle. But the day got even cooler was when I got to make Anti-Bubbles using tap water dish soap and food dye. Amazingly both activities have worked out pretty well so far and I am now going to test out different variations of each, so stay tuned for what works and what didn’t. 

As if spending the day developing physics activities wasn’t enough, all of the interns were invited to attend a "Celebration of Scientific Citizenship" at the home of Dr. & Mrs. Marc and Vivian Brodsky, an event for the Neils Bohr Library at ACP. At the event it was a pleasure to be able to meet many prominent members of the science community; Dr. John Mather was in attendance along with and Col. Dr. James Stith. The person I was able to talk to the most was Col. Dr. James Stith, besides a long list of accomplishments the one that was most interesting to me was his time spent at West Point where he developed a Physics Education Research (PER) program. I had done some PER work this past year and we were able to discuss the different ways to analyze students’ misconceptions and develop a test that would allow a teacher to identify what exactly the students struggle with.

Although it has been a busy week, I am attending an Einstein Fellows event Friday as well, everything has been well worth the time to attend. I feel like I’m being spoiled and am now expecting to meet people like Dr. John Mather and Col. Dr. James Stith every day. I can’t wait to see what type of experiences the next 9 weeks bring!

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Week 2, June 15, 2012

Week two in DC involved fewer official events but more city exploring. After work on Friday, we went to the Einstein Fellows poster session. These were a group of science teachers who had spent a year in DC working with physics policy issues and committees. I had the pleasure to meet many of them, but the two who most impressed me were Marc “Zeke” Kossover and Lynn Hommeyer. Zeke was a high school science teacher from California who came to DC to make physics education videos and a database for Physics Education Research. Lynn was an elementary school teacher who worked with a representative on education policy (we need more El Ed people to bw less afraid of science and make it fun for kids).

Interns at the Natural History Museum  
Interns Allen Sheie, Matthew Goszewski, Melissa Hoffman, Ryan Barley, Meredith Woy, and Binayak Kandel at the Natural History Museum.  
Saturday l went with Allen and Alex, my roommate from GCC who is also in DC, to the American History Museum. We were able to walk through the American Wars exhibit, Jefferson exhibit, and The Presidency exhibit. One of my favorite parts of the American War exhibit was a Rosy the Riveter activity. This was a hands on activity where you were given a riveting gun and a row of electronic rivets to rivet into the side of a plane. 20 Rivets in 60 seconds and they couldn’t be too tight or too lose.

Needless to say, the three of us failed miserably. Although there was a ton of interesting and informative displays to see, I thought the most impressive was the Star Spangled Banner This display held the 30x42ft flag that flew over Fort McHenry and which the song was written after.

Most of us interns went to the Natural History Museum on Sunday. We walked through the exhibits and took a ton of pictures of all of the dinosaur bones. Two of the coolest exhibits were the photo contest winners and the collect of gems and crystals. The photo contest showcased some of the most amazing pictures of animals and nature. The Pyrite crystals, in the gem and crystal exhibit, formed in perfect squares and were almost too regularly shaped to believe they were natural. Sunday night we also had our first group meal of pasta, salad, and bread sticks. After dinner we hunkered down and watched some more episodes of MacGyver, timing how quickly the heroine fell in love with him. 

Pyrite  
Pyrite Crystals at the Natural History Museum  

Monday started the workweek. Once again I found myself searching the ACP building for any materials that I could use to make “simple” fluids demonstrations. Scotch tape, beakers, straws, transparency sheets, and push pins make up the backbone of my engineering arsenal. I succeeded in making a lava lamp with water, oil, and Alka-Seltzer tablets. Tuesday, APS held their June Birthday Party Celebration where I was able to give a quick introduction of myself and show everyone my lava lamp. With this demo I put to rest my cubical companion’s fears that the “intern looks like he’s making a bomb.” My desk has been covered by numerous bottles, fluids, and half built demos ever since I began working on fluid dynamics. I also started to work on making a couette Cell for a laminar flow demo. This demo, when it is done correctly, is mind blowingly awesome. If you get a chance, YouTube Laminar flow and watch the first video that comes up.

On Wednesday, Melissa, Meredith, Ryan, Gary, Kendra, Elizabeth, and I went to a 3rd grade classroom to present the SOCK that Melissa and Meredith have been working on. We presented to 3 groups of about 30 kids and I thought that it went really smoothly. The kids all enjoyed the spandex and the iron filings that we used to show magnetic fields. Afterward Gary took us out for ice cream where we discussed how to improve the SOCK and modify it for a high school setting. In order to celebrate the success of the SOCK’s debut, 7 of the interns went out to eat at Clive’s, a recommendation from Binayak. The food was really good and the conversation even better. During the walk back to the apartments we went by the White House and took pictures of it all lit up at night.

Thursday came around and I felt like Thomas Edison. I had not failed to make a couette cell but instead succeeded in finding 100 ways in which a coquette cell does not work. After finding out that the couette cells used in real demos cost nearly $600 I could take pride that I had been making progress while working with less than $5 worth of material. Thursday night rolled around and Allen, who is an amazing chef with whatever we can find in our cabinets, made a chicken, rice, and bean dinner. We then were joined by Thomas and learned how to play the game Munchkin: a monster defeating card game with insanely hilarious rules, monsters, curses, and treasures.
Well, it’s Friday again and I’m back at work on this couette cell. I have plans to meet with a GCC alum, Dan Hanson, for dinner. Getting ready for another week that will include an ACP picnic party, intern BBQ, and much more. 

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Week 3, June 22, 2012

On Saturday we went to the Smithsonian Zoo. It was a perfect day to be outside and look at animals. Most all of the animals were outside except for the Giant Panda and the Red Panda, which was disappointing. One of the coolest things we were able to see was the feeding of the octopus at 3:00. The octopus is housed is a tank in the invertebrate house. At the beginning of the show, one of the zoo keepers talked about how big the octopus was but also that is prefers living in smaller spaces, thus why the tank wasn’t much bigger than 10x4. The assistant then began to feed the octopus by putting different types of shelf fish in the tank. It was extremely cool to watch the octopus detach itself from the tank wall and reach out with its arms to grab the fish. The octopus balloons itself around the fish so that the fish is trapped in the middle of its arms, then one of its powerful suckers grabs onto the fish. Also at the zoo we were able to see the lions, which were really active in the afternoon. The lion was prowling around the front of the enclosure making slight grunting sounds and an occasional muted roar while the lionesses were relaxing in the shade. Another cool thing was that Allen and I ran into another friend from GCC while at the Zoo. Michael Royster, a junior physics/computer science major, was spending the day at the zoo as well. It was good to catch up on what we had been doing over the summer.

Interns at the Zoo  
Interns (back row) Allen Sheie, Melissa Hoffman, Ryan Barley, (front row) Matthew Goszewski, Meredith Woy, & Binayak Kandel at the National Zoo  

Sunday I was able to go with Allen and Joel, another GCC friend, to Baltimore to see the Air Show and some tall masted ships that were on display “sailibrating” the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The Blue Angles performed at the show and we also got to go on the airport tarmac to view some of the other planes on display. The ships were in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Pretty much as soon as we arrived one of the ships was preparing to leave the harbor. The crew was dressed up, standing on the deck and on all of the sail masts. They then played a song and began to sing as they were towed out of the harbor. It was a really cool sight to see.

This week began with meeting a new intern, Aly, who is joining us for the rest of the summer. There are now 6 of us commuting to the ACP building. My work has been finding some new demos for granular physics, Non-Newtonian fluids, and continuing to work on my laminar flow demo. After struggling with making a couette cell for the laminar flow demo the past 3 days I decided to set it in the corner of my desk and leave it there until it decided to behave for me. Meanwhile I began researching physics demos that would compliment to activities Becky has planned for the Spectra Comic. Along with finding multiple demos for Bernoulli’s Principal I found some interesting demos for granular motion. The Angle of Repose is the maximum angle of stability for a pile of gravel. The angle is dependent on the size of the granules in the pile as well as the amount of moisture in the pile. My work on this demo has involved me making sand castle type piles of sand at my desk. I’ve had to test different types of granules and varied amounts of saturation to measure the various Angles of Repose.

Tuesday, ACP had a building picnic, egg relay race, and a talent show. Starting at noon we were able to go outside for grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq beef, bbq chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, watermelon, and tons more. It was fun to eat out on large picnic tables and get to talk to other people who work in the ACP building. At about 1:30 the talent show started in conference room A, there were a bunch of acts where people sang and read poems. There were even some demonstrations of karate and yoga. Tuesday night most of the interns went to the Washington Nationals game to see them play the Tampa Bay Rays. It was a fun time keeping a scorecard and watching a baseball game, which I haven’t been able to do at all yet this summer. Unfortunately the Nats lost but the game was close and well played, 4-5. There was one exciting moment where one of the Rays pitchers got ejected for having too much pine tar on his glove. Also it’s still amazing to watch Bryce Harper play for the Nats because he’s only 19 years old!!

boat  
Boat at the 'Sailibration' in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, with crew ready to leave port.  

Wednesday, I went back to work on the Laminar flow demo, attempt number 7 for a couette cell design. This time I finally believe I’ve been able to stabilize the inner spinning cylinder, not I only have to make it more water/oil proof. In addition to working on the laminar flow I found two really cool demos to use with Non-Newtonian fluids. There was this product called Moon Blog Gel, which is supposed to be able to siphon itself out of a glass without the use of a tube. Obviously I had to get James to order me this material to test out the physics behind it. The second demo involves a mixture of corn flour and vegetable oil. The mixture is supposed to normally flow like a fluid but once it is placed into an electric field it solidifies and stops flowing. I also helped Melissa and Meredith put together a frame for their spandex activity in the SOCK. We continued to work on the frame Thursday morning and were able to make a decent frame for what they wanted it to do. After putting it aside, I went back to finishing the couette cell because at noon there was an APS Education/Outreach meeting. People from different departments talked about the education work they had been doing the past couple of weeks and I was able to give a laminar flow demonstration. It worked extremely well, a lot better than I anticipated, and I think it impressed a lot of the people on the room.

Today, Friday, I’m writing up instruction sheets for the granular and laminar flow demos that I finished this week. All of us interns are also planning on going to the Jazz concert in the sculpture gardens after work for dinner tonight. 

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Week 4, June 29, 2012

The fourth week is coming to a quick end. Friday after work all of us interns went to the Jazz concert at the sculpture garden where John Lee performed. The gardens were packed so we sat on the grass between the “thinking bunny” and a pyramid and listened to the music for about a half hour until we got hungry. For dinner, we took the suggested of Dan Hanson, and went to Good Stuff Eatery to try their burgers and shakes. Apple honey bacon, Rumford Cheese, onion glaze, and a homemade mayo sauce made up the Obama burger that I ordered along with a Black and White milkshake. THEY WERE AMAZING!! Saturday we went to the Air and Space Museum. It was really cool to look through all of the space program exhibits and the Wright Brothers flight exhibit. The thing that I enjoyed the most at the museum was flying a flight simulator with Meredith, Ryan, and Binayak. We paired up into groups of two, a pilot and gunner, to fly a fighter jet and see how many targets we could track and shoot. Considering that the tracking system on Meredith’s and my “plane” didn’t work, we felt accomplished at being able to shoot two targets. Sunday was less exciting as I stayed in the apartment to start writing a paper on the PER research that I had conducted with my professor this past year. I am presenting at an AAPT/PER conference at the end of July and need to start organizing all of our material for the talk.

Monday I borrowed Meredith’s hair dryer to do a bunch of experiments with Bernoulli’s principle. At the end of the day they were all working well but only after spending many hours designing the right size funnels and connectors to direct the air stream in the desired fashion. Monday was also a sad day because we lost one of our number, Binayak, who had to leave because his working papers still hadn’t been processed by the government. We had a farewell dinner at a Nepalese restaurant because Binayak is from Nepal. It was the first time I’ve had Nepalese food and I really enjoyed it. Tuesday I had the opportunity to sit in on an AAPT conference that was being held in the ACP building. Meredith and I spent the morning listening to a talk on how to create an interactive classroom that fosters long-term understanding and gives students a positive view of the world of science. After the talk we sat in on the lunch that went with the meeting and got to talk to the speaker who had just given the talk as well as some other university professors on creating an environment that reflects positively on the relevance of science. Considering I hadn’t spent too much on the demos and there were still some workshops that I wanted to attend later in the afternoon, I skipped the next few topics to go back to my desk to organize and write up instruction sheets for demos that I had already finished. The two afternoon AAPT workshops that I attended were about” focused teaching,” to get across key foundational understandings, and the use of simulations is the classroom. I had fun exploring the many Phet Simulations that are available for teachers to use, including building your own solar system and using electric charges to play field hockey. I also got a chance to help Meredith work with the magnetic silly putty and ferrofluid that she and Melissa had ordered. 

Thursday I got to work with the Moon Gel we had ordered last week. It is a really cool fluid that appears to defy gravity and siphon itself from one cup to another. The only problem with the gel is that it takes about 40min to prepare and if the preparation isn’t done exactly right, the solution may have to sit for 24hrs to completely dissolve the gel powder. Thursday is also the last day that we will get to work with Gary White; he is leaving for a couple of years to work with the NSF. We are having a going away party for him this afternoon. The reason why this entry is a day early is because tomorrow all of the other inters will be coming to the ACP building to get a tour of our work place. We have been organizing meetings with the different organization in the building and prepping some demos to show off to the other interns. Friday, the executive committee is also coming to ACP for lunch and later we will be going to see a performance of the Music Man with them. It should be a fun and busy day. Well I have to get to work on writing understandable instruction sheets for these demos.

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Week 5, July 6, 2012

Last Friday was a really fun day! All of the interns came to the ACP building to tour and see what Melissa, Meredith, Ryan, and I are working on. I was able to show the interns some of the cool demos I’ve completed such as the lava lamp, laminar flow, and Moon blob gel. The SPS executive committee was also in the building during the day and we got to eat lunch and dinner with them and then go see a performance of The Music Man. The performance was really awesome. After the performance I made it back to the apartment, woke up the next morning and went to the National Gallery of Art, not knowing that the storm Friday night had knocked out power for over 3 million people in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. We never lost power or felt any real effects of the storm, unlike so many people around us. Allen, Tom and I went to the National Gallery of Art. It was especially fun because Allen and I had both taken an art class with the same professor so we try to name the different historical characters that were depicted in the artwork. Later the night we watched the movie The Truman Show with Melissa and Meredith. Sunday I went to go see the Pixar movie BRAVE with Allen and Melissa and we later had dinner in Shouvik’s apartment.

  US Capitol  
  The US Capitol lawn  

The workweek was shortened due to the Fourth of July. On Tuesday, Allen and I went to the capital lawn concert rehearsal, which was really cool but cut short due to severe weather. Tuesday night Ian, our friend, from GCC came to spend the night. I went to pick him up from Union Station but unfortunately his Mega Bus was 45minuets late and the Metro system closed at midnight so we had to grab a taxi from Union to Foggy Bottom and didn’t get back until 1am. Somehow we were still able to wake up in time to see the Independence Day Parade at 11:30. It was really cool seeing the military marching bands, large floats, kids riding unicycles, and lots of sports cars. We went back to the apartment for lunch and then joined the rest of the interns to go grab a spot on the capitol lawn to watch the fireworks. We got to the lawn at about 3, found a cool spot in the shade underneath a tree (cool as in not the 100+degree sun bathed lawn). While relaxing for the next 5 hours until the fireworks, I learned how to play Euchre for the first time and won with Ally as my partner. Allen, Meredith, Merissa, and I then went to the Folk Life Festival that was being held on the Mall and grabbed some dinner from the Southern Comfort Food booth. We then returned to the Capital Lawn in time to listen to and watch the Capital Fourth Concert that was held and watched the fireworks later at 9:30. Jon was smart enough to bring enough diffraction grating glass for us all to wear while we watched the fireworks. It was really cool to pick out the different light spectrums that were given off by different fireworks. After the great display of fireworks came the mass exodus of people from the Nation Mall. I was in a group with Allen, Tom, Meredith, and Ally as we struggled to make our way through the crowds of people and back towards the apartment. It was actually a fun trip back, there was a helicopter in the air with a spot light that seemed to be everywhere that we were and it made it feel like a scene from a movie. We evaded the busy metro stops, skirting through Metro Center and walking from Farragut North to Foggy Bottom.

Fireworks  
Viewing a light through diffraction glasses.  

Thursday was the highly anticipated announcement from CERN for the discovery of a “new particle” a.k.a. the Higgs Boson. I spent the day reading multiple reports and watching videos explaining what exactly the Higgs does and how it does it. Don’t go looking for an explanation here because I’m not sure I totally understand the nature of the Higgs. I was also able to put together the first full draft of all of the demos I have written up and tested so far this summer. Besides a few issues with the printer I now have a binder that is just about ready to give to Becky for her to look over. Today, Friday, I have been finishing up the research paper that I will be presenting at the AAPT/PERC meeting at the end of July. I was also able to put together another demo to show the airflow around different objects, and also had a meeting with other members of SPS to discuss what type of products SPS should sell or offer at the upcoming National Congress. This should be another fun up coming weekend because me family will be in DC.

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Week 6, July 13, 2012

The halfway mark has come and gone, we are on the homeward stretch of the internship. It has been another fun week to add to the many experiences we’ve had so far. This past weekend my family was able to come down and spend some time in DC. Friday evening I met them for a Nationals Baseball game. We are a big baseball family and really enjoyed seeing the Nats play. The real adventure though was my trip from College Park to the Stadium. Due to the heat, some of the Metro Tracks had become warped and a train got derailed between College Park and another stop heading toward the city. The result was that I had to travel 2 hours on 2 different busses just to get to the next open metro stop, a trip that normally takes 15min or less. It was totally crazy with mobs of people having no clue about what was going on. After all the excitement Friday, I went with my family to Georgetown Saturday morning. We checked out the college and town for a bit, one of my cousins will be attending there in the fall. We also spent the afternoon at Ford’s Theater, where Lincoln was assassinated. Ford’s Theater was a really well done museum, there was an informative exhibit in the basement that had displays about Lincoln’s first term in office and gave the background on the 6 conspirators that were involved in the assignation attempt. Upstairs, we were able to sit in the theater while a guide told an account of the events that happened throughout the day for both Booth and Lincoln before the assignation took place. Across the street was the house that Lincoln actually died in and they turned it into a cool education center about the president. Overall, it was a really fun experience.

Sunday was also a fun day. Allen and I met a new guy at church, Drew, who is from Texas and is just starting his internship in DC. He lives on the GW campus also so we’ll probably hang out a couple times before we go our own ways. After church we went over to a friend’s house for lunch. There were about 12 people there, 5 of us were either current of former GCC students. We stayed until 4:30 and talked about everything from the lineage of the English throne to psychological tests wanting to study the importance of emotion and rational thought. Allen and I later joined Dan Hanson again for dinner at a Thai place around the corner from the apartment. It had the looks of a rundown place but the food was really good and conversations with Dan are always thought provoking at the least. Skipping to Tuesday, Allen, Melissa, Meredith and I went to see a free concert at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. Two groups played a piece from Beethoven and Schuman respectively. They were both excellently performed.

This was the week that Becky and some of the other APS people left to share the Spectra Comic book at the Comic-Con event out in San Diego. I have finished writing up the extension activities and am now waiting to start working with the Illustrator of Spectra to prep my instruction sheets for the website. I also have started to work on two posters that I will be presenting at the AAPT national meeting at the end of this month. One is for my work with APS and the other is for the PER (physics education research) I’ve been working on with a professor at GCC. Wednesday, I went with Kendra, Elizabeth, Melissa, and Meredith to a science camp at the University of Maryland to test out a new magnet game with the students. Yesterday, we also got word that Binayak just received his working papers from the government and wants to come back for the last couple of weeks of the internship.

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Week 7, July 20, 2012

  Unknown Soldier  
  The tomb of the Unknown Soldier  

Week 7 was a busy week with something going on pretty much every day. Saturday started with Allen, Tom and I going to Arlington National Cemetery. It was a cool experience walking through the graves of the fallen soldiers. We were able to see the tomb of Abraham Lincoln’s son and grandson, the memorial for JFK and his family, and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We watched the changing of the guard twice because it was so impressive. After spending the afternoon in Arlington we went to the Old Post Office and climbed the tower to get a great view of the city. You could see everything from the Supreme Court, to the Lincoln Memorial, to the National Cathedral. Sunday was a day to just relax at the apartment and do some cleaning. Allen’s family also arrived in DC Sunday night and stayed through Thursday. I was able to meet the rest of his family and had a lot of fun hanging out with them. On Monday they took us out to an Ethiopian restaurant, the second time I’ve had Ethiopian and both have been with Allen and his family. Tuesday I met with Dan for dinner again and talked about the toys we enjoyed while growing up. Wednesday we went out to dinner again with Allen and his family. Thursday night was the BBQ picnic we’ve been anticipating for the past month. Unfortunately there was a large chance of rain so instead of having the picnic at the Dylla’s house we had the picnic at ACP. Besides just hanging out with all of the people involved with the internship program one if the coolest things was getting Dr. John Mather to sign the book he wrote about the COBE project. Allen, Ryan and I had each bought his book detailing the account of the project that eventually won him and his team the Nobel Prize.

Post Office  
View of the Washington and Lincoln Monument from the Old Post Office Tower.  

Work this week has been kind of slow, I’m at the point in my internship where I’m done creating demos and now I’m writing the instructions. I’m working with the APS publishing people to get official copies of the instruction sheet ready for the internet. First, this involves working with Nancy, one of the publishing people, who takes my instructions and puts them in the correct web format. Then I’ll be working with Nancy and Kerry on developing the drawing and pictures to compliment the instructions. Becky is also back after spending last week at the Comic Con event last week. It seems she had a really good time there and was able to connect with a couple publishing companies and writers who are interested in helping spread the SPECTRA comic series.

This weekend a bunch of friends from Grove City who have decided to come down and visit for the weekend. It’ll be really great to see them again and show them around the city. We will also be seeing the new Batman Rises movie.

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Week 8, July 27, 2012

This past week was really fun.  The weekend started with some friends from Grove City coming to visit.  Friday night Allen and I meet them for dinner and then went to see the new Batman movie. Saturday I took them around DC, walking by the White House, visiting Ford’s Theater, and looking through the sculpture gardens.  For dinner on Saturday we went to Founding Farmers.  The best restaurant that I have yet to go to in DC!  I had an amazing steak, but everyone else’s meals were just as good. Allen and I have decided we were going to try to have a final intern dinner at Founding Farmers before we all finish the internship.  Sunday I just relaxed at the apartment and caught up on some laundry.

This week I’ve still been working with the Design and Publishing people to get the final copy of my extensions prepared to be published. It’s a lot of back and forth, changing drawings and organization of images among the text of the instructions.  Wednesday I joined Meredith and Melissa and went to the University of Maryland for the second test of their magnet game. This time went a lot smoother and the summer students all seemed to catch on quickly. Thursday after work, all of us interns again went to U of Maryland for the Physics IQ test from Dr. Berg.  It was really cool to see some physics demos, predict what would happen, see what happens, and then talk about the physics behind what happens. Friday we got to go take a tour of NIST where Binayak and Tom are working this summer.  It was a super impressive to see the world's best science equipment being run by people whose only job is play with these instruments and make them as accurate as possible. 

I can’t believe this is week 8 already; I won’t even have a full week left in DC.  This weekend I’m leaving for Philly for an AAPT conference that will last until Thursday morning. Not quite time for final reflections but it’s been a great internship so far.

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Week 9, August 10, 2012

WEEK 9!!!!!! The last full week of the internship!!! My week was spent mostly in Philadelphia for the AAPT summer conference. I arrived in Philly Sunday evening and attended the SPS poster session where I presented a poster for APS and the work I’ve been doing this summer. Monday morning I gave my talk on the PER (Physics Education Research) I’ve been a part of at Grove City College. The conference was a lot of fun. I recognized a bunch of people from the ACP building as well as people that I met last semester at the Western PA AAPT chapter meeting. Some of the invited speakers were really interesting.  There were two guys who gave talks on biology and physics. One of them compared the motion of birds in a flock to the thermal motion of particles in a system. The second gave a talk about the physics behind bird songs and the interaction between neurons. A third speaker gave a talk explaining the discovery of the Higgs Boson, which was really good. I left the conference Thursday morning because all of us interns had a White House tour scheduled at 2:00. 

Once back in DC I went to meet up with all of the other interns for the White House tour. The tour was really cool. We didn’t get to visit a ton of the rooms in the White House but we were able to talk to the secret service officers and learn about the history of each room. Friday, back at ACP, I finished the last physics extensions and then helped Melissa and Meredith pack their SOCK boxes. Friday night we went to another Nats game. They played a double header, and won the first game but lost the second game. Allen and I then joined some of Allen’s friends from GCC for the night. Saturday, Allen, I and his friends hung out at their house for the day. We played Frisbee golf, swam in the pool, and played some card games. Sunday Binayak, Mellissa, Meredith, Tom and I went Kayaking in the Potomac River and it was a lot of fun. It is now time to start working on my final presentation. Only  three days left in DC this summer, its gone really fast and has been a great experience.

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Final Reflections

The SPS internship has been one of the most exciting and impactful experiences of my life. I remember moving in on the first day and wondering what the other interns would be like, not knowing that we’d become great friends or that the summer would be one of the most exciting ever. There are too many experiences to write about, but I will highlight a final few things that have happened since the end of the internship. 

By working with a science society I got to really see and experience the passion that everyone has for science.  I had been a member of SPS, AAPT, and APS but before this summer they were just abstract groups that I was told I should join.  After working with them, I have discovered a new wealth of resources that these societies offer to both members and nonmembers. Specifically, by working with Becky and the APS Public Outreach team I got to discover the physics central website and, as a future teacher, I plan on using the website for many enhancement activities and resources for my classroom.

When leaving the internship all of us interns were excited about attending the 2012 Physics Congress. PhysCon is now over, but it was as exciting an experience as the rest of the internship. It felt really cool knowing all of the SPS staff at the event and getting to see the others interns as well. Having spent the summer with SPS, PhysCon felt super personal and I could take pride in having worked with the people who put it together.

I have been able to share my work and give multiple talks about my work this summer to the Grove City College Physics Department as well as Grove City College as a whole. I have yet to think of a part of this past summer that I haven’t enjoyed and I have taken every opportunity to rave about the program to friends and other physics majors.

This has been an internship that I will forever remember and I would encourage as many people as possible to apply to.

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Name Matthew Goszewski
Grove City College
Internship: APS PhysicsQuest
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Final Presentation

Demo Design: Bringing Super Powers to Life

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