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Simon PataneSimon Patane
Vassar College
Internship: AIP History of African-Americans in Physics and Astronomy

I am studying physics and astronomy at Vassar College. I am also very interested in creative writing, history, and political science, in which I am pursuing a minor. I am going into my fourth and final year and plan to pursue graduate work in aerospace engineering or planetary science after I finish my bachelorís degree.

Although I've spent the majority of the past three years at Vassar, I'm originally from Buffalo, NY and I do, in fact, enjoy a good day out in the snow. In my spare time, I am involved with Vassar's student spoken word organization, Wordsmiths, an on-campus meditation group, and a student interest group for those who have a fondness for space and space exploration. I also enjoy soccer and love to read pretty much anything. I am extremely excited to be in D.C. for the summer!

View Simon's Final Presentation
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  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
  • Week 4
  • Week 5
  • Week 6
  • Week 7
  • Week 8
  • Week 9
  • Final Reflections
Week 1, May 26-June 1, 2014

Arriving in D.C. and the first week!

Just a week ago I was packing my room up at Vassar and now I can barely believe that I'm here in D.C.! This week's been an amazing adventure. But first let me introduce myself. My name is Simon Patane and I am a rising senior at Vassar College majoring in physics and astronomy with a minor in political science. I originally hail from Buffalo, NY, but as you may have guessed I'll be spending this summer in Washington, D.C.!

Now onto the adventure of the past week! I drove into D.C. on Sunday evening with the conclusion of my third year at Vassar. Early Monday afternoon I moved into the remarkably comfortable George Washington University dorm where all the interns are living this summer. I'm housed in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall and in a very central location – only a minute's walk from the nearest metro station and a few more minutes (or a metro ride) from all the attractions that the area has to offer! After unpacking and meeting the other interns we set out to take on the city. Over the course of Monday and Tuesday we stopped by two Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall, ascended to the top of the Washington Monument, found ourselves running through rain, eating new food, and just simply enjoying each others' company.

Washington MonumentStarting Wednesday we had orientation at the American Institute of Physics where we met with all the amazing, friendly staff from the member societies and the Society of Physics students in particular. Between learning how to network effectively, hands-on diffraction demonstrations, and a lunch with Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather, orientation was challenging and fun! Together with Jake, the other Center for the History of Physics intern, I met with the Niels Bohr Library & Archive staff and learned all about the collections and dove right into some background reading into the history of physics.

I can't express how excited I am to be in the D.C. area with all the other interns this summer! We come from all over the country and bring with us all sorts of different backgrounds, but I am amazed at how quickly we have bonded over our interests in physics and science overall. I feel like I’ve known all the other interns for years and yet it's been only a few days – this summer is going to be phenomenal!

Photo: A view from on top of the Washington Monument.


Week 2, June 2-8, 2014

BBQ's, receptions, and more!

There is no end to the exploration in D.C.! This past weekend we spent time walking through both the Freer Gallery of Art and Arlington National Cemetery. I was amazed by how many floors fit beneath the Freer Gallery! From the outside it appears to be relatively modest in size, but there are four floors of gallery space extending down below the National Mall. Arlington was expansive and humbling. We visited President Kennedy's grave site, Robert E. Lee's old home (Arlington House), as well as saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. On Sunday morning a friend from Vassar moved onto the George Washington campus so I helped him move in and get oriented with the nearby attractions. It was very odd seeing someone from Vassar because I feel like I've been in D.C. for weeks, but it was great seeing a familiar face! That evening, Toni hosted an amazing barbecue at her home. The food was delicious and we all enjoyed the great company. Kearns even made a new friend!

Kearns makes a friendPhoto: Kearns with his new friend at Toni's barbecue!

My research work into African-Americans in physics, astronomy, and related fields has been off to a strong start as well. The second graduate research assistant arrived on Monday. Our full team is now here in the Center for History of Physics and we met as a group with Dr. Good on Monday afternoon. Each day we have "tea time" as a group to discuss what we've been doing. It's very similar to a seminar style class at Vassar so it hasn't been too difficult getting the hang of our meetings. Jake and I are busy sifting through and analyzing different resources. For each one we fill out an evaluation sheet in which we are framing the beginnings of an annotated bibliography detailing the usefulness of each source. It's a good exercise in understanding the direction that the project is heading. My perspective is honed by my work in political science and each day I realize how much this coursework informs my own reading of the materials we find. It's an amazing intersection of physics and the social sciences and there is never a lack of work to do! On Tuesday, the four of us made our way over to the University of Maryland - College Park campus to try and get student ID's and library cards. Although we were unsuccessful due to some confusion with the process involved, we were able to stop by the library itself. One of the graduate research assistants recently finished a master's degree there and was able to check out some material for our work. It was quite an adventure trying to get back to the car though - the skies opened up and didn't seem to want to stop for anything! We eventually made it back to the American Institute of Physics, but not after getting thoroughly soaked. On Wednesday the interns working here at AIP attended the tail end of a Development Board meeting. This volunteer group focuses on the long-term goals of AIP and they are a really diverse group - much like the interns!

Panoramic view of the Mall in Washington, DCPhoto: a panorama of the National Mall taken in front of the Freer Gallery!


Week 3, June 9-15, 2014

Outreach and A Mysterious Blue Man

This past week was full of unexpected adventures! On Saturday some of the interns returned to the National Mall to check out another museum - the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I could write an entry on this museum all by itself, but alas I want bring you along on all of the week's journeys. The highlight of my most recent Smithsonian quest was the live handling of insects! I have never held a praying mantis before...first time for everything! On Sunday I joined (almost) all of the other interns at a STEM outreach event, the "HoCo STEM Festival," hosted by Howard County Community College. It was a blast meeting a huge crowd of fellow volunteers, STEM educators, and presenters. SPS hosted a room where we held activities exploring gravity, light and LEDs, and introductory fluid mechanics with a smoke-ring cannon. Next to our demonstrations was Inside Science, another group operating within the American Institute of Physics, whose volunteers ran a science journalism activity with a green screen and projector. There were several fascinating booths including middle and high school students working on robots, drones, and model rockets! I can't begin to express my gratitude for the wonderful lunch and dinner provided for us that day - especially the dinner at Maiwand Kabob.

Blue Man on the metroOn Tuesday I was at the Rayburn House Office Building volunteering at the National User Facility Organization (NUFO) meeting in the foyer. I met many researchers and public outreach professionals from the various national labs and made a lot of great contacts - networking practice at its finest! Another dinner followed the NUFO meeting and the interns and NUFO scientists enjoyed a satisfying, non-stop, hour-long dinner. Many thanks to NUFO for covering our dinner costs!

My work at the Center for History of Physics is progressing nicely as well. This week I continued my reading odyssey and made significant headway into finishing up the source evaluation sheets for the mountain of books and articles the four of us have collected. By next week this step of the project should for the most part be done, but I anticipate that resources will intermittently dribble in as required by the research work. I am learning and discovering many hidden, historical gems. The narratives and activities that we are creating for teachers are coming together nicely as well. Moving forward, Jake, myself, and the two graduate research assistants are brainstorming ideas for lesson plans and themes for the project. Blue Man in the officeWhat makes work into the history of science so important is the time spent and efforts poured into the basic background research. Realistically, teachers cannot always devote hours of their time to create the type of lesson plan that reflects a complete perspective - so the time the four of us spend doing this work is critical to the pedagogical process.

Topping off the week was the mysterious Blue Man! Stephen, one of the other interns, is working with the American Physical Society (upstairs from the Center for History of Physics) and participated on Thursday in one of their staff activities. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but the shuttle, metro, and walk back home from AIP was an absolutely hilarious time! We ran into several police officers on the metro who thankfully found the blue antics quite amusing.


Week 4, June 16-22, 2014

Lesson plans!

Last week Jake, Sine, Sharina, and I made it our mission to finish up the bulk of our research and start on the lesson plans by the start of this week. We finished up the reading as planned and, without breaking a sweat, started on the lesson plans this Monday. Sine and Sharina, the two graduate research assistants, had been focusing a little more on the lessons plans and framework for the project, while Jake and I were focused more on the mountain of reading (now behind us!). Moving into this week we collaborated on a list of potential lesson plan concepts/themes and presented them to Dr. Good in a tea time. This gave us a chance to refocus our efforts away from the reading and keep ourselves moving towards an assembled teacher's guide - while staying on schedule! The list is hovering between 25 and 30 lesson plans depending on how you divide each topic, so we will certainly have our hands full for the next few weeks.

Cracking right into the lesson plans, the four of us and Dr. Good decided that the best plan of action would be to complete one lesson plan each and then come back together as a group to discuss how we felt about the work and what each one of us would take from the experience. Once we did this we would be able to move forward at full steam and finish lesson plans for the entire list, but we needed to lay a foundation first. In the spirit of building a working engine before you go racing a car, we all felt it important to get our hands dirty, so to speak, and really wrap our minds around what creating lesson plans means as a researcher. However, we can't limit ourselves to thinking about our work solely from the perspective of a researcher; the real value of our work will be to teachers and their students, so we made a real effort to think about how our lesson plans will impact all aspects of the pedagogical experience. For my first lesson plan I decided to go with a topic that addresses one of my most profound interests: space exploration. The contributions of African-Americans in physics and astronomy towards NASA and human space exploration is among the topics we found under appreciated in the current resources. While not diving too deeply into the lesson plan, I discuss several NASA employees who have had an impact on human space exploration. Among those individuals are the late Ronald E. McNair and Michael P. Anderson, who perished in the Challenger and Columbia tragedies. I felt it easiest to begin with a lesson plan concerning the sacrifices of those two individuals, as well as others, because of my prior knowledge of NASA's human spaceflight program.

Farewell until next week!


Week 5, June 23-29, 2014

BBQ and Argonauts!

This past week was filled with more than a few adventurous days! Last weekend began with an outing to Jazz in the Garden outside of the National Gallery of Art. Mark and I planned on meeting up with several of the other interns, but my plans changed slightly once we arrived. The garden was absolutely packed and the music was amazing - it was funk day! But unfortunately, I had not eaten anything since very early that morning. In our quest for food, Ben, Stephen and I headed over the nearby Hill Country BBQ restaurant. Toni recommended Hill Country as a venue with reasonably authentic Texas BBQ, so the three of us couldn't resist taking her up on the recommendation. We were not disappointed! Although I've never been to Texas, I've been told many times now that the restaurant has a very Texan vibe. I certainly felt like I was stepping into a whole other state when we arrived at Hill Country! Ordering our food was done with a meal ticket that we brought up to a counter and asked the staff to prepare our order fresh at the counter. I got an amazing BBQ chicken meal with mac n' cheese. Later on Jake, Kearns and Nick joined us and also discovered the amazing experience of Hill Country. All I know is - thanks Toni! We definitely enjoyed that meal. On Sunday we went to the National BBQ festival and enjoyed a great day of free samples! Although there was a $15 entrance fee we more than made up for it by plundering all the samples. I was surprised by the sample tent that the sponsors had set up, but was grateful that we could get our money back in food. The line was a little longer than I expected, but worth it nonetheless. There were also many booths for companies I did not expect, such as the car share company Uber and a Snyder's pretzel stand with a giant crate of bagged sample pretzels - a source of days of snacks for this past week's lunches. Not so surprising and quite hilarious was the Rolaids stand which was giving away free antacid samples to accompany the inevitable onset of thousands of burning hearts. Luckily I didn't get heartburn, but I'm sure that their stand was very much appreciated! There was also a veggie racers booth, pictured below, which I believe speaks for itself.

Veggie ridersVeggie ridersPhoto: No day at the National BBQ festival would be complete without a legion of veggie riders! A new intern sport I think. The racers: Jake, Kelby, and Ashley.

On Tuesday eight of us went out to the Argonauts restaurant to compete in their science night. Between an egg drop and a trivia contest we cleaned up, so to speak, and became only the second team to ever win all the prizes. Our gift card prize should hopefully cover our next outing to Argonauts - I recommend them to anyone in the DC area. Science night isn't the only themed night they sponsor and it was a blast. Between the food, the contests, and the egg-stravagant egg puns I cannot think of a more enjoyable way to spend a weeknight.

At work the teacher's guide is coming along nicely as well. The two graduate research assistants, Jake, and I are still working away at the lesson plans. On July 18 we will be meeting with a few notable figures in the history of science community whose research focuses on the same topic as ours: African-Americans in the physical sciences. By that date each of us will have at least 6 lesson plans apiece finished to present and discuss with our guests. Right now I'm at three lesson plans done so I am confident I'll have plenty to share with our history of science colleagues.


Week 6, June 30-July 6, 2014

Georgetown, the Waterfront, and the Fourth of July!

A shortened week with the holiday coming up on Friday! But so much to write about nonetheless. All of the interns had a wonderful time exploring more of D.C. this past weekend. On Saturday we made a trek into Georgetown, and although it was not our first time exploring that part of the city, it was certainly one of the more memorable ones! We decided that we were going to try out a new restaurant - leave it to a bunch of physics majors to become amateur DC gastronomy experts. Doing our homework we stumbled across "Thunder Burger & Bar," which markets itself as serving "gourmet burgers" and other food. The price certainly seemed a little more gourmet that we were used to, but it was well worth it. I can only speak for myself, but I'm pretty sure that all the other interns were absolutely ready for a good sandwich. Everyone seemed to have had a small breakfast or not eaten much at all up until that point. I had a "Showdown at the Border" sandwich and it was delicious. Our server was incredibly knowledgeable about the menu and apparently he had tried almost everything on the menu, so definitely no complaints about them! All in all it was a great time. Afterwards we headed deeper into Georgetown and found ourselves walking along the waterfront. We stumbled upon a very cool fountain and I managed to snap a picture of it as the water was colored and blasting into the air. We headed back towards Foggy Bottom after our waterfront adventure. Some of the interns went back to the dorm, but Jake, Ashley and I stopped for milkshakes to top off the evening. A gastronomical night for the ages!

Light fountain along Georgetown waterfrontPhoto: Light fountain along Georgetown waterfront.

In work this week the four of us have continued on with our lesson plan work. As the calendar edges toward July 18 and we prepare for our meeting with the other researchers working on the topic of African-Americans in Physics and Astronomy, we are giving more thought to how we're going to present what we've created so far and where we intend to bring the project to by the end of the summer. As I've mentioned previously, I bring a political science background to our work, so besides preparing a presentation about all the very useful pedagogical tools we're working on, I have been thinking about concise and informed ways to present how the four of us attempt to frame our lesson plans, annotated bibliography entries, and other materials. Consciously incorporating and communicating different perspectives into the teacher's guide necessitates an intersectional approach to race and gender in our effort to understand and communicate our research into the experiences of historical and contemporary African-American physical scientists. Mindfully approaching their disciplines in this manner is something I believe will help drive innovation and interest in STEM work overall. Thus, this past week I have been working hard to present this well for our meeting on the 18th!

I can never believe how quickly time flies.We're now over halfway done and it seems like I just got into town. I surely overstate how quickly the best of days go, but it's true. I'm sure there will be even more excitement going into the long holiday weekend and a great deal of people in the area!


Week 7, July 7-13, 2014

A Long Weekend, The Fourth of July!

This past week has been absolutely packed! The big thing around town last weekend was of course the Fourth of July and I was not disappointed by the celebrations! On top of all the extra things happening around here, it seemed like Vassar descended on the capital! A friend of mine, who recently graduated from Vassar, came down to spend the holiday, and I was joined by six more Vassar students and alum (local to the area) over the course of the weekend. On Friday afternoon I met with a group of my friends from up north and we caught the Brazil - Colombia World Cup match and then some food near Union Station. Afterwards we headed towards Capitol Hill to try and find some space and another Vassar student (we are endless). Capitol buildingThe concert and evening on Capitol Hill centered on "A Capitol Fourth," an annual, televised celebration of July 4. I didn't know quite what to expect, but it was a great night, if not a little challenging at times to see what was happening on stage or on the large television screen that was suspended for the people sitting further back up the hill. But what we really went for was the view of the fireworks and to hang out as a group, which is something that we had all been saying we would do for the past few weeks, but hadn't really gotten around to it until now.

Of course, in my feverish attempt to grab a few photos of the massive fireworks on the National Mall, the shots didn't come out as great as I would have liked them, but nonetheless I managed a few decent ones! Like this one of the lit Capitol building:

DC July 4thAnd this one of the fireworks foregrounded by the Washington Monument:

The project has also been coming along well. On July 18 we're having the advisory committee meeting and we've been working hard to get ready! The four of us have pretty much wrapped up all the lesson plans and we're now working to put the final touches on some of the other aspects of the teacher's guide, like the annotated bibliography, a list of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an ongoing spreadsheet of African-American physicists (and physical scientists more broadly), and a trivia card game incorporating many of the important milestones in the history of science and much of the biographical information that we've researched. We've also been busy preparing our presentation and, most critically, thinking of what sort of feedback we're looking for from the meeting.


Week 8, July 14-20, 2014

NIST, NASA, and meetings!

Many new things to journal about for Week 8! Two of the highlights of this week were by far the tours of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Kelby and Ben gave an amazing tour of the user facility and its gorgeous campus, while Nick and Kirsten gave an equally awesome tour of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. At NIST I saw quite a few unexpected things. We started off at NIST with a tour of their Center for Neutron Research. The neutron source and all the instrumentation taking data from the neutron source are housed in an enormous warehouse. Taking in all of the experiments going on in that one building really made me understand the necessity of big science. I can't imagine many other opportunities to get so much basic research done all in one place! I also saw the inside of the nuclear reactor used for their setup and it was quite daunting. Although I knew I was quite safe, there is something humbling about being so close to such a raw part of nature - fundamental to the cosmos and yet entirely foreign to humans in our day-to-day experience. Our next stop was the scanning electron microscope lab where we were briefed on some amazing nanoscale imaging technologies.

Center for Neutron Research at NISTCenter for Neutron Research at NISTPhotos: scenes from the Center for Neutron Research at NIST!

While at NIST we also visited the Nanofab facilities within the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. Touring the clean room observation area was a glimpse into the science that drives much of the technology emergent in society today - the silicon based technology that, for example, drives the computer with which I'm writing this journal! Seeing the research and development of these technologies, as well as learning about the financial costs, really inspires a great respect for the numerous and ingenious researchers who drive technology forward. NIST Newton TreeOne notable find at NIST is an apple tree grown from a graft taken from Isaac Newton's infamous apple tree/orchard. Following NIST, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Dogfish Head, right across the street from the user facilities. Ending the day, the group split, with a few of us going to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and the rest returning to Foggy Bottom. The Udvar-Hazy Center is an extension of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and is definitely not to be missed if you are in the D.C. area. A converted aircraft hangar, the Udvar-Hazy houses many historically significant aircraft such as the Space Shuttle Discovery, the SR-71 Blackbird, and the Concorde.

Photo: Graft of Isaac Newton's apple tree at NIST!

Photo: The SR-71 Blackbird at the Udvar-Hazy extension of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum!

Udvar-Hazy extension of the Smithsonian Air and Space MuseumOn Thursday, 7/17 Nick and Kirsten gave an excellent tour of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. We first stopped by Kirsten's lab and met with the crew working on cosmic microwave background polarimetry and then stopped by Nick's lab where he is studying Eta Carinae. Soon after we stopped by the Science Jamboree where many of the labs presented their research in an accessible, easily digestible way. There was tons of free NASA souvenirs and plenty of people to talk science with! Working at NASA must be an endlessly fascinating job. Our lunch was with Nobel laureate Dr. John Mather who kindly set aside some time to talk with us about our tour and science in general. In the afternoon we went on a tour of the Flight Dynamics Facility where, among many other projects, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is being tested and assembled. Prior to JWST, the Hubble Space Telescope was built here, so this facility has a long history of advancing astronomy research! There were many enormous projects happening outside of the sealed clean room as well. There was a chamber used for testing the acoustical properties of spacecraft as well as a giant centrifuge that could spin all sorts of large objects, including cars!

Photo: inside Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA GoddardAt work we had our July 18 Advisory Committee meeting for the teacher's guide and the day went off without a hitch. Jake, Sine, Sharina, and I gave a well-received presentation on the teacher's guide and all of the resources that we've been hard at work refining over the past 8 weeks. The Center for History of Physics brought in several outside researchers and leaders in the African-American physics community as well as members of the different societies within the American Center for Physics complex (such as the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society) to help expand our work to the greater physical science community. Besides giving some excellent critique of the teacher's guide work, the outside researchers helped formulate an excellent list of oral history candidates and interviewers. All in all, Week 8 has been one of the most productive and fun weeks that I've had all summer!


Week 9, July 21-27, 2014

The Capitol, Pentagon, and Presentations!

View from the Capitol buildingI can't believe I'm on my last few days here in D.C.! This past week has been absolutely great, with tours of the Capitol and the Pentagon as well as our final presentations this past Friday. On Monday, Ben Preis and Ashley organized some very fun Capitol and Pentagon tours. We started bright and early with a Pentagon tour at 9am. Unfortunately (but understandably) there were no photos allowed on that tour, but it was a very informative and enjoyable tour. We learned about the history of the different branches of the armed forces and afterwards had a chance to explore the 9/11 Memorial directly outside of the building. After a trip back to the Capitol area, we had lunch in one of the Congressional cafeterias. Without a doubt, the representatives and congressional staff eat very well! Ben then gave a great tour of the Capitol building and the highlights there were the view from the backside of the building, facing the Washington Monument and spending some time in the gallery of the House of Representatives. It's amazing how so many people fit into that room during the State of the Union address. Ashley took over after that and we visited the room where the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology convenes as well as the office where she works with committee staff.

Capitol building hallwayCapitol buildingThis past week at work culminated in the SPS Intern Symposium where I gave my final presentation on the teacher's guide. Jake and I volunteered to go first and to say the least, we had an eventful (and well-received) presentation. A few slides in the power cut to the whole building, so we had to take a short pause. After that everything ran smoothly and we even managed to not overshoot the time limit. It's a lot harder to give a short presentation than I imagined! Following our presentation we enjoyed a delicious lunch of Lebanese food. A chemistry professor and researcher interested in the teacher's guide to African-Americans in the physical sciences joined us during lunch and for the afternoon. All in all, it's was a great week!

Photo 1: a view from the backside of the Capitol building!

Photo 2: Just outside the Capitol building!

Photo 3: a hallway inside the Capitol building!


Final Reflections, August 2014

Final Reflections

Wow! What an amazing summer. I'm back home in Buffalo now and I still can't believe my time in D.C. has come to an end. The journey home and the past week or so have been a mix of melancholy and joy. Departing from D.C., I leave behind the many wonderful people that I met during my time as an intern. However, as I pack and organize myself for my last year at Vassar, it's grounding to temporarily drop anchor amongst all the familiar faces here at home. Looking back, I will always remember the experiences I had in D.C. this summer.

I have grown so much from the opportunities that opened up to me as an SPS intern. Before this summer, my study of physics was defined solely by classes and research. I now understand more than ever the formative and binding relationships that drive the science I so dearly enjoy. Between my mentors and coworkers, different researchers, representatives and staff that I met, and of course the interns, it is clear now how valuable my colleagues are in every endeavor - scientific or otherwise. My time as an intern taught me that physics is just as much about research as it is about bridging the gap between scientists and the general public. I learned the importance and power of networking and of the many different career paths that are open to me as a physics and astronomy major. My experiences remind me how critical communication is to the future of physics, astronomy, and science in general. During my internship I felt connected to the work happening at AIP, but also to the efforts of my fellow interns, and to the work of the coursing, vibrant population of the city at large. These lessons and memories are what I will hold close as I begin the process of applying to graduate school and contemplate what life beyond Vassar holds for me.

Of course, I would be missing a huge part of my summer if I didn't recognize my fellow interns. It amazed me from the beginning of the summer how we instantly hit off and I will cherish our friendships forever. We are a diverse and unique group and I simply would not have had the same experience this summer without being able to share it with each and every one of them. Living as a group in the heart of the city was a non-stop adventure. To all of my fellow interns, my coworkers at AIP and the countless, fascinating people I met in D.C. - thanks for the great summer!



The History of African-Americans in Physics and Astronomy

American Institute of PhysicsThe American Institute of Physics' Center for History of Physics works to preserve and make known the historical record of modern physics and allied sciences. Through documentation, archival collections and educational initiatives, the Center ensures that the heritage of modern physics is safeguarded and its story is accurately told. The resource for 2014 is a "Teachers Guide to the History of African-Americans in Physics and Astronomy."

Simon and fellow SPS intern Jacob are working on a teacher's guide to the history of African-Americans in physics and astronomy. They are working with the director of the Center for History of Physics, graduate research assistants, and library specialists to weave collections of materials in the Niels Bohr Library & Archives at AIP into a historical narrative, design the web resource, and provide outreach to young science students.
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