Week 0: Testing the Waters

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Friday, May 29, 2015


Shauna LeFebvre

Hello! I'm Shauna LeFebvre, and I'm this year's SPS SOCK/NIST Education intern.  Just to let you know a little about myself, I am a rising senior at Union College.  Along with a major in physics, I plan on pursuing minors in mathematics and ancient Greek.  When you can't find me working in the physics department, I am probably playing saxophone in the jazz or pep band or helping with my Minerva house (my school has 7 Minerva houses that put on events for the campus community).  But enough about me.

Just as a disclaimer, I have not officially started my internship yet because of my school schedule.  I am writing this journal entry now in the hopes of holding you over until I can make regular posts, which will be in a little over a week.

Now for the good stuff.

Our internship orientation was this past Tuesday.  After an early flight and a Metro ride, I arrived at the American Center of Physics (ACP) to finally meet the other interns.  We made introductions and had a bite to eat before we started our orietation activities.  We learned how to make a good first impression with our "elevator speech." Practicing the short introductions we could greet people with was actually a good way to learn about my fellow interns.  Next we met some of the staff at AIP and had lunch with Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather.  This was a great insight into the world of physics after college.  It was really inspiring to meet someone like Dr. Mather who's love of physics has lead them to be so successful.  After lunch we took some pictures, sorted out paper work, got our badges, and then it was off to the offices!

Setting up my voicemail. Hannah (my fellow SOCK intern) and I set up our desks and immediately started brainstorming ideas for the SOCK (science outreach catalyst kit).  We looked through last year's SOCK to get an idea of what sort of demos we needed to develop.  Our theme this year is waves, and we want to take it in the direction of acoustics.  Last year's theme was the International Year of Light, so we don't want to be too repetitive, and sound waves seem like a good option.  Hannah and I spent the rest of the day outling what concepts we want to highlight and possible demos to go along with them.  

Unfortunately, at the end of the day I had to fly back home.  Now I have to finish classes and a couple finals, and then I will be back to get things rolling! I'm so excited to be at SPS this summer, and I can't wait to get back to D.C.!      

(Photo credit: Hannah Pell) 

Shauna LeFebvre