Week 1: The Beginning

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Monday, June 2, 2014


Jacob Zalkind

New jobs are always an indicator of a new beginning. It is an opportunity to meet new colleagues, supervisors, bosses and networking opportunities as well as become a part of something much greater than ourselves. In some cases we are able to learn something new so that this new knowledge may be passed on to others so that they may use it as well. It is for that reason why I am excited to be here.

As stated in my bio, my name is Jacob Zalkind (you can call me Jake). I will be going into my senior year at Shippensbug University with a major in Physics and a concentration in secondary education. I am working in the Center for History of Physics to research the subject of African-Americans in Physics and Astronomy as well as make a guide for teachers to use to teach the subject in a high school or college level setting.

Here's our office/the storage closet -- so much productivity.I am originally from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, a town outside of Philadelphia. I arrived in Washington on Monday after spending the weekend at my aunt's house, outside of DC, with my family and her's. After finally getting unpacked and settled in I met my fellow interns as well as our supervisor Kendra, and we enjoyed a nice lunch in the city. We then walked over to Constitution Avenue to watch the Memorial Day Parade, which was really cool and interesting to watch. Over the next few days more of the interns began arriving and we were able to do more activities as a group, including walking around the National Mall, seeing a few of the Smithsonian Museums, going to the top of the Washington Monument, eating a bunch of delicious food, and of course, attempting (and sometimes failing) to take pictures of ourselves at the various places we visited.

Work started on Wednesday of this week with orientation, where we took the metro from Foggy Bottom to the American Center of Physics. Here, we met several of the other employees in the building, including our research adviser, Dr. Greg Good, as well as a special guest who had been invited to orientation for the day, Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather. It was really cool to see that someone as important as Dr. Mather is really just a regular person like you or me! The next day we began our actual work, where Dr. Good, with the help of the library staff, found and assigned us a few books to read to begin our research. He then showed us to our office (which also doubles as a storage room!), and from that point, our project, our work, and this summer had truly begun.......with lots and lots of reading!

Photo: Here's our office/ the storage closet -- so much productivity


Jacob Zalkind