Week 1: How do you make scrambled eggs?

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Friday, June 14, 2013


Nicole Quist

This week has been quite a whirlwind. I flew out to DC on Sunday and took a taxi to GW. In celebration of my arrival, the heavens opened and it started to pour. In the sixty feet it took to get from the cab to the Amsterdam hall, where I checked-in to my room, my jacket and suitcases were soaked through. Luckily, while I was checking-in, the rain stopped and I walked the four blocks to my new dorm room. I spent the rest of the evening unpacking, before my roommate Nikki came and we started to get to know each other.

Monday was our first day of work. Orientation was quite a wealth of knowledge. We had the privilege of eating lunch with Dr. John Mather, a Nobel laureate.  It was really interesting to talk to him about science policy, education and his work at NASA.  After lunch, we headed off to our different assignments. Toni took Caleb, Alexandra and me out to NIST, where I met my supervisor for the other part of my internship, Mary Satterfield. We also took a tour of the NIST museum and some of the labs, which was really cool. That evening, I met up with a friend of mine who was in town for a wedding and we had dinner.

Tuesday was our first real day of work. When we arrived, Toni quickly got Caleb, Jamie and me started on building a laser sound demo for the outreach event on Sunday. It is so sweet! The music player modulates the intensity of the laser, which is shot at a solar cell. The solar cell turns the light back into a signal which is played by the speaker. Caleb and I started going through the boxes of old SOCK kits later that day. After work, I went out to Virginia to meet up with an old college friend. We had dinner and then she kindly took me shopping. Now I have a pillow, yay!

Wednesday, Caleb and I worked on a second demo for the outreach event. It uses diffraction glasses to look at the spectra of LEDs vs a laser. We used poster board to create a display. After work, we all went out to dinner and told hilariously bad jokes. I really like the other interns, and we have a blast hanging out together.

Thursday, we worked on finishing up everything for Sunday. We all left early to attend the Einstein Fellows Poster Session and Reception at the Russell Senate Office Building. The Russell Building is beautiful and being by all the senator’s offices reminded me of the great city I am living in. It was really nice to talk to some of the educators who participated in the fellowship. It reminded me of why I am excited to go into education research.

Friday, we got everything else for the demo show loaded up and ready to go. We also started brainstorming for the SOCK. For the SOCK this year we are partnering with NIST and our focus is on meters, sensors and detectors. We’ll see what we come up with…

This evening we plan to attend a free concert in the park and explore the city. This week has been a amazing, as evidence by the lack of sleep. There is so much to do in DC! I am excited for the work and the adventures this summer.

Nicole Quist