Week 1: Introduction

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Friday, May 29, 2015


Patrick Mangan

Hello everyone,

I've spent a little less than a week in Washington D.C. and I've so far only put in 2 whole days of work with my internship, but it's already been a great experience. I've had lunch with Nobel Prize winners, stood next to buildings that I had only ever seen in textbooks, and I've sat at a desk for a regular 9-5 job. All of these are new experiences for me and all of these I've done in my time here so far.

A little more about me, my name is Patrick Mangan, I'm 22 years old from Indiana, and I plan to teach high school physics and math after I graduate next year. I am a Physics Education major at Ball State University in beautiful Muncie, Indiana. I chose the AAPT/PTRA internship as my top choice because what this organization does directly affects my future career, and the projects I will be working on this summer will give me invaluabe insight into the education system. This internship is a great professional development opportunity for me.

This summer I will be working on updating PTRA materials for high school physics teacher professional development workshops, creating a network of contacts at STEM-focused high schools in the United States, and studying the Next Generation Science Standards to extract as much information relevant to physics as I can and present it in a way that is helpful to physics teachers.

In my first two days of work I read through all the standards and took note of all the times a physics concept was mentioned in each individual standard. This work has thus far manifested itself into 15 different Microsoft Word Documents. But it's not at all as bad as it sounds. I'm learning a lot about education and doing all this work excites me for my future. Besides, once the weekend comes I'll be temporarily free from the 9-5 workday, go explore this great city, and enjoy what's left of my youth.

Ever since I arrived in D.C. not a day goes by when I don't feel blessed to be here. I'm amazed at how great of an opportunity this is for me and I have plans to take full advantage of this summer. Last weekend we walked around the National Mall, saw many famous monuments, we went to the D.C. zoo, and we ate at several restaurants. I've already seen that there is no shortage of things to do in this city and I'm excited to see what else it has in store for me.

The Washington Monumet as seen from my airpline flying into D.C.
The White House. This was a surreal moment for me, knowing how many important people have lived here throughout this nation's history.
The Lincoln Memorial
The Wasington Monument as seen from its base
My favorite picture I took of the Washington Monument
Using my AIP badge to recuse a moth we almost stepped on outside the American Center for Physics

Patrick Mangan