Week 10: One Last Time

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Sunday, August 6, 2023


Jenna Tempkin

“ One last time, sit back read the blog with me…” – Lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda with edits by me. Happy week 10! Before I get to all the sappy stuff here are the fun things that happened this last week.

On Monday I finalized my presentation and also met with Nicole to completely finalize my PhysicsQuest projects. After 10 weeks the guidelines have been finished! It is really cool to know that something I worked on will be used by APS in the future. At night some of the interns hung out at the national mall. We sat, talked, and played spike ball until it was so dark we couldn’t see the ball anymore. We also got bit by a lot of mosquitoes (bring bug spray).

On Tuesday I sent the final emails to the three teachers I had been talking to this summer asking them to send their feedback using our rubric and the new 2023 PhysicsQuest lessons. Later that night, myself, Julia, Hannah, Brynn, and Janessa went out to North Italia for dinner. It was a bit of a more expensive meal, but we all deserved it. We then had a dessert potluck where everyone brought a dessert. Hannah and I brought cookies, but some other highlights included Ruthie’s brownies and Jaden’s successful cake.

Wednesday marked my last official APS working day. In the morning I had one last zoom call with Nicole, Allie, and Claudia. It was more of a “celebration” zoom than a work zoom, so we ended up talking about the summer and reflecting back on the many things I did. Of course I told them how grateful I was for all of their amazing support this summer as well. I am actually going to continue to work with them throughout the year on some Science Trust Project stuff, so it wasn't really goodbye, but it was goodbye to my internship position. To round off the day, I logged on to the APS Birthday Bash, and it did not disappoint. In the evening some of us went down to the Wharf for one last concert outside. We played Jenga, and of course got some shake shack.

On Thursday we had our rehearsal where we split into groups, presented, and got feedback. It was very nice to see what everyone had been working on, and also get feedback from people who had not seen my presentation before. After my practice I was feeling very confident, and just had to adjust a few formatting things until I submitted the final version. Thursday was also the day Heartstopper season 2 came out. Throwback to when I saw Joe and Kit at the pride parade. Ruthie and I sat and watched the first episode and then took a brief break so we could pack. We said we would only watch the first episode but ended up watching the first five later that night. Oh well. I’m glad we got to watch it together because we had been talking about it for so long. That night all of the interns also went to Tonic together for one last meal. We then helped pack some of the SPS bins of random items for future interns.

Finally, the last day of the program – Presentation Day! We got there bright and early to enjoy a brief breakfast and calm our nerves. Each intern was gifted a physics book based on their work/personality etc, and we ended up going around and signing each other’s like a yearbook. Then at 10 am, the presentations promptly began. I went around 12:30, but the entire time I was so proud of everyone who presented. I knew generally what each person was working on, but it was so exciting to see all of the hard work everyone put in throughout these last 10 weeks. I think my presentation went extremely well, and my family even got to watch on the livestream from home. At the end of the presentations, we all happily ate lunch and reflected back on these last 10 weeks. Of course we took lots of pictures. Once we said our goodbyes to the SPS team (Brad, Kayla, and Mikayla) we all went back to the dorm. Hannah and I got one last roommate chipotle dinner, and then I went to sit at the Lincoln Memorial to watch the sunset with Clay, Devin, Colin, and Emily. After the sunset, all of the interns met up one last time to hang out. We ended up going around and sharing our favorite memories with one another. Eventually, we had to start saying goodbye. It was definitly hard to hold back tears, but it was so nice to have such a great end of the program all together just like we had started. 

It is hard to put into words how amazing this summer was, and how emotional I felt saying goodbye to this intern cohort. 10 weeks ago, I had no idea who anyone was, but now I have connections that will stay in my life forever. I feel extremely lucky to have had this experience for so many different reasons and cannot wait to see where each of us ends up in our futures. We all promised to keep in touch, and I really hope we do.

Lastly, one last major shoutout to my mentor Nicole for absolutely all of her help and guidance this summer! I’m so thankful that I got to be a part of the SPS and APS family, and hope I find myself back there in one way shape or form.

Thank you for following along with my summer. Hi to future Jenna too – I know you will read this again someday.

Thanks for reading! As always check out the photos below. Jenna, APS Public Engagement Intern 2023, signing out ! 

Jenna Tempkin