Week 2

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Sunday, June 9, 2019


Sariah Mevs Phipps

I know that most people spend the weekend dreading Mondays but I was ecstatic when it finally arrived! All the other interns had already begun their projects, but because of conflicts that I had mentioned in my previous blog, I was unable to start anything. That is, until Monday! I walked into the office and was escorted to my very own cubicle (at least my own on Mon, Wed, Thurs) and given my first four assignments. The first two are pretty similar, and the most fun for me. The optical society has a website called Optics4Kids that has activities kids can do from home to better understand optics. My job is to find and write instructions for new activities that kids of ages 5 and up, 10 and up, and 15 and up can do. The activities include an overview of what will be learned, a list of materials needed, steps to complete the experiment, and an explanation behind the physics of the activity. My second project has to do with the science kits that the Optical Society gives to teachers for classroom demonstrations. Like my other project, I have to find and write instructions for new experiments to be put into the kit. This project is targeted mostly towards middle-schoolers and is a little tricky since I have to find experiments with affordable materials. The next project I have is to update the registry for OSA chapters. Each chapter was asked to update their registry this year (as in who is the advisor, president, etc…) and many of them have not done so. I have to look at the info we have and use excel to sort the schools who have a complete registry from those who do not. It may not be as fun as the other projects, but I enjoy doing it when I want to take a break from the other two. My fourth project is to figure out the set up for a new website OSA is trying to put up. OSA has booklets that give all types of information on different fields of study in optics. However, people will seldom want to read through a thick booklet, so they’ve decided to transfer it onto the internet. I am supposed to look at different websites as examples and decide what I think is the best set up.

My Monday mainly consisted of switching off between the first three projects. I basically made a word document that included outlines of what experiments I wanted to do as well as links to the instructions. On Tuesday, I mainly focused on the Optics4kids website. I continued researching activities that could be used for the website and organized them by age group. It was a little tricky for me to find activities for teens, so I referenced activities I did in my beginning physics classes. For the most part, the experiments I came up with had to do with refraction, diffraction, polarization, reflection, photon motion, and lenses. The experiments weren’t really complex, but the explanations definitely got more complicated based on the age group. Writing the explanations for ages 15 and up was the most fun for me because I could get a lot more in depth on the physics. I also enjoyed myself when my advisor took me out for a welcome lunch. Maddie, along with Curtis and James, took me to get some delicious Tai food and made me feel so welcomed. I am so glad that I have such great coworkers.

I basically worked on the registry and Optics4kids website all week. Friday was my favorite day, though. It was international donut day so everyone in the office got free donuts and orange juice. They even switched the TV from the news to Fresh Prince of Bel Air so that was pretty great. I was able to finish both the Optics4Kids website and the OSA registry list on Friday, so I was pretty happy with that. After work, I had a lovely date night with my handsome husband. We went to the nearest theatre and got tickets for the dark phoenix movie. Although it was really bad and I would not recommend it to anyone, I still had fun being with Andrew. After that, we ate some watermelon and watched shows at home.

Saturday was another fun day. Andrew, Eric, Tibbs, and I all started the day by going to tonic for some tater tots.  Then we made our way to the air and space museum and saw some of the exhibits we missed last week. After that, we went to the Optical Society for the pride parade. It was my first time going and definitely an experience. The streets were so crowded that I was amazed we even made it home! By the time we got back, Andrew and I were pretty pooped and had a nice night in. I made orange Julius, paprika baked chicken breasts, and yellow rice to end the night. We both ended up passing out on the couch in a pretty happy mood.

Sariah Mevs Phipps