Week 2: Recess Week in Congress

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Monday, June 9, 2014


Ashley Finger

As I write this, I am nearing the end of my first full week as an intern for the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. This week, Congress was in recess, which made for a slower pace in the office, but, I found, hardly any reduction in my excitement. I spent the majority of my time reading articles and background information on both upcoming and past topics covered by the committee, and also simply adjusting to the workings of the office. I also had the opportunity to attend an EPA briefing on their Clean Energy Plan proposal, as well as watch a NASA briefing on human spaceflight. In both cases, I enjoyed hearing the questions and concerns of the attendees in person, as well as watching interpretations unfold both within the audience and in the news. It also struck me how expansive the range of issues the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology cover.

Interns at the White House

I also had the opportunity to attend a science fair on Thursday morning for the national finalists of the ExploraVision competition who presented their projects ranging from a synthetic kidney to futuristic sunglasses, for which SPS interns Caleb, Kearns, and Mark all came over to Capitol Hill to see.

World War II Memorial in Washington, DCThe end of my week became a lot more eventful. On Thursday, I began preparation for the hearing “A Review of the P5: The U.S. Vision for Particle Physics After Discovery of the Higgs Boson,” which will occur on Tuesday of next week, and which I am extremely excited about. For the hearing I prepared binders and read witness testimony to prepare potential questions for the witnesses. On the weekend, we had a lot of AIP events: on Friday we had dinner together along with AIP staff and SPS executive committee, after which we went stargazing on the national mall and toured the monuments—including a very special stop at the World War II memorial which was incredibly moving on the evening of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Then, on Sunday, we had an outreach event at Howard County Community College, for which the S.O.C.K. interns selected demos including a spandex model of spacetime curvature.

Finally, our twelfth intern Ben, the other Mather intern, arrived and we were able to get to know him. After only two weeks, all twelve of us have become really close—we have a great group!


Ashley Finger