Week 3: Giant Jenga

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Sunday, June 18, 2023


Jenna Tempkin

Week 3: Giant Jenga

 Hello everyone! Happy end of week 3! Here is what I was up to this week:

 Monday was a typical workday. I continued working on compiling materials for Physics Quest Extensions and went to my check in meeting with my mentor. Monday night, a group of us tried to have another game night with a Wii that was left by past cohorts, but failed due to a missing wire. Although no games were played it was still nice to see everyone at the end of a long day. 

 On Tuesday I had my first check in meeting with the whole APS Intern Crew (there are only three of us but I will remain calling us a crew). It was good to hear about the other APS projects that Devin and Jaden were working on, as well as share a bit more about what I was up to. This meeting was also with Jaden’s mentor Bri, and we had a lot of discussion about how cool it was to be a part of this program. I jokingly asked if APS would hire me after I graduated…. After that meeting I discovered a Starbucks gift card in my wallet with just enough money for a brownie. I took my brownie and went up to sit at the GW University Center terrace outside and continue working. At night, I went to dinner with my friend Gab. We know each other from our home dance studio where we danced together for 10 years, but due to our crazy schedules it had been almost three years since we last saw each other. It was so great to catch up and reminisce about dance together. We met at a really nice pizza/pasta restaurant called Ella’s Woodfire Kitchen (if you are reading this I 10/10 recommend. They even have swings you can sit at for your table). 

 Wednesday was probably the most jammed packed day this week. It started with a trip into ACP with a few interns at 7:30. When we got there, there was a few meetings going on, so the building was busier than usual. There was also more food than usual, so we got to steal some of the leftovers. I then worked at my desk and had a meeting with my mentor Nicole, and a physics teacher named Tamia for Physics Quest. I am working on creating a set of guidelines for future PQ developers, reviewers, and extension writers to help guarantee the activities and information included fits what teachers are looking for and fits certain DEI efforts. Tamia gave us a lot of really good ideas, such as having students explore physics through writing raps or making physics memes. These were such creative ways to engage with physics that I would not have thought of otherwise. She even showed us a few memes her students made, and I was cracking up. 

 Wednesday night myself, Hannah, Janessa, Julia, Eva, Brynn, and Devin took a trip to the Wharf in D.C for a free concert. It was pretty busy but we found a spot with some lawn chairs and of course, GIANT JENGA. Our first game was quite intense and went on for probably close to 10 minutes. It was really windy so the tower almost fell over a few times just with the wind alone. Then it was my turn again. The tower was the opposite of stable, and none of the bricks wanted to move. Using my physics brain, I channeled my inner Isaac Newton to use inertia to pull out the middle brick on the bottom. I pulled the brick and celebrated as the tower stayed up…. well not quite. Moments later my celebrations turned into me falling onto the floor in defeat. (See photo collage below). The concert ended and we made a pit stop at Shake Shack before heading home. Janessa and I demolished an order of fries and chicken bites. 


Playing Giant Jenna


 On Thursday I woke up for a meeting with another teacher to get more information about guidelines for PQ. Unfortunately we had to reschedule that meeting, so I shifted into practicing my Science Trust Project Presentation that’s in a little less than 3 weeks. To practice, I decided it would be a good idea to record myself and practice like I was giving the talk to the audience. The practice went really well, except I accidentally left the recording running for a good 30 min. Watching the video of myself typing away and doing work was comical. Thursday night we had a dinner with the SPS Executive Board. It was my first true networking event, and it was definitely a bit overwhelming for me. I had to learn that going up and saying “hello” to someone, as easy as it seems, can actually be quite difficult. Though, after taking a few minutes to get comfortable I met some really interesting people who do really cool work for SPS. Then we came home, and a few of us went to captain cookie. 

Friday morning I got to actually practice my Science Trust presentation to Allie, and Zack, who also works with APS for this project. I got really helpful feedback to take into consideration for when I practice over the next week. We also discussed how to edit the presentation to tailor it to the interns, since we are not the typical audience. Later that day, on my check in meeting with Nicole, I got to see her new dog. He was adorable! A lot of the interns were supposed to go to Jazz in the Garden this night, but sadly it was canceled due to the weather. Instead my roommate and I got chipotle and I watched a lot of The Good Doctor. More of us ended up hanging out later too, which was really fun. 

On Saturday I met with my friend Emily from Lafayette! We got brunch where I had delicious pancakes and then went to an interactive museum all about language called Planet Word. My favorite part was this massive “word wall” where they played a short movie all about the origin of some words. Saturday night all of the interns attended the National Orchestral Institute’s performance. It was at UMD, so we had to take cars there. The lesson I learned that night was to take Uber, not lyft. Our uber driver on the way home was a way better driver and was way more personable than our lyft driver there… The big piece played was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue which I only really know from United Airlines safety videos, but it was gorgeous. I play the flute in Lafayette's concert band so orchestra music is not new for me, but it was really cool to be on the audience side of this performance. 

Finally on Sunday I went and got groceries, and then joined up with some interns at the Georgetown Flea Market. There was a lot of pretty artwork and jewelry on sale. I did not buy anything, but I really liked walking around (even though it was hot). Then we went to M street for lunch where I had a burger and a delicious chocolate milkshake. 

 That’s all for this week! Maybe I’ll win a game of giant jenga in the near future… (check out more photos below!) 

Jenna Tempkin