Week 3: It's nice to see you in person...

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Sunday, June 20, 2021


Maura Shapiro

This was a great week, so I’ll just skip to the highlight: I visited AIP in person! I am from the D.C. area and was already planning to make the trek back for Father’s Day weekend, when I decided to come down early and visit the offices Friday. For the first time in over a year, I dressed-up as an adult and attended a meeting in slacks instead of pajama-bottoms. I felt every bit a D.C. young adult, commuting while listening to NPR. 

 I had such a blast meeting two of my mentors in person. Corinne, my boss from NBLA gave me a tour of the building, making sure to point out all the locations where, “in normal times”, AIP would provide free food. I particularly loved the library with huge windows, and of course, a giant room full of physics and physics history-related books. She let me run wild in there, plucking books from the shelf like a kid in a candy store. I found early editions of my old physics textbooks and reading sections of the most intriguing books.

Corrine pulled some of the rare books for me to read, everything from old books teaching physics through fairy tales to published correspondence of Galileo preaching the importance of the freedom of science (written in Latin, so unreadable to me, but still impressive). 

My teaching guide on Eunice Newton Foote, the woman who discovered the greenhouse effect in 1856 but did not receive credit for it until 2011, has now become three guides. What can I say? Between her discovery, the implications of her work, and her activism, she is simply too interesting to fit in just one lesson. 

 Lunch, like every other part of the day, was great. We ate with Brad and Kayla from SPS team as well as Dr. Jack Hehn, former AIP Director of Education and founder of the internship program. We had a great and lively conversation where I accidentally revealed one of my more embarrassing stories (getting asked to leave the high school band) and learned more about the programs and the people who work there. 

It was great to get a taste of a semi-normal internship experience and I am so grateful for everyone who worked during the new federal Juneteeth holiday to make it possible.


Maura Shapiro