Week 3: Laser Light Show in the Cafeteria

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Friday, June 28, 2013


Nicole Quist

Last Friday after work all the interns, except Fiona who hadn’t arrived yet, went to the Symphony. It was aconcert of the National Symphony Orchestra with David Hardy on the cello. I got to sit on the side with the harp. I couldn’t see super well, but the harpist was amazing. It reminded me of how much I love playing harp. I hope I can find a harp shop in DC where I can go play a harp sometime.

I went to bed early Friday night so that I could meet up with my friend, Julie, in the morning.  We grabbed the metro to Eastern Market. We got BlueBucks, or blueberry buckwheat pancakes, which are apparently famous. They were really good. We took a little turn about the market to see what was being sold before heading to the Newseum.

On our walk we saw the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress. We also walked past a soap car derby down Capitol Hill, which was cute. The Newseum was really cool. They have a really neat hall of the front page of newspapers on important days around the world. They also had a really cool exhibit on the FBI and another one on 9/11.

Monday started my third week of work. What? How did that happen? We had our first outreach on Tuesday at Tuckahoe Elementary, so Monday was our day to prepare. It was midafternoon when we were starting to feel ready for the three, one hour classes of 40 third graders the next morning. Then Toni got a message from our Tuckahoe Elementary contact. Because it was the last week of school, they only had time for one hour with all 120 third graders. Eeeek! Some of the activities we were planning on doing would be chaos with that large of a group.

We decided we would still do the outreach but we modified the activities. Instead of measuring the length of the room with different sized sticks, they would measure the lengths of equally long ropes. We kept the LED vs. Laser demonstration we had used before and the laser-sound demonstration. It was a little thrown together, and had a possibility of being a disaster.

Tuesday we arrived early to set up the cafeteria. Ro, Jamie, Christine, Caleb, Toni and I did the outreach. It went really well. I was surprised at how excited the kids were about measuring rope. They were really smart kids and I saw multiple methods for measuring. It was great. They were very involved and I think they had a good time and learned a lot. It could have been better organized on our part, but I was really happy with how well it went. Toni took us out to lunch and then the rest of the afternoon and week was spent working on pricing and organize the materials for the SOCKs.

It has been a fun week. I am really excited for the adventures to come. Pretty soon it will be July and I will be working at NIST. Crazy!

Nicole Quist