Week 3: STEMFest and Congressional Baseball

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Max Torke

Teaching kids about GravityThis has been the busiest week thus far.  On Saturday, several interns and I headed to Hubble STEMFest for an outreach event.  STEMFest was held by the Youth for Astronomy & Engineering (YAE) Program at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.  We spent our day talking to kids, demonstrating gravity with the “Fabric of the Cosmos” demo, and getting the kids excited about science!  After a long day we drove back to DC, but not before getting some authentic Baltimore Crab Cakes.

STEMFest NapThursday was the Congressional Baseball Game, an annual baseball game between Democrat and Republican Congress members.  This year, the parties were tied with 38 wins each so it was a tie-breaking year.  The game was great.  The senators played baseball really well!  Halfway through the game President Barack Obama showed up, so I have now seen the President of the United States.  The Democrats won the game 5-2.  This game was a definite highlight of my summer in DC.

At NASA, I began a new approach to coding the simulation, using a matrix representation for the propagation of light through the dielectric.  Also, instead of treating the Teflon dielectric foam as a bulk material I am attempting to model it as a large stack of dielectric layers.  The pores in the dielectric foam are treated as free space with Teflon dielectric plates on either side.  I have repeated the results for a single dielectric sheet.  It is just a matter of matrix multiplying the free space and dielectric sheets. Making progress!

On Friday, Aman Gill, another SPS intern from Sonoma State, visited NASA Goddard and stopped by my lab for a quick tour.  We met up with the other SPS interns at the SPS/Sigma Pi Sigma Executive Committee dinner.  It was quite the affair.  We met with various members in the executive committee and various other positions within SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma.  After a great dinner it was time to head back to Woodley Park to rest up for another full weekend.

Chocolate milk and cheesecake
Stretching Spacetime with the Spandex Solar System
Represent! SPS.
STEMFest Hubble

Max Torke