Week 3: The Third Week

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Friday, June 12, 2015


Patrick Mangan


To start this week, on Sunday we had a big outreach event at the HoCo STEM Fest. We performed demos on the physics of light for hundreds of people over the course of several hours. It was a big success, because the people loved it. The demos we had covered such topics as invisible ink, polarization, and diffraction. The kids, and even the parents, were mystified by the polarization filters. We used them to play peak-a-boo with people, and they were also used to create "stained glass". Obviously it wasn't actually stained glass, but when several layers of tape are placed between two polarization filters and then light shines through it, it creates a an image that looks like stained glass. When the tape is layered a certain way, it can create some very pretty and colorful images. The next day, upon reviewing one of the resource materials on teaching about D.C. circuits, I realized that among the suggested lesson plans covering the basics of elecronics there was no mention of either Kirchhoff's Laws or operational amplifiers. Both of which are important, and Kirchhoff's laws are absolutely fundamental. So I have been spending the week writing sections for both of those concepts to put into the current updated version of that document. The sections I am writing will be up to date with the NGSS, as will the rest of the document after I update it.


I also started going to the gym here at ACP this week. Monday was the first day since late November I had had any exercise. So my weightlifting hiatus, combined with sudden heavy lifting and the lack of proper stretching, left me in pain and barely mobile the next day. It took a lot of determination to scratch my nose when it itched, because my muscles were so tight and stiff. But I perservered and went to the gym again a few days later and the pain was gone. On Wednesday I went with the SOCK interns to help them test out the SOCK they have been working on. We went to Yorktown High School in Arlington Virginia and I helped pass out supplies to all the students so the SOCK interns could lead them through the process of making pan flutes out of straws and sticky tack, while learning about sound waves. The day was a success and the SOCK interns have done a great job putting their product together, and they still have 7 weeks to improve it and make it even better.


By popular demand, I have saved all the talk of free food for one paragraph, and there was a lot of that this week. We had two free meals on Sunday. The first was lunch provided by the staff at the HoCo STEM Fest. They served us pizza, sandwiches, chips, cookies, candy, snack bars, and soda. I had at least one of everything, and I was left in culinary bliss. After the STEM Fest, us interns were treated to dinner. I ordered the pulled pork with fries and cole slaw, classic BBQ food. The presentation of the dish was good, especially because I was staring at a big, almost haystack-like, pile of pulled pork. The mixture of flavors of the dish was good, and I was full for the rest of the night. Our building also served all the inhabitants free pizza one day this week. They had at least 50 boxes available, and my roommates and I took full advantage of this. We each took a box, four boxes for four people. The taste of the pizza was more or less average, but it was free and in abundance, so conceptually it was delicious. This week was also the retirement party of the CEO of AIP, and there was a lot of quality food, refreshments, and enterainment in his honor. People sang songs and celebrated his long and successful career, and enjoyed some very fancy food. I honestly don't know what a lot of that food was, but it was all delicious. I did recognize the pan seared tuna, cheese and crackers, and brownie sundaes. There was also something wrapped in bacon, some type of dip, something I assume to be spring roles. The food was very tasty and it was an interesting experience for me because I had never been to an event like that before. I have also been given the nickname of JJ, due to my love for Jimmy John's sandwiches.

Retirement Party

Patrick Mangan