Week 4: Making Progress

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Victoria DiTomasso

I started Saturday by going to an AFI film festival documentary called “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” with Tabitha. After the movie, Tabitha headed back to the apartment and I went to check out the Air and Space Museum. I can’t say much about the “air” exhibits, but the “space” portions of the museum were really cool. On Sunday, I finally made the .2 mile walk up to the zoo.

Tabitha and I at the AFI Film Festival

A few highlights from the zoo

This was a productive workweek. We AIP History interns made a lot of progress! We finished reviewing all of each other’s revised lesson plans. We are going to give them each one last look-over, but then we will have over 35 lesson plans ready to be published online! In addition to reviewing, I spent a while writing up answers to discussion questions about women who worked on the Manhattan Project. The answers to these questions came from interviews with these women who filled a range of positions from scientist to secretary and were stationed at locations from Hanford, Washington to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was interesting to listen to these women talk about their day-to-day lives because they had no idea at the time how they were contributing to history. It makes me think about everyone walking around right now, contributing to science or history in ways that they don’t even know about yet.

I kept busy after work too. Monday night, I had a Skype meeting about an astronomy outreach opportunity back home for this coming school year. It’s something that a group of students has been working toward for a few months, so it was nice to make some solid progress in the planning. Tuesday, I had the chance to virtually catch up with a friend. On Thursday I went to a thrift store, Buffalo Exchange, by Logan’s Circle. After some shopping, I took advantage of the beautiful weather by getting sushi and eating in the circle.

Friday was a lot of fun. I went on two field trips during the workday. In the morning, the history interns went to the University of Maryland to get ID cards that allow us to check materials out of UMD’s library. In the afternoon, Courtney and Brad took the ACP-based SPS interns out to lunch and frozen yogurt. After work, I went with Samantha to Union Market, which we were able to enjoy even though we were still full from lunch. I made mental note to go back and try the myriad of food options available there, I’ll make sure to arrive hungry.

Union Market

On Friday night I met Mariah at the Air and Space Museum. They were having an All Night at the Museum event in honor of the museum’s 40th birthday. We watched their outdoor ceremony and were some of the first people in the museum, so we got to walk around before it got too crowded. The museum makes an effort to highlight women’s contributions to advancements in air and space technologies. In that vein, they had Nicole Malachowski, the first female Thunderbirds pilot, as one of their ceremony speakers. After listening to her introduction, which listed the many firsts that she has achieved as a woman, I was surprised to see that she is only 41 years old. I thought that the person who broke those barriers would have to be much older. Inside the museum, Mariah and I were astonished at the exhibit about stewardesses and women flying in the 1950s and ‘60s; they seemed so old fashioned. For me, it was a reminder that women have made a lot of progress in science and in society, but there are still barriers left to be broken.

From the Air and Space Museum's 40th birthday party

Victoria DiTomasso