Week 6

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Friday, July 19, 2013


Dayton Syme

It has been a few very busy days at the office. I have finished a large portion of my projects that were set out for me at the beginning of the year. I have done summaries for both of the PCAST reports, talking points on various STEM subjects, and uploaded practically gigabytes worth of STEM related reports. Looking at it – as is commonly said around here – at 30,000 feet, I am paving a foundation for the next “STEM-tern” to take over when I’m gone. Like the name? It was created by a secretary in the office who called me that out of the blue. I rather like it, and hope it sticks.

On Wednesday, I had a fun going-back-to-my-roots moment when The Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD, where I work) was asked to go to a “Women in STEM Caucus.” We were also asked to bring in some hands on activities to make our booth more than just a table with fliers. My name was dropped in an email, and that’s when I had to think fast. Luckily, I threw out an example of using some diffraction glasses I could get from the Society of Physics Students and the higher-ups apparently loved it. Armed with about 250 diffraction glasses and colored LEDs, I would say that our table for the Department of Education was one of the better ones around. And I got an educational high whenever I had a chance to explain the glasses.

In my free time, I have been trying to take hold of every nearby (and FREE!) opportunity that I could take part in. Thursday I went to the Botanical Gardens right next to the Capitol building to take a look at the Corpse Flower that was blooming. Sadly, there was no smell of death. Then again, I don’t mean to seem too distraught over it, but when you go to see a flower called “The Corpse Flower”, you expect to at least smell something. Either way, it was a beautiful and large organism. At the time that I went to see the flower, its height was a little shy of six feet.

Friday appears to be pretty cool with a Food Truck Festival and Jazz in the Garden looking uninterrupted, but this weekend looks to be better with a trip to the Spy Museum and much more planned, but I’ll talk more about it next week. CLIFFHANGER!

Dayton Syme