Week 6: Tours and Being a Tourist

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Friday, July 26, 2013


Fiona Muir

It’s hard to believe that after today we’ve only got one full week of work left before we all leave DC and head back to school, work, or (in my case) weather that we can actually cope with.

Last Friday, Alexandra organised a great tour of NIST and it was amazing to see what a huge range of stuff actually happens there. Even though we only saw a tiny section of all the work that’s being done at NIST, we still got a sense of the scale of the organisation and everything that it does to ensure that the US remains on the cutting edge of science and technology. On Friday evening, we went to a food truck festival over by the Washington Nationals stadium and spent most of our time trying to decide what we wanted, overwhelmed by choices! We didn’t realise that there was actually a game going on that night and we decided that we had to come back and see a game for real, so this Friday, Katherine and I are going to the game (even though neither of us really know anything about baseball…)

On Saturday I visited Southern Maryland with my cousin. It was nice to have a bit of a change of pace and get out of the city for a day. On the complete other end of the spectrum, we spent Sunday afternoon right out in the middle of everything, checking out some of the museums we hadn’t had a chance to see yet. We were a bit short on time by the end of the day and managed to do the quickest route around the Natural History Museum ever and just about managed to see everything we wanted to see. That evening, Toni had invited us over to her house and we had a really nice, relaxing night with plenty of amazing food.

This week at work has been pretty quiet as, in a bit of a location reversal, there’s a History of Science conference going on in my home city of Manchester and the office has been a little bit emptier. I’ve spent the week really working on our lesson plans and trying to cover as many topics as we can. It’s still so exciting finding out about all these different women who I’ve never seen acknowledged before, even though they made huge progress in fields like geophysics and materials science.

Next week we’re really starting to work on the final website in earnest and start tying everything together. This afternoon, Nikki and Katherine have organised a tour of the Capitol and I’m sure it will be just as interesting and informative as our other tours so far!

Fiona Muir