Week 7: A Long Weekend, The Fourth of July!

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


Simon Patane

This past week has been absolutely packed! The big thing around town last weekend was of course the Fourth of July and I was not disappointed by the celebrations! On top of all the extra things happening around here, it seemed like Vassar descended on the capital! A friend of mine, who recently graduated from Vassar, came down to spend the holiday, and I was joined by six more Vassar students and alum (local to the area) over the course of the weekend. On Friday afternoon I met with a group of my friends from up north and we caught the Brazil - Colombia World Cup match and then some food near Union Station. Afterwards we headed towards Capitol Hill to try and find some space and another Vassar student (we are endless). The concert and evening on Capitol Hill centered on "A Capitol Fourth," an annual, televised celebration of July 4. I didn't know quite what to expect, but it was a great night, if not a little challenging at times to see what was happening on stage or on the large television screen that was suspended for the people sitting further back up the hill. But what we really went for was the view of the fireworks and to hang out as a group, which is something that we had all been saying we would do for the past few weeks, but hadn't really gotten around to it until now.

Of course, in my feverish attempt to grab a few photos of the massive fireworks on the National Mall, the shots didn't come out as great as I would have liked them, but nonetheless I managed a few decent ones! Like this one of the lit Capitol building:

And this one of the fireworks foregrounded by the Washington Monument:

The project has also been coming along well. On July 18 we're having the advisory committee meeting and we've been working hard to get ready! The four of us have pretty much wrapped up all the lesson plans and we're now working to put the final touches on some of the other aspects of the teacher's guide, like the annotated bibliography, a list of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an ongoing spreadsheet of African-American physicists (and physical scientists more broadly), and a trivia card game incorporating many of the important milestones in the history of science and much of the biographical information that we've researched. We've also been busy preparing our presentation and, most critically, thinking of what sort of feedback we're looking for from the meeting.

Simon Patane