Week 7

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Friday, July 26, 2013


Dayton Syme

This week has certainly been the best by far. By Thursday I had completed the remaining talking points that Camsie wanted. The only thing left is for them is to go through a review process with other internal people who specialize in each talking point’s topic, and checking to make sure that they are in line with the Department’s strategic philosophy. The final set of talking points should be ready by about Tuesday of next week, and from there added into our arsenal of political language.

On Wednesday, I probably had the best day of my internship so far. Camsie had been in talks with Miss America Mallory Hagan for a while to do an activity with the department of Education in support of STEM education. This Wednesday was when she and many elementary school children joined in for the ED’s “Let’s Read!, Let’s Move!” event. Mallory was to play the Sun in a simple dance about the planets orbiting the sun, where the children were the planets’ orbit. Later Miss America was joined by several other guests to read a children’s book about why Pluto is no longer considered a planet.

The other special guests who read were: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Senator Bennet, Senstor Isakson, and two time space faring astronaut George Zamka. Of the people I wanted to get my picture with, George Zamka was at the top. A friend gave me a shove to finally speak with him and get my picture taken with him. Still having a few diffraction glasses from a couple weeks previous I asked if he would mind if we wore these glasses, and he kindly agreed. Another person I got to meet was Shelley Canright who is the manager of Elementary, Secondary, and eEducation for NASA.  A wonderful person who, just like Zamka, also agreed to have a photo with of us wearing SPS diffraction glasses together.

Later that day, I was a part of a group of soon-to-be departing interns who were being given a chance to have their picture taken with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Being the boisterous person that I am, I wanted to make sure that my photo was special or different from what anyone else would have. Yet again the rainbow glasses were used, and yet again, it was awesome! I was later told that my photo was the best out of the group. I have yet to see it, but I am anxiously awaiting its arrival to judge for myself and frame it.

Friday was fantastic as well. I got to have what felt like a VIP meeting with the State Department on science education. I must thank Anna Quider and her associates for not only their information on STEM education but advice for grad school, as well. At lunch, I had a meeting with Phil Lippel from the MIT policy and inquire on several topics from other summer opportunities to stories and advice. The end of my week was at the Capitol Building where the interns Nikki and Katherine arranged for us a tour. Although I missed going to the Library of Congress, I still had fun.

Dayton Syme