Week 8: Eat, Work, and Repeat

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Patrick Mangan


This week, I finally finished my flowchart organizing the NGSS performance exepectations. I think it will be a great tool for teachers to use when trying to figure out how to integrate the NGSS into their lessons. It will also help districts design their curriculum to make science education more cohesive throughout all the grade levels, by showing how the performance expectations all do or do not lead to one another. Next I will prepare a document that explains how to best use the flowchart.

On Wednesday, the interns and some of the SPS staff went to one of the staff member's house for a "social media dinner". At this dinner, we ate food paid for by SPS and discussed the role of social media in SPS matters. We talked about what forms of social media would be most useful for advertising for SPS and communicating with its members across the nation. As for the food, I definitely had my share of pizza, wings, chips, and soda. I had 2 plates of all of those, and during the social media discussion after, I melted into the couch in a post-feast bliss.

Fancy Microscope

Also, on Thursday we went on a tour of the NIST facility.  This was a very interesting and eye-opening experience. For instance, I didn't know that any organization could legally own the "meter" or the "kilogram", but NIST does, as they hold the worldwide standards for these units of measurement. The picture above is an ion microscope used in one of the NIST laboratories, and is just one of many examples of the highly advanced technoogy they use in their research. Their neutron research facility, which we had the pleasure of seeing, was also an amazing experience. Their giant lab is filled with huge machines that they use to study the motion of neutrons. Some of these machine are incredibly sensitive, as one of them has a huge electromagnet that can be thrown off by so much as changes in the Earth's magnetic field. But one of the most unique things that facility has is not a big machine, but an apple tree. The specific tree in question is a descendant of the tree Isaac Newton sat under as it dropped an apple on his head, leading him to the discovery of gravity. I ate one of the apples, but it only tasted like a regular apple. The food at the NIST cafeteria was better, because it was a huge buffet. I had a large mix of Thanksgiving food and chinese food. I never knew how good of a combination General Tso's chicken and mac 'n cheese was until that day.

Patrick Mangan