Week 8: The Hill and my Poster

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Dahlia Baker

My research was winding down a lot this week as I had to summarize everything and draft my poster for the NASA poster fair next Thursday. My samples hadn’t had the chance to get tested as we were missing a crucial material, but I was able to pull from my simulation data to have a predicted outcome, and previously taken data from similar samples as a comparison. My poster was due on Monday, so the weekend was spent writing and formatting before I could finally go to print it out on Monday. This is my first real research poster and I’m excited to bring it back to Coe, and then eventually PhysCon and the AAS conference in January!

I had the chance to show all of the other SPS interns my lab and the NASA campus on Wednesday, the day of NASA’s annual Science Jamboree where a ton of the projects at Goddard are showcased. We toured the JWST and the ICESat labs, as well as the Hubble control room! We got to hear from a man who was a part of a couple of the servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, and his stories were amazing. I’m so glad I had the chance to see more of Goddard’s campus outside my own lab, and that my friends were able to see it all too.

Two days later came the Capitol Hill tour! I was very excited for this one because I was intrigued to find out how the science plays a part in our government, and how I might be able to contribute some day. We started the morning with a briefing, like any old Capitol Hill intern would do, but this one was from the Planetary Society. They explained the necessity of exploring the planets near and far, and why it was important to invest in NASA’s budget to support all of the progress that one day could take humans to Mars. After this we toured the building and got to know all of the stories behind it. It was a beautiful building and I can’t believe how many years of American history it has seen.

I have my poster finished, but now it’s time to summarize all of my experiences this summer into my final presentation for SPS next Friday. I’m sad that my time here has passed so quickly, but I’m so glad that I had the chance to see so much of DC. I have made so many good friends here who will support me in the future, as well as amazing contacts that could easily lead to an REU or another cool internship next summer. I’ve been missing Coe, but I can’t wait to bring back all of this knowledge and energy to my department and have a great junior year.

Dahlia Baker