Sunday, July 20, 2014By:
I have mixed emotions about this week. It has been a very fun-filled week. It has also been a sad week because it was the last week of the middle school science teachers summer institute. I have developed a strong relationship with the teachers and I am sad to see them go. On Monday the teachers did spectroscopy and nano magnetism activities respectively in the morning. In the afternoon they went on a tour of the Ballistics Testing Facility at NIST. That was really cool because they got to see how scientists test the Kevlar material that is used for bulletproof vests. After that we attended an ice cream social with all the scientists that work in the chemistry building. On Tuesday I had the privilege of accompanying the teachers to Capitol Hill so they could meet with their congressional representatives. I ended up running into Bill Nye the Science Guy. He happened to be in the room next to the room the teachers were meeting in giving a talk. On Wednesday the teachers did a temperature measurement activity in the morning. After that the teachers went on a tour to see the million pound force machine. It is crazy to think that one machine can generate that much force but that’s why NIST is the standard for innovation and technology. That afternoon Mark and I did the second part of our SOCK activities for the teachers. We did fiber optics and diffraction activities. Thursday I went to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on a tour sponsored by our two NASA interns. It was a really exciting day because it was their Science Jamboree. That’s where every group at NASA comes together and sets up posters and some models so people can walk around and see the projects that are going on at NASA. We all had lunch there with Nobel laureate Dr. John Mather. Later that afternoon we went to see the testing facility for the James Webb Space Telescope. Friday was the last day of the Middle School Science Teacher Summer Institute. We had a closing ceremony for the teachers and reception. The teachers from American Samoa did a special ceremony where they gave gifts to the head of the institute and all the presenters.