Week 9: We interrupt your regularly scheduled internship...

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Monday, August 8, 2016


Victoria DiTomasso

On Saturday morning, I met up with a friend from my research group who was in DC for a few days. We went to the Textile Museum located on George Washington University's campus while we waited to get a table for brunch. After enjoying art inspired by people's migration stories and objects documenting the history of DC, we had a great meal at Founding Farmers. Then it was time for her to catch a bus home and me to get back to the apartment before it started storming. The rest of the weekend was gray and rainy, and I only ventured out to buy groceries and do some shopping with Dahlia.

Art at the Textile Museum

During the week, us AIP History interns are starting to wrap up our project. I finished writing my lesson plan on accessibility. We also uploaded all of our completed teaching guides to the website, revised each other's new lesson plans and made some head way on our final presentations.

I missed a day of working on teaching guides to visit the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (aka Carnegie DTM). Jackie Faherty, one of the PIs (principal investigators) of my research group back home, is a post doc there. During my visit, I gave a presentation on my astronomy research from this past year and on the teaching guides I've been working on this summer. I ate lunch with a bunch of the astronomers and had a great tour of the library and archive from Shaun Hardy, their librarian. Thanks to my AIP mentor, Greg, for setting that up with him.

Carnegie DTM

The first volume of Nature, found in DTM's archive

On Wednesday afternoon I had another exciting interruption. I interviewed Dr. Brian Greene, co-founder of the World Science Festival, author of The Elegant Universe, and overall awesome physicist and science communicator, over the phone for the SPS Observer. Keep an eye out for the resulting article, which will be published in the fall 2016 edition of the magazine! That night I had another Skype meeting about an astronomy outreach opportunity for this coming school year, and I was able to virtually catch up with a friend.

Thursday night, all of us interns headed over to Tracy's house for dinner. While we were there, we were grilled on our social media habits and how we think SPS could best expand their support for undergraduates like us. I thought we had some very productive conversations and I really appreciated how open the SPS team was to all of our suggestions. It was also a little bit sad because that dinner was our last time all together before our final presentations.

My attempt at a picture of our group on the metro, see Demitri, Vanessa, Jose and Isabel in the window reflection?

The work day on Friday was similarly interrupted. I was inspired by the previous night’s dinner and spoke to Courtney about making the SPS chapter at my school active again. She helped me find my school’s SPS file. Turns out that our chapter was active a few years ago, but it has been around for a while; our bylaws are from 1970. I also sat with a member of the web development team and beta tested the updates to the Grad School Shopper website. After work, I went shopping and saw the new Ghostbusters movie with Dahlia.

Victoria DiTomasso