Week Seven: NASA, NIST, and New Projects

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Friday, July 14, 2017


Lexxi Reddington

This past week was extremely busy with old projects, new projects, and tours. Firstly, Tori and I officially completed all of the exhibit cases, including hanging up stars in the downstairs case to add an extra visual component that draws attention to the information inside. I have made significant progress on designing the webpages as well. I am hopeful that these webpages will be an effective way of sharing the importance of the history of physics with many more people than would be able to visit the physical exhibit!

The rest of the week was occupied by tours of NASA and NIST. At NASA, we began the tour by visiting the annual Science Jamboree. This event allows scientists at NASA to showcase their work and share their progress on projects with a wider audience. The Jamboree was exciting because I was able to explore a volcano and parts of the solar system with virtual reality. This was the most immersive virtual reality experience that I’ve had, and it was very fun! After the Science Jamboree, we toured the work sites of Sam and Kristine, listened to small presentations from their mentors, and viewed a few lab areas. Overall, the NASA tour was a great opportunity to see where a large number of scientists work and what they work on.   

The following day, we toured NIST. Highlights include seeing an apparatus that creates Bose-Einstein condensates, an apple tree that is the direct descendent of the apple tree that Newton owned and which famously inspired him to investigate gravitational forces, a facility where they preform standardized performance tests on robots, drones flying outside, and a nuclear reactor. The NIST tour has been my favorite so far because we were able to see a lot of different projects and hear several different speakers explain their work. I can imagine myself working there.

This summer is near its end, which is crazy! Next week, I will be preparing my final presentation and finishing up my website pages.  

Images Pictured: Stars on the table, as part of our process in finishing the last exhibit case; the completed exhibit case downstairs; a descendant of Newton's apple tree; the apparatus used to create Bose-Einstein condensates; and a group photo of the SPS Interns at NIST.

Lexxi Reddington