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2004 SPS National Interns
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Heather Lunn Heather Lunn
University of Wisconsin - River Falls, WI

Internship: SPS Outreach/MRSEC
Online Journal
Week of July 30, 2006 Week of July 9, 2006 Week of June 18, 2006
Week of July 23, 2006 Week of July 2, 2006 Week of June 11, 2006
Week of July 16, 2006 Week of June 25, 2006  
July 30 , 2004

The last journal entry :(

Well, this is the last journal entry I will be doing for my internship. Overall, I have had a great experience working with SPS and MRSEC. I definitely know about the physics behind roller coasters and about teaching 30 13-year-old girls all about it. In the beginning I felt a bit misinformed about what EXACTLY I was going to be doing and about how much work it really ended up to be. In the end, everything has worked out. I do feel pretty exhausted after a month of camp, and I am ready to go home. Home is where the heart is (and the boyfriend, and the dog, and my very own apartment with a free washer and dryer!)

I have definitely become an expert on roller coaster physics and total internal reflection. I also learned a lot about programs going on at ACP that I didn't know about before like DBIS. Even the 13-year-olds have taught me a few things about the light lesson that I taught them. I also learned a few things about myself, but I am not ! sure they are appropriate to talk about here... I now know that I can leave home for two months without my world crashing down, which is good to know.

I think I will miss seeing all of the historic stuff in DC, just a couple of blocks away from the dorms. I will also probably miss the other interns and working at ACP and U of Md. I wish all of the interns could've gotten together more often as a group near the end for dinners and stuff, but it is tough trying to keep track of 8 people!

Well, gotta finish up work and packing, only 1 more full day here!

Under the Stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: July 23, 2004

Week Seven

Well, I am finished with my 7th week and I think it has been a success so far. The camps are going well, and the presentation is over. We still have a lot of work to do, however. I would still like to see Monticello and the Iwo Jima statue at Arlington Cemetery, but time is running out very fast. I don't know how I will get to see everything that I still want to see, but I guess I will have to live with it because we have a week left in DC. It seems to have gone by so fast, I can't believe I am almost on my 8th week! I don't know where the time went!

Last weekend, Matt and I went to the Holocaust Museum and I was moved. I think it is something that you only need to see once, and that is enough. They give you these identification cards and it is like you are that person for the day and you follow a short story of their life. Then, the very last page says if the person (you) lived or died. Both Matt and I died, and it was depressing because I think of myself as a survivor, but under those circumstances, I guess it doesn't matter what you think. I am going to end with that.

Under the Stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: July 16, 2004

The end of the first summer camp

Hey y'all! Yeah, now I am starting to talk like my roommate, Chris who is from Texas--not good!

Well, we're getting to the end of the 6th week, and it seems so hard to believe. When I first arrived here, I wondered how I would make it for 2 months, but now it is 2 weeks and then I go home. Amazing how time flies!

Tomorrow marks the end of my first summer camp, and also what I believe is a success for myself, the other teachers I am working with, and of course, for the girls. I came into this camp knowing very little of how it was supposed to run, and now I am sad that it is almost over. The problem was that everyone who had run it last year (and previous years) has "retired" from running it any longer. I simply took the bull by the horns and did the best I could with what I had to work with. The girls were thrilled and I have had a load of fun with them. The only problem with being the Roller Coaster Program Coordinator, is that I have conflicts with the tours of the other interns' places of employment.

The girls are being judged on their finished roller coasters today and today is also the day for the NIST tour. I was totally torn between the two, and I really didn't want to miss either one. Jack said that it is better for me to be torn between two activities that I like than to be torn between two that I don't. He might be right, but I still think that the two that I like is a tougher decision to make!

Tomorrow we give the girls certificates and awards for their progress at the Summer Girls Camp and the parents come and look at all the girls have accomplished. It will be a fun day, but in the afternoon, we (the teachers) must dismantle the roller coasters and sort the pieces for the next group. Then, later that night, I fly back home for a wedding on Saturday and come back Sunday night. I have to take SuperShuttle because I will miss the last metro train because of the time. Meanwhile, tonight Allison and I are going to have a laundry and knitting party. Should be interesting mixing the two. Christine and I were thinking of making up a survival kit for our successors. I think I will pursue this idea in order to have other interns survive Washington, DC. Maybe I can get other interns to donate items or ideas. I sure anything would help our future interns get along easier! Bye for now.

Under the Stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: July 9, 2004

Survived the 5th week!

Hello everyone!! Well, another late journal entry, but since I have already been through the weekend, I have more to write about!!! My summer camp is going well! I am teaching physics to eighth-graders and it is really fun. They began building their roller coasters this week and they are really excited to get them done. They had a bit of trouble with the friction issue, but most of them tried different angles and heights of the hills to compensate for friction and at least 4 groups got their cars to go through most of the track they had built!! They were screaming and yelling and jumping up and down because they were so happy! If I had remembered to write this Friday, I would not have had that in here because all of the girls got their coasters to work Friday afternoon!

This weekend was great too! Friday, my roommate and I went to the Washington Haunted Walk with Anthony and learned a bunch about the haunted Lafayette Park and White House. We learned that Dolly Madison lived in the yellow house on the corner and about parallels to the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy. Then on Saturday Chris and I rented paddle boats and floated around the Tidal Basin and fed ducks beef jerky. They followed us around so we named our "ship" USS Duck. We floated by the Jefferson Memorial and got a suntan. We both really enjoyed the beautiful day and the sight-seeing.

Sunday was a day filled with shopping and walking around. My roommate was upset that Fire and Ice was closed by 6:30pm on Sunday because she wanted to spend a bunch of money there! Bummer for her. All in all it was a very busy, but successful week and I enjoyed myself.

Under the Stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: July 2, 2004

Fourth Week

Well, what can I say?? I really blew last weeks journal entry... The fact is that I have been swamped trying to get ready for the summer camp that I began yesterday. The people that used to run it all quit, and I was flailing blindly trying to get everything ready. There were so many people to talk to to collect everything I needed. But now I am doing better!

This weekend I went down to the mall with my boyfriend Ben and Allison and we saw the fireworks directly above our heads! I really enjoyed it. Also, I took my boyfriend to see the White House, the Capitol, the Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial, the WWII Memorial, The Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, the Reflecting Pool,the Lincoln Memorial and probably a few other things. He really seemed to enjoy it.

Yesterday I made about 8,000 copies for my summer camp and it was nerve wrecking to make sure every thing was ready for 12:30--and it was! Boy, those girls sure have a bunch of energy!! Some of them have already started building their roller coasters because they were so excited. Others sorted the K'nex from last year because all the pieces were mixed together. The 4th week has been stressful because I felt like I had 5 separate things to do and they all needed to be done NOW. Again, that is my excuse for forgetting about my very, very important journal. I don't mean that sarcastically either! I am planning on going to one of my really good friends weddings in a week, and trying to find a plane ticket so that I won't have to miss work. Missing time at the summer camp seems hardly possible.

Well, I have to get back to work! Sorry for the delay!!

Under the Stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: June 25, 2004

Heather's 3rd Week

Well, I've made it through the 3rd week and I am still alive!! Matt Shanks and I had our big CNSF event this past Tuesday June 22, 2004, and it was really exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. I learned that if you don't force yourself to go talk to all of the important people, they won't come talk to you. That is how it is in many jobs and other situations. So that is something that I will try to get used to as life goes on for me and I have to talk to more important people at school, work, and meetings. I talked to the Science Adviser to the President of the US, without knowing it, and it was easier that way. Although, I wish I would've known before hand so I could have been even more careful in how I worded things--you know first impressions are everything!!

I hope to go see the Vietnam memorial this weekend and find my uncle Gary on the wall. I also have plans to see the Holocaust memorial and Lincoln, Jefferson, and JFK also. I know there is so much to see here, but before I even know it, it is 10:00PM and time to do dishes and get ready for bed! So I better get busy this weekend and see some of this stuff!

It sure does seem weird, even for me now, to think about how I just picked up and left for 2 months, without knowing anyone or ever coming here before. I thought something like that wasn't in me, but I honestly believe that it was something I needed to do for myself. I am having a once in a lifetime experience here in DC and I would've been so mad at myself if I wouldn't have taken this internship. Even though I had to go from my own apartment to living in a dorm, it really isn't all that bad! I work in a really nice place, and it is about to get really exciting again. I will be leading a summer camp at the U of MD and teaching girls physics! I wish I would've had an opportunity like they do of joining these camps. I am really getting excited and I hope everything goes well.

One thing that I really do miss (besides my boyfriend and my dog) is my FREE washer and dryer. Who pays $5.00 to wash 2 loads of clothes??? I don't like it one bit! Speaking of boyfriends, my boyfriend is coming down from Wisconsin (yep pretty cheesy there) next Friday--exactly one week and we are going to tour the town!! So watch out Washington, DC! Here we come!!

Under the Stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: June 18, 2004

Second Week

Hello world!

Well, this is the second week of my internship, and I am enjoying myself! There are times when things seem a bit hectic, but I just take one thing at a time and seem to do okay! I have learned so much about some of the programs that Matt and I are going to be representing at the CNSF event next week. I didn't even know that these programs existed, but now I am trying to be the expert on them, I am excited about the event! I get to check out the Smithsonian this weekend, which I am stoked about, but I am really wanting to go to the Holocaust memorial and the Vietnam memorial because my uncles name is there. There is so much to see around here and I want to go do everything, but time does not always permit. I will probably check out the NASA gift shop this weekend, which I am also excited about! I have noticed a definite change in the weather compared to Wisconsin, and it's tough to put up with all of the humidity at first, yucky, sticky, ewww!

I have learned that PhysTEC is a program to improve our teachers by improving our students and building out from there. It seems like a wonderful program, especially for those of us who have had a baaaaad teacher or prof. I have also learned a bit about comPADRE and that is going to be an awesome project when it is expanded even more. It is so great to have a resource like that that helps teachers, students, and the general public with physics and astronomy. Very exciting! I also learned about the demos I will be doing at the summer camps--very cool! I will be putting a pencil through a piece of plywood, looking at stuff in a vacuum, and doing the 'ol pull the table cloth out from under the plates and wine glasses! Well, I have very exciting and busy weeks ahead, that's all for now folks!

Under the stars,

Heather Lunn

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Date: June 11, 2004

First Week at AIP

What's up? My name is Heather Lunn and it is my first week at AIP. I have learned so much this week it is unreal. The first day I met so many people (many of who are extremely important) and I still don't remember all of their names! I feel really weird having my very own cubical and all, and I work in a beautiful building. I have had to learn which direction each line of the metro is headed in or go the completely wrong direction, which I feel that everyone must do at least once. One of the biggest things I have learned so far is that I may feel competently overwhelmed with tons to do, but haste makes waste, and if you only want to do it once, take your time. Fortunately, I learned this the easy way! :)

Before this year I was not real big on using e-mail because my school sends out these junk student mail things that just clog up my e-mail, but using it at AIP is essential. I will be representing AIP at the CNSF event on June 22 along with another intern and I have learned volumes about the programs already. Beware world: AIP is out to change everyone's view (children's too) about how and what science really is. They are also working their butts off to improve our science and math teachers across the nation. This is very important to me because I know what it is like to have a horrible teacher for a subject that is very important to me. In other words, I am very excited to go to the CNSF event at Capitol Hill in DC. Boy, the coffee is good here, and free too!! Well, time to get back to work, meetings to attend, more people to meet and notes to take for CNSF!!

Under the Stars,
Heather

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