Programs & Awards  
2009 SPS National Interns
2009 Interns | Past Interns | About the Program

  • Introduction
  • Online Journal
  • Final Presentation
Scott Stacy Scott Stacy
Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
Internship: SPS/ComPADRE (International Year of Astronomy)

My name is Scott Stacy and I come from the great republic of Texas. I go to Texas Christian University, and plan on graduating in December with a BS in astronomy and physics and math minor. I am an RA, president of SPS, wait tables, and play the djembe at youth group for high schoolers. My past research includes studying composite materials with doppler broadening spectroscopy, and searching for gravitational lenses unaccompanied by luminous extragalactic objects.

A little about me....I was born and raised in funky town, Texas. I like to play basketball and make an attempt at soccer. I enjoy jamming a lot, so if someone has a guitar please bring it and I'll bring the djembe and we can jam. I also like video games and such, I'm a huge nerd. In my free time I stay in the astro lab and research and sometimes go out for some sun...if there is time. I like to listen to music, read books and I love watching movies. My favorite director is Kevin Smith. When and if I graduate, I plan to do some mission work and then most likely go to graduate school. Hopefully one day I'll end up in the south pole studying neutrinos.


Scott Stacy Scott Stacy
Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
Internship: SPS/ComPADRE (International Year of Astronomy)
Follow SPS on: Twitter Facebook YouTube Photobucket The Nucleus Email and Share
Final Reflections Friday, July 31st Friday, July 10th Friday, June 19th
  Friday, July 24th Friday, July 3rd Friday, June 12th
Friday, August 7th Friday, July 17th Friday, June 26th Friday, June 5th

Final Reflections

So many times the thought has gone through my head of what an internship should be.  Well an internship is very different then what REU would be or research is considered.  Now I cant speak for everyone in the internship, all 12 of us had different jobs some did research and others like me worked on physics education and public outreach.  This is what an internship should be and I believe SPS hit on the nose with this program.  Interacting with different people to produce a product that combines aspects of producing documentation, ordering materials, conference of minds, and a light at the end of the tunnel when you are finally finished.  Along with the work there has to be adequate leisure time as while they should take place in a city that offers plenty of historical, educational and well honestly good pubs around so that students may indulge in a relaxing atmosphere.  DC is a good place for this, esp since we lived in the middle of it and could walk to any monument without any effort, I basically walked to McDonalds on Saturday afternoon and passed by the White House every time, not a whole lot of internships provide that. In conclusion I highly suggest this program for any physics or astronomy student that does not only want to do research or education but understand the history of our nation why they are at.

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Friday, August 7th

So last week of work and by week I am 3 days.  Monday we took a tour of the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST). In the tour we experienced laser cooling, neutron experiments and looked through the museum.  The experience was overall neat and well planned with well placed questions that kept my interest peaked in the physics field.  After the tour we went to a barbeque where I just happen to eat some chicken wings with a nobel prize winner.  That’s one item I can check off the life goals list.  Tuesday was the last day of work, and well lets just say I was there from sun up to sun down cutting cardboard and getting everything ready to put in the SOCK, I don’t ever wanna cut cardboard again.  Our last day was Wednesday, and all the interns started it off with a nice breakfast in the conference and some last minute photos with the whole group.  We took a group survey, which to say the least was very counterproductive and we can just leave it at that.  After that it was back upstairs to finish my work, while everyone else left to pack for home. I was there till around 330 typing up last minute details for my lesson plan and cleaning off my desk of all the devices that I have constructed since my stay started in june. When I returned the dorms I did laundry and packed up the rest of my things ate some tacos and went down to froggy bottom establishment to say goodbye to my cohorts in pool and the server who had taken good care of us the whole summer.  The next day I woke up at 6 and proceeded to the airport bound for Texas. 

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Friday, July 31st

Last week at the ole ACP. This best week Leslie, Mary, Raina and myself all went to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the AAPT conference to present our summer work.  This is a conference dedicating to the teaching and education of physics. Our poster session was on Sunday night, which went over very well.  Professors and teachers from around the country came to give talks, demonstrations, and present posters. Before we left for the conference we were asked to write a report about the conference once we returned on Wednesday, instead I have decided to make a documentary of our time there.  The basis for the documentary was to interview professors about their work, students thoughts on the conference and the general follies that go along with traveling to place that I have never been too. The highlight of the trip was seeing Galileo’s manuscript where he wrote down notes on jupiter’s moons. We did in fact get a behind the scenes tour of said manuscript as well as first editions of starry messenger, one of Kepler’s works defending Galileo’s work and Newtons work on his three laws. Outside of that we met some very interesting people whose life work was dedicated to teaching physics in a way that helped students retain knowledge. Among the talks vendors also showed up selling physics textbooks and demonstrations, we went around to each of those booths and had some fun learning about the simple laws of motion. 

For leisure well I slept a lot the conference was fun and tiring so any chance I got I took time to hit the sack and catch up on my sleep in a very comfortable king size bed accompanied by the sounds of silence not common in the DC area. 

Das ist Alles!!

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Friday, July 24th

Where to begin……whelp almost done here at the ACP, we’ve made a lot of progress on everything with the SOCK and IYA and frankly are that much closer to being done with everything.  I’ve completed my lesson plan for high school and elementary school, as well as the demonstration that go along with it and the cheat sheet.  And when I say completed I really mean made drafts of them to be edited and retyped.  It’s a long journey and laughs along the way.  My desk is still a childs playground with cardboard cutouts everywhere making it look like I’m building a fort, various books telling the tales Galileo and Copernicus, and magical objects that have the power to control light along with a coffee mug and a roll of duct tape.  For leisure this week I went and did some karaoke with some friends who are also interning in the DC area and went to a dive to see some local musicians.  Outside of that not much happening here, I think everyone is just winding down from a long summer and ready to get back to normal life of school and follies.  Going to Michigan this weekend for the AAPT conference and presenting a poster or rather a group of power point slides.  This is the first time ive presented a poster on power point slides instead of an actual big poster.  I will say this for what my topic is on I prefer the slides because my information is about a couple of different things, not really one specific thing so I think it will flow better this way.  We shall see.  Side note-I am bringing a video camera along to document the adventures as a documentary and turn it in as a report when I get back.  So maybe I will have it posted up on the website.

Das ist Alles!!!! 

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Friday, July 17th

Well only 2 more weeks left here at ACP and this last one was stressful.  Finally had a good lesson plan set up for the high school students that we tested out this past Wednesday, which they enjoyed and had a good time with.  On Friday we gave our presentations to everyone which I assume they enjoyed.  All that’s left to do now is rewrite everything, finish up my demonstrations, order everything, make a cheat sheet, and record photos and video –so as you can see there is still a lot to do in the two weeks left.

Side note- leave for Michigan this Saturday for the AAPT conference to present a poster on IYA and the GALILEOSCOPE should be good times but I will be gone for at least 5 days so it takes a huge chunk out of what needs to be done, so I will be doing most of my work there on a laptop.

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Friday, July 10th

Another week finished at the ACP and I will say this it has been the longest week yet.  I’ve recently decided to put my iPod on random so I never know what plays next, plus it makes me listen to song I haven’t listened to in years or just have never listened too. Either way it’s a new feeling every time the song changes. 

So work was long this week, was in at 8 every day didn’t leave till around 5 or 6 and one day was here till 7 which is awesome as always.   Our presentations are next week, plus I am testing out my lesson plan on some high school kids as well so we shall see how this all turns out.  I’ve redrafted it four times now and added a treasure hunt complete with map and riddles to keep the students guessing so they can never really know the answer unless they finish the whole thing.  I don’t want to have an ego trip or anything but the lesson plan is looking real good plus ties in real well with the Galileoscope.  It’s a four part plan/treasure hunt that includes the properties of light that eventually build up to a telescope with history of Galileo tied in between.  Now granted there is some fine tuning still left to be done but I just want students across America to get a kick out of it when they use it for the first—sounds corny I know but hey if I can get that one person to be an astronomer because they found my lesson plan informative and inspiring-- I’ve done my job.  The lesson plan is designed for 45 minutes based on the premise that the moderator has read through all my instructions and knows what he/she is talking about.  The material cost is cheap and simple and can be built at a desk in a cubicle with cardboard, duct tape and some lenses—hey I did it for 4 weeks why can’t anyone else.  I’m also still working on the demonstration part for the Gailieoscope its coming along nicely actually, I’ve found some good resources and good ideas for uses of the Galileoscope on a leisure basis at night time and even daytime.  Daytime is the tricky part and might require some additional add on pieces as well.  Thus far it has turned out to be a productive summer on promoting IYA. 

My leisure time these days is spent with some of the interns at froggy bottom playing pool all night.  We are quite a competitive group but then again I wouldn’t expect anything less from physicists.  And to be honest I was amazed at how we are all really good at pool and there's never really a same winner twice.  I blame it on the physics—we know our angles and elastic collisions.  Anyway outside of that much of the time after work for me is spent sleeping or creating a Hip/Hop group with my roommate at odd hours of the night.

Das ist alles!!!

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Friday, July 3rd

This is the week of independence, the week with a three day weekend, the week that provides us with patriotism, and the week that ends in a most awesome display of fireworks that which I experienced on the national mall.

Work-The original lesson plan for the Galileoscope has been scrapped, I started over after realizing that some sources that are provided for the telescope via internet aren’t what they seem, so I took out a physics textbook turned to the optics chapters and began reading.  I was also given some physics tutorial manuals to broaden my view on the properties of light.  By the end of the week I have constructed a very nice hillbilly telescope and optics lesson that will grab the attention of future generations.  Pictures soon to come. 

Leisure- Saw the fireworks at the national mall, played some billiards, walked around some more, hit up the eastern market-not exactly what I came to expect and was kinda let down at the end of the day but a fun trip out there none the less. 

Pandora is my radio.

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Friday, June 26th

4th week over at ACP building lots to do so keepin it brief today.

Work-awesome, in meetings for the past two days about ComPADRE, which is a resource everyone should use if they like physics as much as I do.  Rough draft of my lesson plan has been tailored up and working on revisions and the high school version.  Started the process on ordering some materials for the lesson so that it can actually work.   Started cataloguing IYA resources-awesome.  Science café has made no progress yet, hopefully soon.  Erica finally came back today to from working at her camps all week and Mary Mills is still nowhere to be found, might have to send a search party out.  Need to test the optics lesson plan out soon on some fresh minds to iron out the wrinkles.  Presentation to give in a few weeks, poster to make by the end of july, and lesson plan to be complete before I leave along with a successful attempt at a science café and cataloguing resources-hope I didn’t forget anything.  This has now become a random list of thoughts and my to do list rather than a readable journal entry.

Leisure- saw the movies-Year One and transformers 2 both awesome it’s a good summer for movies.  Outside of that found this place call Lyndies’ that makes an awesome stuffed jalapeno burger for a decent price and that's about it.

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Friday, June 19th

Week 3 done at the ole ACP establishment located here in the beautiful state that which is Maryland. Some outrageously hilarious things happened this week but we shall keep it work related this time.

  1. Galileoscopes-still haven’t come in but don’t worry we have a hands on optics kit here at the office so we were able to put together a brief and very rough lesson plan for the S.O.C.K.  The second lesson for the S.O.C.K. will focus around the properties of light and the way it interacts through various types of lenses and the refraction of light, which basically will tie into the telescopes and the simple mechanics behind them that will allow us to look at the moon, planets and some constellations.  The challenge with this lesson plan is that we still do not have the telescopes but instead are making do with the materials around the office which is quite extensive.  Other problems incurred deal with the stability of the telescope; basically it doesn’t come with a tripod so I have drawn up some schematics to tackle the problem.  Ive built one tripod with materials around the office and went to home depot to start development on a more sophisticated tripod.  It looks like just trying to build one will be more costly than previously thought, so I asked Mary to search the internet and see what she could find, we found a cheaper one for like ten bucks so we are going to order it later and test its durability with a series of experiments. 
  2. IYA- finally the IYA part of my job is taking off, with a conference yesterday to set deadlines and objectives.  I started to look through the resources already catalogued and descriptions given so I have an idea of how they should be labeled.  By the end of my time here I should be the Guru on the history of Astronomy.
  3. Science Café-Finally went to experience one of these events on Tuesday at a restaurant called Austin Grill, and well of course since I’m from Texas it felt like home with food and drink that reminded me of everything from home.  The presenter talked about transgenic organisms, and led a discussion which was very controversial to get the audience talking.  I gave my two cents in the conversation, provoking more questions and random comments from the crowd.  It was a good basis to start my search for a venue.  It turns I will need a place that caters to almost every age and offers a variety of drinks but specializes in one type of food, I already have some ideas in mind. 
  4. So I thought it would be a good idea to tell the readers what a normal work day entails
    1. Get up around 7 and get ready for work in business casual attire-so usually some pants button down and a tie, I like to call my look physics high school teacher
    2. Hop on the metro for about an hour to the ACP building
    3. When I get there I put my lunch in the fridge, fill up my water bottle, and grab some hot chocolate.
    4. The three hours before lunch hits, I am on the internet researching materials for the sock or resources for IYA or constructing devices vital to the success of the SOCK
    5. Then I go for lunch at 1215
    6. After lunch I am usually in a meeting coming up with ideas for the SOCK or working on lesson plans with Mary and Erica
    7. Around 5 we leave and go back to the dorms, usually take a nap then we go walk around DC  looking for food or just taking in the sights.
  5. My desk has now conformed into a casserole of toys, tools, books and other random objects not native to a desk-pictures soon to come
  6. Music of the week-Beck, rage against the machine, foo fighters, toadies, NFG.

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Friday, June 12th

Another week finished here at the ole ACP complex and more interesting events that took place:
On Saturday we went to the zoo and experience the wonderful animal life that nature has to offer us.  We saw panda bears, cheetahs and encountered firsthand a plethora of birds that are not native to these United States.  The whole adventure through the national zoo was breath taking and life altering.  I’ll come away with my times at the zoo with a whole new outlook on the species that inhabit our earth.
The week started off slow but picked up rapidly as Tuesday came around.  The Interns who work at ACP were working busily in preparations for our physics demonstration at a nearby elementary school.   As we were coming down to the wire we still took time to enjoy what the great city of Washington DC has to offer us.  Tuesday night we all went to see a play entitled legacy of light which encompassed two time periods of women astronomers, with my fiery passion for astronomy I greatly welcomed this play with open arms into my mind and heart.  It revitalized my love for the celestial objects that are out of reach from the heavens above.  After the play all I could think of was how I wanted to get back to work in sharing my love for the cosmos to everyone that I came in contact with.  By Thursday it was time to go give our physics lesson at the elementary school and I shall say this, the kids were overjoyed with happiness and vigor in what we had to teach them.  The theme of our lesson was Galileo and we decided to have the kids recreate one of his experiments, rolling objects down an inclined plan.  These are some of the smartest children I have ever seen, they quickly picked up on the main points we wanted them to learn as well as come to some conclusions of their own.   This was a very tiring yet satisfying day for all us interns at ACP, because not only did we teach experiments but we made an impact of children’s lives bettering the future for America.

Just as the week had started off slow, it ended slowly as well.   Friday is here and this was the day I travel to Baltimore to learn more about what I am doing this summer in terms of IYA and ComPadre.  Every week I learn a little more about what job entails and what is expected of me and well today took the cake.  I will have my plate full with activities this summer and I’m diving head first into all the greatness that is a part of my job and I shall say this I am ecstatic.   Preview of what I shall be doing is compiling a database for all things IYA, so that people all across America can use these resources to convey astronomy to each other and how the universe operates.  The second part, well let’s just say I have some activities planned for the use of telescopes that are built after the same telescopes Galileo used in the 1600s!  The third and fourth parts deal the sock program and science cafes, more to come on these objectives later. 

As for now the music all week has been dashboard confessional, and well the weather has been gloomy but we interns still enjoy ourselves with movie nights and cards games.

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Friday, June 5th

Well it’s the end of my first week here at the ole ACP building and in DC.  So far my beard is coming in nice and thick, as expected and my sickness is coming and going.  Whenever I go to big cities I get sick really fast probably because I’m not used to it that or Texas just has different germs that I am already immune to.  Anyway got in on Saturday, took a nice little 5 min cab ride to the dorms on G-dub campus, signed in, got settled in and then proceeded to look for a place to eat for the next two hours only to end up at an APB with a sandwich that was not so pleasant but the salad most excellent.  On my little adventure that afternoon passed by some protestors outside the White House.  Actually there were two groups, one for genocide in Sri Lanka and the other trying to free someone from Jail.  They switched off their chants, I would sound mean hearted if I say I giggled at this but I did.  I don’t know how much they can really accomplish outside of the president’s residence when he’s not there.  It seems that protestors are now more of an attraction to DC rather than a cause, sad but true.  After my awesome walk through the city went back to the dorms and took a nap only to wake up to my roommate to come in, I was too tired and uninterested at the time to formally greet him that would come later.  More of the interns came in later that night and we all went to eat at Froggy Bottom.  I of course had a burger with an adult beverage, my roommate the chicken wings with lemonade.

The next day we all went down to the museums; saw some most excellent statues of animals and shuttles.  The best thing we saw was the little girl wipe out on her bike.  So we are all sitting on a bench enjoying some beverages quenching our thirst when a small child is riding through puddles and well let’s just say she couldn’t make it through it one of them, hit a bump and wiped out.  I chuckled at this.  After our little museum tour I went back and took another nap, I like naps and food.  Later that night we……you know what I can’t remember what happened that night so let’s just assume I read my book and went back to sleep.

Monday came and it was off to the ACP!!!!!  And of course I was feeling a little froggy….Get it….Anyways I was feeling sick.  Went to work ,met all the nice and awesome people and most of all met my desk.  Now I am very particular with my desk, I love it, I want to decorate it with toys and telescopes and nerd things and be like man that guy probably likes astronomy a whole bunch.  At the end of the day, still feelin rough, we took the metro back and I went straight to bed

Music of the day: Jimmy eat world

Side notes: I forgot to bring a pillow, I only brought a blanket sufficient for texas weather-I’m dumb. My job this summer will be working on Compadre and IYA.  I’m excited just to be doing what I'm doing in our capital, all smiles all the time.

Tuesday roles around I’m still sick and decide work is not happening today, so I stay in bed all day.  My awesome roommate hooks me up with a pillow and blanket he bought from target and pills-I love him and will name my first born after him.  That’s all that happened Tuesday

Music of the day:  Me coughing and dying

Wednesday comes I go into the office feeling a little better.  Someone gave me a child telescope to put together-MY FIRST TOY!!!!!!!  So naturally I play with this thing for like an hour until I get down to business on researching some history about Galileo, Kepler, and Tycho-stuff I already know but good refresher.  For this week I’m helping with the sock program until I get underway with IYA stuff.  By the end of the day I have more toys on my desk and a Galileo book-posters soon to come.

Music of the day: Incubus

Side note:  IYA stands for international year of astronomy, I like space probably more than I like keeping up with my own health,  they have hot chocolate here at the office—I have definitely regressed to being a child again but only with responsibilities people aren’t suppose to be this happy at work.

Thursday rolls around and I’m feeling fabulous, I have laughed this much in a while.  So besides our usual work with experiments and what not that we are putting together, we take time to talk about and visit an interesting YouTube video.  Namely the one from Mobile, Alabama and the leprechaun, if you don’t know what I’m talking about I urge everyone to YouTube this and just how ridiculous it is.  I probably laughed at this and the remix of it for about a solid 3 hours to myself as I type up my work or to other people or even as I am relieving myself in the restroom.  It was a good giggle.  I got a new telescope today as well, it’s made out of paper towel rolls and what not, but it’s awesome.  After work we cruised back to the dorm and I told Ian, my roommate, about the video and he’s like dude have you checked out family guy’s nature is scary, so I checked it out and man if that day couldn’t have been more funny I would of died of spleen failure.  We then went to Baja fresh, where some guy eating the steak quesadillas didn’t believe in deodorant and well let’s just say we didn’t sit next to him because if we had I would of gotten to experience my dinner twice.  Oh yeah I almost forgot, walked like 10 blocks or rather a huge circle to get my internet hooked up, and pick up a package-not so excellent.

Music of the day-Motion city sound track

Side note: at work we are currently working on a racing of objects down a ramp experiment, that Galileo once did-theme for this sock is Galileo, which is so ballin.

Friday came swimming by this morning and it was a little rough getting up, I had a huge migraine sinus pressure annoyance going on and all I wanted to do was shrink myself, go inside my own head and duel this headache with rapiers.  Plus, as soon as I got on the metro I was all sorts of nauseous and me almost making a mess on the train was at an 8.5.  Nevertheless I made it to work ok and am now just chillin at my computer typing out my journal listening to a bob marley-jammin in the name of the lord.

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Scott Stacy Scott Stacy
Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
Internship: SPS/ComPADRE (International Year of Astronomy)
Follow SPS on: Twitter Facebook YouTube Photobucket The Nucleus Email and Share
Final Presentation

International Year of Astronomy 2009 and the 2009 SOCK
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The year 2009 will commemorate the achievements of astronomy from the past 400 years. Dubbed the International Year of Astronomy, communities around the globe are compiling resources associated with astronomy and the history of astronomy. Over 400 years have passed since Galileo Galilei turned his telescope to the night sky to study objects that lie within the universe. To honor his achievements, Galileoscopes have been developed so that people around the world can make the same observations that Galileo made 400 years ago. In association with communities for physics and astronomy digital resources in education (ComPadre), is assembling lesson plans, simulations, biographies, tutorials, and demonstrations to educate communities on the progress of astronomy. The resources assembled by over the next year are archived in ComPadre so that they may be reused when the year is over. The author will examine and catalogue a quantity of the notable entries in this collection which will provide beneficial tools for teachers, students, and organizations to use in understanding the science and history of astronomy.
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