CUNY Macaulay Honors College
AIP History Intern: Women and African-Americans in the Physical Sciences
American Institute of Physics
The History of Women and African-Americans in the Physical Sciences
The American Institute of Physics' Center for History of Physics works to preserve and make known the historical record of modern physics and allied sciences. Through documentation, archival collections and educational initiatives, the Center ensures that the heritage of modern physics is safeguarded and its story is accurately told.
Victoria and fellow intern Samantha are contributing to new lesson plans and other resources for the AIP Teachers Guides to the History of Women and African Americans in the Physical Sciences, and testing and revising existing materials in response to feedback from teachers. Victoria and Samantha are utilizing materials in the collections of the Niels Bohr Library and Archives at AIP related to the designated topics—oral histories, autobiographies, photos, etc. They are also working with the director of the Center for History of Physics, two graduate research assistants, and library specialists to refine the historical narratives and the web resources.
Women and minorities are underrepresented in the landscape of the physical sciences - both in numbers and visibility. This summer, we built on four years of previous interns’ work, revising and writing 40 teaching guides that highlight the often forgotten contributions of women and minorities to the physical sciences. We have ensured that these teaching guides meet national educational standards, can fit into social and natural science courses, and are available for free online. We intend for these resources to be easily integrated into classrooms from the first grade through the college level, and that they will provide students with a diverse set of role models while also calling attention to ongoing diversity issues in STEM.
I am a rising junior in the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in New York City. I am pursuing a degree in physics with minors in mathematics and cultural anthropology. In addition to Hunter College, my second institutional home is the American Museum of Natural History, where I have been working for three years. I started as an intern in the education department during the summer after my junior year of high school. It was during that internship that I discovered my passion for science outreach. I currently hold positions in the astrophysics department of the museum doing research on brown dwarfs, and in the education department mentoring two high school students through coding projects related to the science of brown dwarfs.
I have lived in New York City my whole life, and as much as I love it, I also love to travel. I have been to Oregon, California, Texas, and Reykjavik, Iceland in the past year. In addition, I was lucky enough to participate in a weeklong observing run at a telescope in Arizona. I am really looking forward to adding Washington, DC to the list of cities I've explored!