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Friday, August 14, 2020


Maria Stokes

The SPS internship has been over for one week now. The end snuck up on me, but I am excited for my next step. I am moving this weekend to start a year of service, which will be a change of pace.

I am thrilled to say that all of my teaching guides are now posted online (Making Waves, The Heritage of All Mankind, and On the Shoulders of Giants)! I hope they will be useful to educators. Additionally, my first two blog posts are up on Ex Libris Universum. A Visual Walk Through the Fundementals offers a narrative view of select topics in physics while showcasing the Niels Bohr Library and Archives Visual Collections. My second post, Unifying, is reflective in nature. I will have three more blog posts coming between now and the end of the year, so you can still see posts from me there even though this is my last post here. You can also view the 2020 SPS Final Symposium online. 

The end of the internship provided a unique opportunity for reflection. I want to share one skill I was able to developed this summer, because it was unexpected to me: I learned how to gauge the quality of potential projects quickly (though I doubt this can ever be foolproof). The projects I have had freedom with in the past have usually been much larger in duration than a few days (or even weeks). It was great practice to evaluate if an idea had promise early on given the time frame and to get second opinions on how to make an idea work. This type of assessment goes along with flexibility. Some of my ideas did not have enough sources behind them, or were overambitious. It was useful to see what stuck and it was exciting to see those projects develop beyond my expectations. I have only started to develop this skill, but I think it is so useful to consider timing, which I have found to be so essentail—I have wanted to work on physics lesson plans that draw on history before, but I did not have the same platform at the time.

I am grateful for the platform of this internship. Though it was not the internship anyone envisioned, it was wonderful to gain experience in history of physics and to meet everyone I did. I am so appreciative. Thank you to all of you who have followed (and contributed to!) the experiences of the other interns and myself—I hope you have enjoyed hearing from us. It is with gratitude that I end this post, and I look forward what comes next!

PS. I am happy to say that the ducklings, the stars of the Splash! post, are now two weeks old and have moved outside. They have a small pond and are quite content. 

Maria Stokes