Week 4: Preparing for the Summer Meeting

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Monday, July 4, 2016


Simon Wright

It has been another exciting week for this SPS intern. On Monday, Rebecca and I went to UMD at Shady Grove to share some of our lesson plans with in-service STEM teachers that are in a Masters course on STEM education. It was really great to have my lessons put into action and critiqued, and it definitely helped my confidence when one teacher told me that the lesson plan was very well written. It was a really great experience to interact with those teachers, although I must admit that it was slightly disorienting when I realized that outside of the classroom, these teachers are mostly normal 20-somethings who watch youtube videos on their phones and chat and make jokes exactly like my friends at school. You know that moment when you were a kid and you realized your teacher didn’t just live at school? It was kind of like that. We took some pictures though.

Checking out some lenses

Looking at images through a color filter

Most of what I have been doing the last couple weeks has been in preparation for the AAPT Summer Meeting, which is happening in Sacramento CA in less than two weeks. Fortunately, with the help of both AAPT and SPS, I will be able to attend this summer and see what the meeting is like. More importantly, though, I will get the opportunity on that Saturday to help Rebecca lead a workshop put on by AAPT and the Optical Society about teaching optics to K-8 students. I have been working almost exclusively the last week on lesson plans for this workshop, so I am very excited to be able to share them and get feedback. It will be great to interact with so many wonderful teachers and hear about their classrooms!

On Friday, all of the SPS interns working at ACP, along with Brad Conrad and Courtney Lemon, went out to lunch at an Indian restaurant called Spice 6 in Hyattsville. Now, I’m a DC native so I know a good amount about restaurants in the area, and since one of my favorite types of food is Indian I am always looking out for a good Indian place that isn’t as fancy as Heritage or Rasika. Spice 6 was a really nice surprise for me, because it was relatively inexpensive but still really good Indian. It’s unfortunate that it’s all the way out in Hyattsville because I don’t go out there too often, but it’s a good place to know about.

Being from DC, I must say that I had almost no desire to go out to the Capitol to see the fireworks on Monday night. The weather wasn’t good, and I really am not a fan of large crowds of tourists. Instead, I had a lovely dinner with my girlfriend’s family and friends, and we did our own little fountain fireworks in the backyard. It was far more my speed than an evening down in the depths of the city. We could still hear the fireworks display loud and clear though, so I’m gonna say that that’s close enough.

Simon Wright