Week 9: Almost Home

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Monday, August 8, 2016


Mariah Heinzerling

For the past week, I have been working on the finishing touches for the business case. I present my work next Thursday, and I am trying to make sure that I’ve done everything as close to correctly as possible. It would be incredible to see an outreach kit come out of this, especially one that teachers are enthusiastic about. I’ve never given a marketing presentation before, so I am a little nervous, but everyone at AIP has been so supportive that I don’t think it’ll be as scary as I’m imagining.

I may have the opportunity to go to the AAPT winter meeting in Atlanta in order to present a workshop about the manual, including demonstrations and exploratory activities that will be included. The point of the workshop will be to increase teacher interest in reaching out to undergraduate outreach programs to volunteer at local schools. While I was working with the NIST Summer Institute teachers, it became clear that most teachers are unaware that SPS exists and so they don’t take advantage of the fairly continuous supply of volunteers. By advertising the manual to teachers as well as undergraduate physics students, it will hopefully gain popularity.

In addition to my Thursday presentation, I am giving a presentation on Friday more focused on outreach and what I did with outreach over the summer. I’m especially excited to share my experience at NIST, because it was definitely the highlight of my summer. Being able to run the Physics Carnival at the end boosted my confidence in my abilities to coordinate larger events, and I hope to bring those skills back to Rochester.

This week was fairly uneventful outside of work. All of the interns went to the SPS Communications Dinner hosted at Tracy Schwab’s house, and I think at least 75% of us wanted to live there. Getting to talk to the national office about things that mattered to us was great; it really felt like our voices were being heard.

Most of my weekend consisted of making soup for my mom to have when I leave for school (I don’t want her to starve!) and packing to leave next week. I also discovered that whitewater canoeing is an Olympic sport, and that the course is manmade. For some reason, this struck me as blasphemous. Oh well, at least Katie Ledecky cleaned up. I should probably try to get out of the house next weekend… But until then, I’m excited to hopefully get my project up and running, and get it approved for further work.

Until next time,

Mariah Heinzerling