Monday, June 4, 2012
Nine bright students began their internships as NASA Glenn’s Aeronautics Academy interns on this day! The day began with everyone meeting at 6:40 am in the hotel lobby, including the Spacecademy (short for Space Academy). Daniel ReMine and Macie Price drove their cars packed with all of the Aero Academy interns. Melanie expressed her excitement at the water droplets on Macie’s car’s windshield, “Water!!! You have no idea how exciting this is. I’m from Arizona.” The rest of the people in the car first looked at each other confused, not really sure what to say and then laughed. The Aero cars made their first legendary entry into NASA Glenn Research Center! (drum roll). Umm not really. They were stopped by the Security guards and asked to show their IDs as well as a “color” form which nobody in the group seemed to have. But fortunately, the security guards were able to find all the Aeronauts’ names on a list and asked them to go to Building 3 for Orientation. Once both the Aeronautics and Space Academies made it to Building 3, both groups headed over to the cafeteria for breakfast. The breakfast helped the Academies wake up! The Academies headed over to Building 5 at 8’o clock, where they were handed out folders with all the cool NASA stuff (forms, a cool NASA sticker and a movie about the shuttle!!). The orientation began at 8:30 am with a welcome by Dr. Kankam, Director of the Glenn’s Academy Program and Director of the University Affairs program at Glenn. Dr. Jih-Fen Lei, Director of the Research and Technology Directorate welcomed and addressed the interns on the great opportunities that await them at Glenn this summer. The rest of the orientation consisted of short presentations on Hazardous Communication/Personal Protective Equipment, Glenn Security Overview, Basic Environment Safety Overview and Student parking/shuttle bus. The orientation ended around 11:30. All interns were received by their mentors and taken to their labs.
For most students, the first day consisted of getting an introduction to the project, and taking care of logistics such as setting up the computer and email accounts. The Aero and Space Academies were convened for a meeting at 4 pm where Molly and Harkirat gave an overview of what the Academy is all about! The presentation on the Academy overview was concluded by Dr. Kankam’s remarks and expectations of the Academy. After a long eventful day, the Glennterns headed over to HomeStead Studio Suites (the stud/studio…we have to come up with a cool name for the hotel). The Aeronautics Academy met for their first RAP (Review & Prepare) session in the conference room at the Studio. It was a challenge finding a seat for Harkirat. Finally, she was given the shortest possible couch/chair by one of the Academites who went exploring in different rooms of the “conference room.” Harkirat just got even shorter! But she didn’t mind. She accepted it as her “power chair” as the Operations & Logistics Manager for Aero Academy. The RAP session was supposed to end at 7 but ended up going a few minutes over since there was so much to talk about and not everybody had showed up on time! When the Aeronauts got out of the conference room, they found the Spacecademy sitting on the floor outside waiting to begin their even longer RAP session. The Aero Academites headed over to their rooms, probably overwhelmed with all the information but still enthused about having started their internship at NASA!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
And before the Academites knew it, it was their second day!! The Glennterns gathered in the hotel lobby at 7:40 am and headed over to Glenn. The official day began at 8:00 am. Many of the Academites had to go the Badging Office to get their permanent badges. It was nice of Molly to drive many of the interns from their buildings to the Badging Office and back. June 5, 2012 also happened to be the day when the planet Venus made its final trek across the face of the sun as seen from Earth. NASA Glenn had a full day of events occurring, including a talk by Dr. Steven Williams, Planetary Sciences Division, National Air and Space Museum/NASA Headquarters at 11:00 am. Many of the Academites attended this talk. In the evening, after work, some Aero Academites headed over to Edgewater Park with their mentors and co-workers while the rest of the Aero Academy group went back to the hotel first and then drove to Edgewater Park to meet up with the Space Academy interns as well. The Academies took pictures with the NASA Glenn Research Center information trucks/booths and lots of telescopes that the people in the Astronomy club had set up there. And of course, everybody had their cool glasses on! The Academites engineered a set of binoculars that they could use for viewing the transit by taping up the protection shields onto the binoculars eye piece. Finally, there was success and everybody in the group (both Space and Aero Academy interns that were present there) were able to spot Venus on the sun. The Aero Academites headed back around 8:00 pm for their group project meeting. This was the first group project meeting and the goal was to narrow down the group project ideas so that one consolidated idea could be presented to Dr. Kankam on the upcoming Friday.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The day began with the typical 7:40 am meeting time in the lobby before heading out to Glenn. This was the first full 8-4:30 day for interns. Some of the Academites went out for a run after work. Other than that, the group was mostly focused on figuring out the group project after work. The Aeronauts were so productive that they got done putting together a presentation as well as writing a project proposal by Thursday night and turned in to Harkirat. The proposals and presentation were due to Harkirat by Thursday, June 7, 12:00 pm. But since they could not hold their excitement about the project, the Aero Academy interns turned in their presentation and proposal on Wednesday night itself. Yeah doesn’t hurt to be a group of over-achievers!
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Most of this day consisted of interns’ non interrupted work time with their PIs. Harkirat provided her feedback for revisions of the Group project proposal presentation which the Aero Academy reflected upon after work and finished their final presentation that they would give in front of Dr. Kankam the next day . The group met to decide who will be taking care of which slides in the presentation. Harkirat was happy with the way the presentation looked, especially in its organization and clarity and was excited for the Aeronauts to dazzle everyone with their presentation on Friday! Daniel ReMine, Macie and Melanie headed out to downtown for some shopping adventures and got to see a beautiful sunset by the lake. Aww
Friday, June 8, 2012
TGIF! No matter how exciting the week has been, Fridays are always more exciting! In addition to regular working time with PIs, some of the Academites met up for lunch at the Cafeteria. Only three people: Dennis, Nate and Harkirat sat outside, enjoying the sun. The rest of the Academites were inside the cafeteria in the cold air conditioning! This was a good unplanned get together for lunch. After lunch, the Academites returned to their labs. Later that afternoon, all interns in the University Affairs program gathered in the Ad Building Auditorium for a presentation by Dr. Marvin Goldstein on “Boundary Layer Transition at High Levels of Free Stream Turbulence.” The presentation was quite technical and mathematically involved and difficult to follow for most of the interns. Harkirat was really excited to see some differential equations after a long time! She started taking some notes but after the third or fourth slide, the material became too difficult to follow. Overall, all the interns did well, trying to follow as much of the talk as possible and being attentive and respectful at all times. After the presentation, the interns headed back to their labs/work places and ended the day at 4:30, as usual.
The Academites finally voted on going to The Melt for their first group dinner on Friday night. The group was slightly surprised to find out that there was a 2 hour long waiting line to get seated. The group investigated into finding another good restaurant nearby. Someone recommended Aladdin’s Eatery. So the group headed over to Aladdin’s eatery (a 2 min walk), The food at Aladdin was delicious! Melanie ordered something that she thought was too exotic! So she couldn’t eat it and passed it on to Steve on the other side of the table. She decided to get a cake for dinner instead. But she didn’t really finish the cake either and it was passed down to Steve and that side of the table again! The server didn’t charge Melanie for her food which was nice of her. This was a good place to relax and de-stress and laugh over silly things. DK (Daniel Kakaley) did what he’s good at…saying things in his sarcastic manner without being fully sarcastic. Nate and DR talked about their careers. Heath, Dennis, Steve and Reed talked about a lot of things too but I couldn’t hear any of them. Overall, it was a great great dinner with great company.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
The day began with DR leaving for the weekend for his sister’s graduation. At noon, all the Space and Aero Academites minus DR, Taichi and Samira (from Space Academy) gathered in the hotel lobby to receive their challenges for the Scavenger Hunt from Harkirat and Molly. The Scavenger Hunt clues were photographs of places around the Cleveland area that the Academites were expected to find and take photos of them. One of the Aero teams (Macie, Heath, Dennis, Nathaniel) got pulled over by the NASA Security for taking photos of the Glenn Research Center sign and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI). This team got asked by the security who were they working for. After about 30 minute of interrogation and realizing that these photos are just for a scavenger hunt assignment, the security guard let the group go. This will be something to keep in mind when planning next year’s scavenger hunt for the Academy. Both the Academies and all four groups had a lot of fun during the scavenger hunt. Some people got tanned; some may have burned but it was an exhausting day totally worth it. The groups concluded the day with a dinner at Hard Rock, 20 people spread across four tabe. Throughout the week and the weekend, Harkirat annoyed everyone by taking lots of photos. But this is part of her job and she loves doing it! And she will continue to annoy the group with her photo taking habit throughout the summer. Just a heads up…
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The strawberry picking idea was shot down since most people were exhausted from the scavenger hunt on Saturday. A few Aeronauts joined Molly for a hike which went really well. Upon returning from the hike, the entire Aero Academy gathered to head out to Case Western Reserve University to check out the working space and “get a feel for the group project.” The evening was free – most people used this to take care of chores/errands. Everybody seemed to be in the laundry room! DR returned from Chicago at night.