Marking the start of Week 7, Monday started as usual with the Academites struggling to wake up after a weekend of rest and relaxation. The pressure to submit their video scripts, start thinking about poster presentation and the looming technical papers were on the minds of everyone. The Advanced Materials group took advantage of a full day of “PI Time” to work tirelessly on their three independent projects and prepare for the presentation at GE on Friday. The day ended with another efficient RAP session that was initially planned for the beach, but was moved back to Kyle’s room after majority vote. As usual, the gym enthusiasts spent the rest of their evening “not just moving weights, but lifting them.”
Tuesday was just another day of work for the Academites. Waking up in the morning, fixing breakfast or grabbing “breakfast” to go and arriving at work at 8 AM has been the normal routine for the past 6 weeks. GaRam and Danny were continuing to work on their CFD analysis. Simulations were being run, but they were taking a long time to converge, if they converged at all. GaRam and Danny were also working on debugging their lift and drag calculating code, which seemed to give results that were either not correct or way too good; never just right. At the end of the work day, the Academites met at OAI to listen to a presentation by Mike Heil, President and CEO of Ohio Aerospace Institute, who gave a presentation of his view of aerospace technology and where it is headed. He emphasized again and again the importance of science and engineering within the industry and to the global economy and society.
The last “PI Time” for Week 7 made up the first four hours of the Academy’s work day, culminating on an anticipated teleconference with Skybox and NASA AMES Academy. Groups scrambled to get mentor approval of the slides to be presented on Friday, while still trying to get some research work done. Before the Skybox teleconference, most of the Aero Academy RAs attended the Zero-G Drop Tower tour. With the drop depth buried deep in the ground, the tour allowed the Academites to look 510 feet down into the vacuum where the tests were conducted. Mike and Max were impressed with a fellow intern’s $4000+ camera and his bold decision to hold it above the opening without any form of drop-protection. After the Zero-G tour, both Academies met in building 3’s “foyer” which is really just a fancy conference room with R&D 100 awards plastered across the walls. After many technical difficulties with Skype (which is to be expected with any Skype call) the teleconference finally began. After excellent introductions and interesting questions, the conference ended earlier than expected after it was decided a virtual Skype tour of the Skybox facilities would not be plausible. After celebrating another successful teleconference, the Academies departed Glenn to prepare for the upcoming travel and tours. Mike and Max (M&M? …might be too soon) ventured off to take long exposures of planes landing which lasted only an hour due to the onslaught of bug bites and poor winds causing the planes to land on the opposite side of the runway.
Rise and shine at 6 a.m.! At least for GaRam, Danny and Kyle, who needed to go pick up the rental cars. But it was worth it, at least for GaRam since he didn’t want to drive his already dilapidated car any more on distances longer than 5 miles. While Kyle selected full sized sedans, all they got were two mid sized sedans. But nevertheless, the Academites were on their way to Dayton to visit the Wright Patterson Air Force Research Base! It was a pretty good ride, except for the road construction. Finally, the lanes opened up and they zoomed passed them, getting to Dayton with time for brunch. After brunch and arrival at Wright Patterson, the Academites toured three separate labs, all with sophisticated research that was being carried out. After the tour, the Academites went to the Air Force museum to browse around the cool aircraft and space craft modeled inside. There were three main hangers, full of vehicles from across the timeline of the air force and outside the air force. Starting from the beginning of manned flight with the Wright brothers, all the way to the Cold War, the museum had too many pieces of aircraft to count. Once everyone had their share of viewing and picture taking, both academies went to a Mexican restaurant called Taqueria Mixteca for a scrumptious dinner. The space and aero academies then bid each other farewell as space headed back to “home” while aero ventured off towards Cincinnati for their presentations and tour at GE Aviation. The hotel they arrived at sported a swimming pool though it was worse than the Extended Stay back at Cleveland. Some people went to the pool while others just relaxed and rested for the evening. It was a long day, and the trip was only half done! Everyone went to sleep for a good rest while running their presentations through their heads as the sheep jumped over the fence.
The day of the highly anticipated GE Aviation tour! After a restful night’s sleep, the Aero Academy ate a waffle-filled breakfast before setting out from a resident hotel for a quick drive across the freeway to meet with John Kinney for the start of their time with GE. Time flew by during a full day consisting of Academy presentations, facility tours, and networking opportunities. The three Academy teams impressively presented highlights of their GRC summer projects to GE employees. After closing their GE time with optimistic reflection, the Aero Academy RAs (and Dr. Kankam) refueled and drove the three hours back to Cleveland. Filled with sleepyheads and car games affectionately dubbed “games with concealed rules” the ride went by quickly.
Everyone was slow to get up. Real slow. Some Academites woke up past noon, always a good sign that they needed the long rest. Nothing was planned on Saturday, though Kier, Kyle, Nikhil and Chris went to Cleveland to hand out food to and discuss life with the homeless. They had an interesting experience throughout the day. Danny and Peter went to the “bonfire” house for fun. Max, Raul, GaRam and Rebecca went to the gym to work out. After lifting some weights to bulk up on the chest and triceps, Rebecca mentioned the possibility of going to Velvet Tango for some jazz music. That sounded like a plan and so some Academites decided to meet in the lobby at 7:50 p.m. Nomita, Max, Mike, GaRam, Raul, Andrew, Rebecca and Denise convened in the lobby but GaRam and Andrew were told to go change shoes. Tennis shoes weren’t allowed at Velvet Tango. So GaRam decided to switch into black shoes, blue jeans, and a black button down shirt. But lo and behold, Max was wearing the same thing! Coincidence? Definitely not! But it was mostly in vain, as the Academites found out that Velvet Tango had a strict enforcement of the 21 year age limit. After discussing other options, the dude at the desk overheard Brother’s Lounge and recommended that. So they headed off for an enjoyable night with live music.
Similar to the day before, the Academites woke up really late. GaRam went to the coffee shop and did some work while Kyle was looking up places to go on vacation. Max, Raul and GaRam went to lift weights at the gym. Not much is known about the other interns but it looked as though Anthony, Nathan, Kier and Nikhil went to Pennsylvania to go sky diving! Everyone else was just busy resting and doing some individual work. It’s crunch time –too much work with too little time. Work always turns out that way but the Academites will most likely find a way to pull off their work and finish with flying colors. It’s late now, so a good night to all the Academites and everyone who’s going to bed now. Ciao from NASA!