Posted by barb on Feb 18, 2005 in Random Thoughts

Proof that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work at NASA:

Building Management Service Desk Worker: Service desk, how can I help you?
Me: I called earlier this morning about the heat in my office.
BMSDW: What building are you calling from?
Me: Trailer 6
BMSDW: And what room?
Me: 13
BMSDW: Is it still cold in there?

No, I’m calling again because I’m happy as pie that the thermostat seemed to have fixed itself.
No, my teeth always chatter when I’m warm.
No, these bricks of ice I used to call hands accidentally dialled this number.
Yes, you freaking moron. Why else would I be calling?

Me: Uh, yeah. (very sarcastically)
BMSDW: Well, sometimes it takes a while for the temperature to rise.

That’s only if you send guys out to deal with the problem.

Me: The thermostat display is still dim and says ‘replace battery’.
BMSDW: Is says what?
BMSDW: Oh. I’ll check to see the status.

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E/PO foothold

Posted by barb on Jan 27, 2005 in Random Thoughts, Science Musings

Over the past couple years I have discovered that I don’t really like doing science. In fact, the only thing that I really felt excited working on was re-writing the Swift public pages (all of the linked pages except “What’s in a name”), which has brought me to the conclusion that I should look for a career in Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) when/if I finish my Ph.D. E/PO seems to be the best way that I can use my knowledge of astronomy and my writing/creative abilities in concert with each other.

Currently Constellation-X, one of the missions that I’m working for, doesn’t have an official E/PO program. However, as the web curator (and the person who will be revising the public pages), I’m in a position to start some kind of E/PO for Con-X even without any specific money for it.

Since I’m the only person doing Con-X E/PO (or, the only person in a position close to doing Con-X E/PO), and because I started attending E/PO meetings for the Lab, I’m going to helping the E/PO lead in his next effort to put out an educational package related to the Beyond Einstein program (of which Con-X is a part). The real challenge here, though, is that the materials covered by Beyond Einstein are fairly esoteric, at least as far as high school physics is concerned. The big question is what science can we present that intersects the high school science cirriculum.

The E/PO lead is putting together a focus group of teachers, and he and I got together today to discuss what questions we could ask the focus group to get an idea of what science we can highlight. I think it was a good brainstorming session, and I hope the E/PO lead feels the same way. I’m looking forward to my further involvement in the project.


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