Weekly WISE #3

Welcome back! This week, we have reflections from SSEP participants Kaitlyn, Anna, and Jessica. As always, if you want to check out this week’s events (which included a tour of the MUN Medical Facility!) make sure to visit the 2022 Program Highlights.

Kaitlyn B, Science Outreach Assistant

Hi! My name is Kaitlyn and I’ve just finished my third week of the WISE Student Summer Employment Program as a Science Outreach Assistant at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University. In the short time I’ve been working here I have learned so much, from using unfamiliar computer programs, to finding new ways to promote events, to expanding soft skills. 

A lot of the work I’ve done has been using programs on my computer called Stellarium and LyX. Stellarium is an astronomy software that shows a realistic simulation of the sky. You can choose the location from which you are viewing it, and can use the program to see planets, constellations, and other deep sky objects. I became familiar with the controls so I could create a sky map for any time or place. It was really fun, and I made a few sky maps for myself to use at night and find constellations. LyX is a document processor based on the LaTex typesetting system. It’s different from Google Docs or Microsoft Word, because what you write in LyX is not exactly what shows up on the final document. It was a bit of a challenge to install and learn the program because I’d never used anything like it before, but after some practice I gained confidence and learned to add equations in as well. 

My supervisor, Dr. Barkanova, is a physics professor at Grenfell. She often hosts events open to the public, speaking about different topics within astronomy and physics. Next week, Dr. Barkanova will speak about the new images from the James Webb Space Telescope and give tours of the observatory afterwards. I have been researching and finding new ways to promote this event so that more youth, specifically high school students, will be reached. I’ve been really enjoying this project and I’m excited for the event! 

I’ve been working on a few more projects as well, but aside from that, I’ve learned a lot of problem solving, prioritizing, and communication skills. Overall, I love my job and I’m so thankful for the experience and opportunities that are a part of it!

Anna G, Research Assistant-Computer Systems & Security

Hi, my name is Anna Gosling and this is my third week of the Student Summer Employment Program. As part of my job as a computer systems and security research assistant I spend lots of time researching and exploring computer systems. This week I’ve done a lot of research on the MUSEC infrastructure that supports computer security research here at MUN. This research is very important because it will help me with my main task which is moving computer equipment from the Engineering building to the Core Science facility!  I have also attended many very interesting lectures that my supervisor, Dr. Andersen was instructing. My highlight of the week was definitely the Network Security Lab that I got to do! In this lab I had lots of fun using different tools such as Wireshark to log into someone’s device and send them messages!

Jessica S, Summer Science Interpreter (Geo Centre)

Hi! My name is Jessica, and I’ve just finished my third week of WISE’s Summer Student Employment Program. This summer, I’m a Science Interpreter at the Johnson Geo Centre. This week marked the second week of summer hours at the Geo Centre, as well as the second week of summer camp, so I was very busy! My job includes greeting visitors, helping out with some interpretation activities and helping out with the summer camp. Being one of the first proper weeks of the season, we saw a lot of visitors, from NL and from around the world – we had hundreds on Friday! This meant I had lots to do. Between our various programs for visitors and the (very wild) summer camp, I experienced just about everything the Geo Centre has to offer. The team here is awesome and have been excellent in helping me learn and progress. My favourite part so far has been the science demonstrations. As a part of it, we use different salts to make colourful fire! The best was definitely boric acid – it burns bright green. So far, I’ve learned plenty about science, especially geology and astronomy. It’s been great this week, and I can’t wait to learn even more.

Weekly WISE #3
Tagged on: