Week 1 Summary (June 15th - June 21st)

Written By: Lynn Garrett, Karl Gendler, and Abigail Sherriff

Sunday, June 15th
Both Academies arrived on Sunday. The two international students for the Space Academy, Yoh and Jiro, had arrived the Wednesday before. Sunday started with Karl heading to San Fran bright and early to pick up Jason and Michael. On his way back, Abby headed towards San Fran to pick up Kiley, Matt, and Brennan. Matt and Brennan met Abby at the airport to pick up Kiley as they had arrived previous days. As she headed back to Ames, Karl made a trip to SJC to pick up Julian and Leo. Throughout the day, there were many flight problems. Julian’s flight was cancelled, but he was able to find an alternate flight, Emily’s flight was delayed four hours, and Nicole’s flight was delayed until much later. Most of the other Academites arrived via automobile to Ames. After all were checked in and slightly settled, a lunch of In & Out was had before heading to Doug’s.

Upon arrival at the O’Handley residence for the welcoming BBQ, they all met management and bonded in the swimming pool. Soon after arrival at Doug’s, Abby headed back to SJC to pick up Emily whose flight was delayed. Right on time for the BBQ, they arrived back at Doug’s to hang out in what time was left. A delicious dinner was served by management, and all enjoyed. Shortly after finishing, Lynn and Nicole finally arrived, driven by Caleb from SLSTP. Finally, everyone was accounted for! Following dinner, everyone gathered around for introductions and thoughts from Brad with a dessert of cake, strawberries, and Desi’s delicious dreamsicle dip. After some closing remarks and goodbyes to the O’Handleys, the Academites headed home from a full day.

Once home, however, Kalýby had one final point of business for the students. They needed to go through some basic logistics with the first SNL! Following SNL, the tired Academites headed to bed following a busy day full of travel, new friends, and great fun.

Monday, June 16th
The Academites awoke bright and early to meet Kalýby at 7 to head to badging. They were driven to the badging office, and each were given their visitor badges so that they can access the part of the center that’s beyond the black gates. After badging, the Academites jumped straight into their first day with a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and an Academy Orientation Session at SSERVI. Doug came in to give a presentation about the history of the Academy and then Brad jumped in to give some advice about making the most of the Academy Experience and lay out expectations for the Academites. After this Orientation, the Academites were dropped off at their respective buildings to meet their PIs for their personal research projects. After a brief time to meet, they were shuttled back to Megabites for their first lunch in the NASA Ames Cafeteria! The shuttling began once again after lunch because the Centerwide Intern Orientation started at 1 PM in the Ames Visitor Center. The Academites enjoyed learning information and history about the center: safety tips to follow (always use the crosswalks!) and cool special interest groups that they could get involved with at Ames if they could find the extra time outside of group and individual research project work to do so. The Space and Aero Academies posed for a group picture in the visitor center before piling back into the vans to head back to the Quads. Nicole’s luggage finally arrived, so Jiro, Yoh, Lynn, and Abby took her to go pick it up from the lodge.

The Academites changed into more comfortable clothes and then hopped into the vans and Cooper’s car to head to Sunnyvale for dinner at Panera, Rubio’s, Five Guys, and Pizza My Heart. After dinner, some decided to grab some froyo at Pinkberry before walking over to Safeway to grab some groceries. The Academites roamed the aisles of Safeway trying to find sustenance for the week and grab any items they forgot at home. After heading back to the Quads, the Academites had a brief team meeting before heading to bed to hopefully get a little more sleep than the night before. They surely dreamt of the crazy things they could be asked to do during the team building exercises the next day.

Tuesday, June 17th
The second morning is always the hardest when you haven’t slept much, but the Academites dragged themselves out of bed with the prospect of an exciting day of team building ahead of them. After the usual breakfast at Megabites, they convened in the Space Portal to begin their simulation. They were visited by Lynn D. Harper, an esteemed manager at NASA Ames, who gave the Academites an introduction to the task they were about to complete: Build a model Space Shuttle and Lunar Lander on a strict timeline while following all of the procedures that would normally be followed with a NASA mission. As Lockheed Martin “employees”, the Project Managers of each of the teams had to attend many meetings with upper-level Lockheed Martin and NASA management (Abby and Brad) in order to coordinate their activities at all levels. Nicole, Julian, Michael, Ruth, Yoh, and Dani made up the Lunar Lander team and Michelle, Brennan, Leo, Kiley, Jiro, Matt, Cooper, Emily, and Jason made up the Space Shuttle team. The largest catastrophe was a missing Space Shuttle windshield after completion of the cockpit, but with a little help from Lynn, Cooper finally relocated the windshield that had fallen down into the cockpit. Whew! Though they cut it close on time, both teams managed to complete their models in time for the launch date and following completion had a discussion with Lynn Harper and Brad about effective management techniques and leadership skills. Everyone learned something about how they work in a team and how to play to one another’s strengths -- excellent practice for group project work! After clean-up for team building was finished, the Academites returned to the Quads to run, cook, or relax. Kalyby had to meet with the SLSTP staffers to brief them on their team building activity the next day, and afterwards they returned to the quads hungry. (Maybe even a little hangry) but the only person around they could find to accompany them to dinner was Matt. So Matt and the staffers went to Sweet Tomatoes and enjoyed a lovely buffet dinner. They agreed they would have to bring the other Academites there another time.

Wednesday, June 18th
The Academites rose bright and early for another exciting day. In the morning, the Academites had appointments to get their fingerprinting done. All went smoothly except for when it came to Leo who apparently has a disappearing middle name. The work day was fairly uneventful other than a handful of Academites getting to pick up their bikes! Some members of the Space Academy went to Happy Hour at Megabites to enjoy the tasty food and drinks and good conversation. Some people got to meet John Conley, Stephanie Gowell, and George Gorospe, Academy Alums from 2011 and 2012. After Happy Hour, Michelle and Dani went on a bike ride with Kiley from the Aero Academy to test out their new bikes. Kalyby had taken Matt, Leo, and Mike out to dinner at P.F. Chang’s only to receive a phone call that the bikers were stranded several miles from Ames after getting flat tires! Lynn drove to pick up Dani and Kiley, barely fitting their two bikes in the back of the minivan. Luckily Michelle’s bike was still in good enough shape to make it home alright, and Lynn still got to eat her dinner when she got back to the restaurant! After dinner, more discussions were had about the group project with a little bit of advice from the Kalyby before the Academites called it a night.

Thursday, June 19th
Thursday dawned a cooler morning as the Academites departed from the “grassy” (read: astro-turfy) area in front of the Quads for their daily trek to Megabites for breakfast. The morning was uneventful as the Academites spent their time with their PIs working on individual research and writing up their research summaries and goals to turn into Kalyby the next day. They gathered in NACA Park for a free beginning of the summer BBQ put on by Megabites for lunch. Food always tastes better when it’s free, but the cake was probably the best part! 4:30 rolled around and Karl left Kalyby’s office to go pick up Jiro, Emily, and Julian to head to the O’Handley’s for their first Thursday night lecture to be given by Dr. Dave Morrison. They prepared a delicious meal of Japanese curry, coconut curry, and chicken stir fry with pot stickers for an appetizer and pies for dessert. After enjoying a slightly delayed dinner, the Academites gathered around Dr. Morrison in Doug and Christy’s living room to enjoy his lecture on Near Earth Asteroids and the history and current views on the importance of their detection and the likelihood that one could hit the Earth. Dr. Morrison even passed around a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteor for each person to examine. After an excellent talk, the Academites piled back into the minivans to head back to the Quads -- they still have plenty of work to get done that night! They gathered in their common room to finish up the group project proposal that was due to Kalyby bright and early the next morning. Once the google doc was finally complete and shared with the staffers, the Academites headed to bed to get some sleep before their first Friday of work.

Friday, June 20th
Finally, the Academites had their first full day of uninterrupted research! They each went to their respective offices (except of course the three Aero nomads: Julian, Leo, and Ruth who went with Brad for the day). At lunch, several of the Academites met a German student named Joshua to bring some culture to their day! In the afternoon, many Academites were taken to their respective banks to cash their stipend checks for lodging and/or grants for the summer. Yay money! At 7, the Academites ventured to Castro street for sustenance. They had their first view of just how crowded downtown Mountain View is at night and the adventure of parking. Upon a revelation of just how much time would be wasted and how long it would take to find somewhere that would seat 16 people, Dani came to the rescue and made reservations for Steins. A scrumptious dinner was partaken along with some delicious beverages. Afterwards, the Academites headed home for some rest before the early morning and full day in San Fran shortly to come.

Saturday, June 21st
The Academites were up again at the crack of dawn, despite the weekend having arrived. However, they had a full day of touring San Francisco to look forward to! After scarfing down the week’s second breakfast of bagels and beverage, they took to the roads, accompanied by 2013 Ames Academy Staffer Stephanie. The first stop of the day was Lombard street. The students stood agape at the beautiful houses, vistas, and curves of the world’s most curvy road. Together, the Academites walked down to the bottom of the street, took pictures, and overheard a news reporter talk about how the city plans to shut down the road to tourists! After scaling the steep sidewalks to return to the vans, one van elected to drive down the road. Karl’s van survived with much encouragement from Matt: “You got it, K!” The next stop of the day was supposed to be the Exploratorium. However, Kalyby had not seen that the museum didn’t open until 10am! Since they had an hour to kill, the group decided to walk south along the Embarcadero to the farmers market at The Ferry Building. The group was greeted by many smells, free samples, and people selling all sorts of yummy goods. The group proceeded to split up, agreeing to meet in front of the Exploratorium at 11:30 to head to the next stop. The majority of the group decided to walk up the Embarcadero to Pier 39, but five met at 11:30 for easy transportation. Once at the Pier, some walked to view the sea lions, while some went to eat bread bowl soups. Much of the group ended up at Musee de Mechanique, an antique arcade museum. Thus began the tradition of love testing many of the Academites. The oh-so-accurate machine awarded both Ruth and Karl the 50-point “Hot Stuff” award, while others were dubbed “Warm” or even “Dead Fish.” A group managed to catch a hit-and-run-ish attempt on behalf of a large bus, and Karl called the “How’s my driving” number on the back. After answering an oddly large amount of questions, students and staff walked back down the pier to the Sock Market to pick up a few items for friends and loved ones. Finally, after they returned to the car and paid for parking ($27?!), they were on their way to the Golden Gate Bridge! The Struggle Bus missed their exit, but ended up all the better, for they came across a road up to a beautiful view of the Bridge and the city. After many pictures, the Academites proceeded to an alumni dinner at the Stinking Rose. Both Karl’s car and Steph’s car managed to park by some melons! Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication with the alumni, the Academites were an hour early to the restaurant! In order to kill time, they took a quick walking tour of Chinatown, seeing shops full of interesting food, and occasionally airplane models. Returning to the Stinking Rose for dinner brought them into contact with the group of alumni that would be joining them that evening. The full group settled in for a garlic-filled meal, followed by dessert at Ghirardelli Square. Once the Academites and alumni had finished their ice cream delights, they wandered outside and were treated to an ISS flyover! This concluded their day, and they headed back to the cars and to the Quads for the longest night’s sleep in seven days.

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