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Summer Has Begun!

Episode 3: 6/30/2014 – Summer Has Begun!

Finals are over, I have become a junior, and now it’s time for summer fun, research, and blogging!

SURF research is organized by the Student Faculty Programs (SFP) office, and they asked for students from each house who would act as liaisons between visiting students and home students in the SURF program. I volunteered, and was chosen along with Alex, another student from Dabney.

We decided to hold a barbecue the first weekend so all of us could get to meet and know the summer students better. Behind the scenes: it was time to go buy food!

Part 1: Thursday Afternoon

To purchase food for the barbecue, Alex (a senior), some of his other friends, and I went to a restaurant wholesale depot as well as the local Smart & Final.

Gone shopping.

After we had bought the burgers, hot dogs, buns, ketchup, mayo, relish, mustard, pickles, cheese, and plates, it was time to pack it all in the car and head back to campus.

All packed up and ready to go!

Part 2: Saturday Morning

Most people generally sleep in on the weekends, but it was my duty to wake up earlier and start preparing for the barbecue! I began by cutting some of the vegetables for the burgers and set up condiments outside.

A round platter of tomatoes.

Buns and condiments set up outside.

Vy-Luan helped Alex grill the meat and veggie burgers and hot dogs.

After about an hour and a half of preparation, it was time to eat!

Part 3: Saturday Afternoon

The barbecue was well-attended, with many members of Dabney getting a chance to meet the summer students living there, as well as some of those students who were visiting from other houses. We sat outside for a few hours, enjoying the SoCal sun, and just got to know each other better.

Let the eating begin!

A summer student smiles at the camera.

Every weekend, Alex and I plan an event for the Caltech and visiting students living in Dabney. Looking forward to the next one? Check it out in Episode 4! In the meantime…

I have just completed the second week of research on campus – designing and constructing instruments for aerosol measurement. It is exciting to draft a design on the computer using AutoCad then build it and watch it come to life.

Part of the design of an early prototype of one of the instruments.

A large part of making instruments, though, is making sure I have the right parts, and if they’re too hard to make, they need to be ordered. For instance, I needed clamps to mount an LED and phototransistor onto two poles, so my co-mentor and I ordered several of them. They arrived yesterday in a small shipping container, but there was another small box with them!

The surprise box.

Inside, it was filled with different granola bars and fruit snacks, which I shared with my labmates.

And that’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates on research and summer social events next time!