Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Energy Camp

Last week I worked at PSU's first Science-U Energy Crew Summer Camp (aka Energy Camp).

It was five days of energy topics/activities/tours for students entering grades 5-8. I knew going into it that it would require lots and LOTS of energy, so I made sure to get extra sleep the weekend before it started (which definitely helped). I could tell you about the whole week, but I'll just touch on some highlights. If you don't want to read the highlights :) then at least check out some of the photos from the week here.

We went on a tour of the Nuclear Reactor on campus, which I've never even been to (totally surprising since it's literally feet from my office building!). What a cool place! They did some background stuff for the campers about the purpose of the facility and also about how it works. Then they took us to where the reactor's housed and let us watch it as they "pulsed" it. We got to see the distinct blue glow that occurs as a result of the pulse, which I hear is something that many people don't get to see first hand. I REALLY liked that tour.

We got to see PSU's house that's being built for the Solar Decathlon, which many of the campers enjoyed. One of the students working on the site gave us a great tour, and he explained all of the energy efficient aspects of the house including some of the special technologies that PSU's installing that other schools participating in the competition are not. Several of the campers had great questions, and I think they could have spent days at the site if time allowed.

The students also shot, edited, and presented, their own videos of public service announcements advertising different energy options. These videos were so good...I'll post a link to them when I have it. They had some really creative ideas on presenting the material, and they are so smart! I believe that the future looks good :)

We did a lot of hands on activities (e.g., lemon batteries, solar cars, fuel cell cars, making ethanol, etc.), which I think the students enjoyed. I'm sure, though, that their most favorite part of camp was eating in the Pollock dining commons, going to the outdoor pool, and going to the creamery :)

Two other cool things about the camp were that there was a journalist and videographer at almost every activity so that the campers would have some documentation/video of their camp experience. Each morning the journalist had a newsletter that was designed to look like a newspaper that highlighted the events from the previous day. The videographer also made a great video (to be linked soon) that chronicled their entire week...I think the campers and parents really enjoyed that.

I think the camp was a success for the first time it was ever run! If you are interested...here are some photos from the week: Energy Camp Photos

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Day!

Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary! Hooray! I truly loved every part of my wedding and thought the overall day was great and stress free (at least, I think it was)...ahhh...but if I knew then, what I know now I would have definitely utilized Etsy more (I would have still married the same guy heehee). If you have never checked Etsy out, then quickly click and explore all the fun items you can buy there. You will honestly be so pleasantly surprised at all the coolio stuff you can buy that's handmade! They also have a lot of fun vintage stuff, too. Hint hint: buy me some pyrex!

It's no surprise, though, that I didn't utilize Etsy more because I really didn't get into the site until after my honeymoon. During our trip in Hawaii, my hubby and I stopped at a little market that had a lot of generic, tchotchke crap. BUT it also featured a few local sellers...one of which sold me an awesome ring. She gave me her card, which had her etsy site on it...and upon returning to the mainland, I checked her shop site out (along with the rest of Etsy) and I was hooked with all things Etsy! Since then, I have bought many items for myself and others including shirts, jewelry, baby gifts, holiday cards, birthday cards, dresses, bags, holiday decorations, laptop accessories, etc., etc.!!! It's become a joke w/ me and Melly Rae - she'll see me wearing or using something new that I got from Etsy, and she really doesn't even ask anymore where I got it. Any free second I get, I check the homepage out just to see what items are featured...I'm totally addicted. Not so much to spending money on the site (although, after tallying up what I've spent as a whole I'm beginning to wonder about that), but more addicted to "window shopping".

So...as I said originally, I think it would have been fun if I could have incorporated some Etsy into my wedding. I did have a really good friend make all of the jewelry for me, my bridesmaids, my mom, and my Mother-in-Law (so that's definitely along the lines of Etsy). I also had an awesome printer/designer create my invitations. But maybe I could have used these wild birdseed favors or these wildflower seed favors. My bridesmaids could have worn dresses from Ureshii or Miss Brache. I could have danced atop one of these tables...kidding, of course! I think you get the idea...

There's much more to life (and relationships/marriage, whichever you like) than having a "great wedding", I know...I really thought of it as a big party where we celebrated our relationship. For my next big party (ahem, PhD graduation?), though, I'll definitely be incorporating some Etsy stuff into it! I'll let you know when you can mark your calendars for that special occasion :)