Kambray Townsend: Summer 2015 Experience
My decision to join Sundial was a decision that introduced me to a lot of resources I now know I have on campus. Being a first generation college student and being an incoming science major, I was nervous about coming to ASU. I had no idea what to expect or how I was going to handle adjusting to my new life. Being in Sundial with a small group of others in the program, I was able to become very familiar with the campus, resources available to me, as well as make friends that share common interests. The first day of Sundial honestly I was very upset. I was unaware that I would not be able to have a proper goodbye with my parents, but instead I only got about five minutes to say goodbye to them in a room full of people. It was pretty sad and embarrassing, but I pretty much just had to deal with it, act positive, and deal with this new situation. Also, on the first day, we spent time getting to know each other in the program. I enjoyed getting to know everyone in the program and making friends. Knowing people before classes start had made me feel more confident about social interactions in college. Everyone in the Sundial Program is very positive and encouraging. The second day of Sundial we began Science. We we began some introductory experiments and started pondering the question “How does light work?” Throughout the week we continued to have discussions and do experiments that allowed us think more about how light does work. During discussions we had to use a card system of red, yellow, or green cards where red signified that someone was off topic, yellow showed that someone had something to say, and green signified that one agrees with something someone said. The system made discussions run smoothly and allowed everyone to speak and share their ideas. Aside from doing experiments and having discussions about light, we also went on tours of various labs around the campus. This was probably my favorite part about the program because we were able to meet people that do things related to what some of our majors are and listen to how and why they research what they research. Also, every other day we would have lunch with a special guest and we were able to listen to them talk about what they do, how they do it, as well as ask them questions. Speaking to these guests was awesome because it made me feel a little more confident about talking to professors and people cool like that. Occasionally we would do things outside of the classroom. For example we visited the Challenger, where we had to work together to safely land on the moon while maintaining good oxygen levels and communicating well with mission control on Earth. Everyone was assigned a specific job and had to be able to effectively work and communicate as a team to make sure everything went smoothly and everyone survived. Other activity we did outside of the classroom was go hiking up A Mountain. I really enjoyed this activity because we were accompanied by some geologist working at ASU. At the end of the uphill hike they talked to us about tectonic plates in the Arizona and volcanoes. They also told us that they are not just studying rocks, but they are looking at the story the rocks tells us about the land. We also went to one of the SESE buildings on campus and watched a 3D showing about the Hubble Space telescope, as well as others, and how far into space the telescopes have allowed us to see. This event was very enjoyable because everyone else wanted to be there was very interested in the show. While in the classroom we continued doing tests to expand our knowledge on how light works and as group started coming up with ideas and conclusions as how light works. We did several experiments involving lasers, lenses, and mirrors to observe light paths and how light reflected and refracted. We all seemed to enjoy discussing what we discovered after the tests and collectively reaching a conclusion. One of the tests we spent the most time on was the light bulb test, we were trying to determine how there appeared to be two layers of the light bulb when looking at it through water and oil. Some said the lightbulb did have two layers while others felt that the light was just manipulating how we are viewing it. On a later day we came back to the light bulb test and concluded that we were seeing to bulbs because there was two layer that was separated by air. Not only was light traveling through the container the oil or water and the glass bulb, it was also traveling through the air inside of the bulb, allowing us to see both layers. Everyone was pretty excited when we reached this conclusion. We also did a lab that allowed us to observe how light travels through different media. We used lasers to observe the index of refraction of the light through either water or oil. As a group we were able to reach an equation used to find the index of refraction and used it to a real life situation of how deep a sink of water really was. The sink of water appeared deeper to some people and not so deep to others. We were able to conclude, using the law we obtained that the various perceived depth of the water was a result of the height of the person. The Sundial Program was very beneficial, aside from doing tests in a classroom during the day, I was able to become familiar with campus without the crowds and i was able to become more comfortable with the campus. I had the opportunity to meet people from other places and make friends before classes started. I really enjoyed meeting people that shared similar interests as I did. The program made me feel more confident about starting college and adjusting socially. My decision to join Sundial was a great decision because i know it would have been very hard for me to adjust on my own moving in the same day as everyone else and not knowing where anything is located. I really enjoyed the encouraging and positive environment and really excited to proceed with meeting with a mentor throughout the fall semester. The Sundial Program was an awesome opportunity for me as well as the other in the program.