The 2014 Arecibo Observatory REU students

Well, my time at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has come to an end. I will be heading back to Golden, Colo., this weekend to begin my junior year as a mechanical engineering student.

I spent my final week in Puerto Rico finishing up my project and preparing a presentation for the Arecibo staff and students. I talked about my work designing and coding a robotic prototype to clean the primary reflector surface. While the dish has not yet been cleaned, I was able to start a design project that will be passed down through future generations of undergraduate researchers to eventually develop a full-scale, functioning robot. After all of the students finished our presentations, the observatory staff threw us a farewell party at the site pool. I then spent my final day with the students lounging on a Caribbean beach, something I will miss very much in Colorado!

Looking back on my experiences this summer, I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity. I learned so much through my project and was able to meet some incredible students and scientists. Not only will I be bringing back countless photos and memories, I will be bringing back my furry friend Kleo to always remind me of my summer here.

Hasta luego Puerto Rico,