Outreach Statements from Successful QuarkNet Proposals
February of 1999


Boston University

The HEP faculty at BU have been involved in a wide variety of high-school outreach programs involving both students and teachers. These include web-site development, focused workshops, and wide-ranging events.

Most recently, several faculty (Butler, Heintz, Narain, Simmons) have been organizing a Saturday Academy program to be held for the first time March 6, 1999. Thirty-five students from local high-schools will come to BU for a program introducing them to recent discoveries in high-energy physics. After an introductory talk, the students will break into small groups for hands-on sessions with lab equipment and computer-based exercises in analysis of real data from D0 and LEP. This program will be repeated several times a year.

This April 13 & 14 will see the sixth annual presentation of the BU Pathways Program (http://physics.bu.edu/pathways) founded by Simmons. This event introduces young women in high-school to research and career opportunities in science, mathematics and engineering. The identical programs offered on consecutive days bring 600 students and teachers from schools in eastern MA to meet with over 150 women (and a few men!) working in technical fields. The HEP faculty participants (Narain, Simmons, Whitaker) offer tours of their lab facilities and make presentations in the poster/demonstration session, which affords students the chance for one-on-one conversation with researchers.

The BU members of the ATLAS collaboration (Ahlen, Simmons, Shank, Whitaker) have put together table-top experiments and an interactive educational web site (http://physics.bu.edu/ATLAS) with the support of ATLAS-Education grants. These materials formed the basis of an educational module on "The Quantum World of Particle Physics" presented to 200 middle-school students at the "Quantum World Day" program co-sponsored by BU and the IAAY (Johns Hopkins) on Oct. 5, 1997. Students split their time between web-based activities and table-top experiments including exercises in tracking (e.g. using WLS fibres), bending of particle beams in magnetic fields, and detection of cosmic ray muons. The materials are also used in the Pathways program and will form part of future Saturday Academy presentations.

The BU members of the CMS collaboration (Sulak and Sullivan) have been involved in related outreach programs, e.g., NSF (KDI) and NASA initiatives. it is anticipated that, as the CMS project takes off in the coming couple of years, there will be a significant educational outreach component.

Florida State University

Members of our group have contributed to many outreach programs, among them the following:
* Young Scholars' Program: Outstanding Florida high school students spend the summer at FSU, for special classes and participation in research program under the guidance of a mentor. Susan Blessing, Harrison Prosper and Horst Wahl have acted as mentors for high school students. Susan Blessing has also given class lectures.
* Saturday Morning Physics: On Saturdays every Fall, a lecture and demonstration program is organized by the Physics Department, which is taylored to high school students. Harrison Prosper has been in charge of this program for three years, and all of us have participated by giving lectures.
* Physics Department Open House: this biennial event provides lectures, demonstrations, planetarium shows and hands-on experiments for local children and their parents. All of us have contributed to this by taking responsibilty for part of the program.
* Regional Science Fairs: We have acted as judges at (and consultants for) science fairs.
* personal contacts with local science teachers: we have given guest lectures in local schools, participated in school projects, or given special planetarium shows for young students.

Langston University

John Coleman has for the past 5 years coordinated a Summer Science Academy at Langston University for high school sophomore, juniors and seniors. The Academy is designed to teach physics, math and science at the college level.

Michigan State University

Our group has had a history of involving teachers and high school students in our research program. Joey Huston has served on the ATLAS outreach committee since its inception; previous to that he initiated an effort to collect information on the outreach activities for the universities and laboratories in the U.S. conducting high energy physics research. The result was a "glossy brochure" and companion web site that serves as a resource for teachers in the U.S.

For the last two years we have been a recipient of an ATLAS outreach award which we have used to hire a Lansing area high school teacher and a high school student. Both were actively involved over the course of the two summers on ATLAS hardware R&D relating to the design and construction of the ATLAS hadron calorimeter (Tilecal). They also participated in the development of several physics demos. The teacher has used these research experiences to convey some of the excitement of high energy physics to his high school physics classes.

Northeastern University

Steve Reucroft has been very active in outreach efforts, including judging the Intel international science fair, writing (with John Swain) a regular popular science column "Science Briefs" for the Boston Globe, and running (with Homer Neal) the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program at CERN.

George Alverson has worked with high school teachers doing research on Fermilab experiment E706 over several summers.

Darien Wood has conducted tours of SLAC and Fermilab for groups of students and of teachers. He is currently working with Carol Doherty of the Northeastern Center for Innovation in Urban Education to identify promising lead teacher.

The State University of New York - Stony Brook

Engelmann: Curriculum development for introductory physics (math-based and non-math-based). Electronic teaching methods with real-time feedback from students. Web-based courses.

Grannis: Presentations to LI Physics teachers, Honors College student groups, and WISE student groups; presentations at the local elementary school.

McCarthy: Organization of the Physics Challenge Exam in collaboration with the Long Island Physics Teachers Association (LIPTA) at two appropriate levels: Regents and AP. The exam is taken by approximately 30 schools in the Long Island, Connecticut , New Jersey area (about 2000 students) per year. Work with teachers in setting up a Learning Center for high school students. Yearly assistance with the Physics Olympiad.

Rijssenbeek: WISE courses (Women in Science and Engineering), undergraduate student research and Summer student research mentor. Junior and Senior advisor.

The University of California at Santa Cruz/Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics

In 1998, the Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP) at UC Santa Cruz started a Summer Research Associate program for local science teachers funded in part by the ATLAS/NSF outreach program and the UC Santa Cruz Campus. We integrated three teachers full-time for eight weeks in the ongoing research project in our laboratories, pairing them up with undergraduates from the REU program and our staff and graduate students. They worked on projects varying from testing of silicon strip detectors to PAW analysis of beam test data to designing a lightning suppression system for Milagro. The teachers handed in a final report describing their research.

The teachers completed each an "Educational Transfer Plan", describing how they will transfer their experience into the classroom. One teacher brought her junior high school class into the laboratory for a full day of lectures and demonstration, another is building up a data base of outreach material for all teachers to use, and the third developed the curriculum for a class on elementary particle physics she is planning to teach this fall to her high school science class.

In addition the teachers spend one afternoon a week with personnel from SCIPP and the Campus to discuss outreach and how to bring science into the classroom. Based on these discussions, the teachers wrote a "white paper" critically evaluating their experience and our program. Their assessment was that bringing teachers into the laboratory to participate in on-going frontline research promises to reach the students in a very effective way through the excitement and increased knowledge of the teacher participants. In essence, the teachers are acting as interpreters, casting our message into the appropriate words familiar to students, and as ambassadors, given that a science teacher typically teaches up to 200 students each year.

The University of Indiana

Dzierba, Gardner, Luehring, Ogren, Van Kooten, and Zieminski have all played very active roles in the twice-a-year Physics Open House that annually reaches approximately 2,000 interested students, parents, and interested members of the community.

Dzierba, Ogren, and Van Kooten have contributed their time for many physics presentations for advertisement and fund-raising for a grass-roots organization in Bloomington, Indiana called Wonderlab which is a "travelling children's science museum" currently in a temporary location, but looking for a permanent home. Ogren and Van Kooten as faculty members of the Indiana University Society of Physics Students have assisted and encouraged the participating students to a write a proposal leading to a successful March White Award to "promote interest in physics among students and the public". The award funding is being used to build a prototype Wonderlab display exhibit that detects and displays the paths of cosmic rays.

Dzierba, Van Kooten, and Ogren have mentored a number local high school students in their research programs in an NSF summer program Exploration of Careers in Science.

Dzierba and Van Kooten have given regular physics demonstration shows to area grade school children.

Dzierba has played a leading role in outreach to area high school teachers, particularly in Green county, in consulting and helping them enhance their physics and science teaching programs through regular visits and communications. He has also been instrumental in implementing an Advanced College Project (ACP) Physics Course at Indiana University.

The University of Iowa/Iowa State University

Our groups have always been interested in education at all levels. N. Akchurin and Y. Onel have volunteered for science units at the elementary schools and gave presentations about particle physics and accelerators to high school students in Iowa City. John Hauptman has given many talks at Ames secondary schools, ranging from mechanics to radioactivity.

The University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame particle physics group has no explicit prior work with high school teachers and students, with the exception of the DPF99 Education and Outreach Session involving ~ 20 high school teachers from the LA area.

However we have run numerous outreach activities (science alive at the South Bend/St Joseph County Public Library 1996-1999) for K-8 students and parents, and several school demonstration visits for elementary/middle school students.

We have over a decade of experience with research experiences for undergraduate students in physics as part of an NSF sponsored REU program, and 25 students have participated in particle physics research as part of this program.

In addition, we have given several public lectures on particle physics to general audiences.

The University of Oklahoma

As would be expected of any University faculty, we have all mentored graduate and undergraduate students. These are not only students who have taken courses from us, but students that have participated in our research program. In addition to mentoring our own undergraduate students, our department has an NSF funded REU (Research for Experience for Undergraduate) program, which we have participated in. In the three years that we have had this program, we have mentored seven students, some who have used their summer projects as their senior research project at their University with continuing help from us. In addition, some of us have been involved in programs that mentored high school students and teachers before joining the University of Oklahoma.

Two of the University of Oklahoma members listed on this proposal to join Quarknet (Wei Chen, and Cahit Erkal), are high school teachers who teach at the Oklahoma School for Science and Math (OSSM). This is a two year science and math high school that accepts only the best Oklahoma high school students. (It is similar to the Illinois school in Aurora). Both of these teachers are adjuncts to our department and have Ph.D. degrees in physics (in fact they both did there thesis in theoretical high energy physics). These two teachers will work with us in helping to recruit high school teachers, and as advisors who have direct experience in the high school classroom. In addition, they have done educational outreach to other high school teachers through OSSM. This experience will also be extremely valuable to the rest of us as mentors.

Comments on outreach experience from the two principles:

Michael Strauss: As a graduate student I did two activities that intersected with high school physics teachers. First, I was a tour guide at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. I conducted academic tours of the accelerator and detectors. These tours included an hour talk explaining the current status of high energy physics at SLAC and elsewhere, and a site wide tour of the facility. We often had local high schools attend these tours.

Second, I taught a series of classes in High Energy Physics and Cosmology at Los Gatos High School. This was a three day mini-series of classes for all physics students. The material was presented at approximately an introductory college level.

Phillip Gutierrez: As a postdoc at the University of Rochester, I spent most of my time at Fermilab working on the E706 experiment. During my time at Fermilab, I was able to work with a couple of high school teachers that were brought that participated in a Fermilab outreach program.

During the last three summers, I have work with three undergraduate students that participate in our REU program. The students have participate in a variety projects, from understanding the characteristics of silicon detectors to alpha particles, to helping with data analysis of DO data. The students have been able to get a fairly rounded experience in the use of computers, and high tech equipment. In addition, I have always felt that simply having the students work on a project is not enough, I try to spend some time explaining how their project fits into the overall goals of the experiment, and how it will allow us to extract new physics.

The remaining members of our group will act as support people during the first year, primarily helping in the recruitment of teachers. During the second and subsequent years, they will participate in providing short term projects and mentoring.

The University of Rochester

Professors McFarland and Bodek have had substantial past involvements in outreach efforts involving secondary teachers.

While a Lederman Fellow at Fermilab, Professor McFarland started and ran (until his departure from Fermilab) the Fermilab Teacher Fellowship. The Fellowship brought high school science and technology teachers to Fermilab for a one year period which was primarily spent doing research on a Fermilab experiment and secondarily doing curricular development related to the teaching of high energy physics in the classroom. During his tenure running the program, teachers from Vermont, Alaska and Pennsylvania worked on the NuTeV, KTeV and CDF experiments and developed both web-based and physical learning materials, including inexpensive muon lifetime and cloud chamber experiments for their classrooms. Professor McFarland also supervised one of the teacher fellows, Len Bugel, who continues to be involved in physics programs at Fermilab, and has worked with other teachers from the TRAC program while on NuTeV.

Professor Bodek has a long history of involvement in enrichment programs for secondary educators. Most recently, he has supervised joint research of a high school teacher and a University of Rochester undergraduate which resulted in a published paper on the energy loss of ultra-high-energy cosmic ray muons (A. Chikkatur et al, Z. Phys C74, 279 (1997)). Professor Bodek has also recently applied for and received an NSF grant to support two high school teachers over the next year. One high school teacher (Len Bugel) will continue working on the NuTeV experiment. A second high school teacher (Barbara Snyder) will be based at Rochester and will work on research in the Physics of Music. In addition, she will work on curriculum development for "The Physics of Music", an undergraduate course for non-scientists that may be adapted for use in high school. Professor Bodek has an extensive involvement in other educational outreach programs at Rochester, including his ongoing work as the PI for the University of Rochester summer REU program.

The University of Texas at Arlington

1) Prof. Andy White
a) Organised many visit of high school students and teachers to UTA Physics (10-30 students/month)
b) Organised (with other faculty) "Physics Day": 160 students and teachers spending a whole day of physics activities at UTA Physics Dept.
c) Co-PI on a $375,000 grant from Tarrant County Workforce Development Board to develop science based career elements of 7-12 grade curricula for use by school teachers. This involves three school districts and 25 teachers, and approx. 700 students initially.
d) Worked closely with the Texas Educational Service Center for Region XI to promote science to 82 school districts. Kevin Fisher is the Science/Math coordinator for ESC XI and will assist us in selecting the teachers for this program.

2) Prof. Ransom Stephens
Organised the "Discovery with ATLAS" Summer program in 1998. This involved 15 high school students being taught the basics of high energy physics for 2 weeks, followed by a similar 1 week course for high school teachers.

3) Prof. Kaushik De
Organised activities for visiting high school students. Participated in exchanges with physics students and teachers from Tarrant County Junior College.

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Last updated: July 3, 2000