2014 Annual Report - Wayne State University
Wayne State University, 9th year in QuarkNet
Mentors: Profs. Robert Harr and Gil Paz
In 2014, the WSU QuarkNet center ran a summer research program, a teacher workshop, and began to build a relationship with the Detroit Metro Area Physics
The High School Student Summer Research Program ran over 6 weeks from June 23 to August 1, 2014. The program was organized as 3 sessions, each lasting for 2 weeks and with 4 students. This enables us to select 12 students from a wide range of backgrounds for the program. We had about 50 applicants for these 12 positions. The sessions were organized around projects with the cosmic ray detectors. About half the day was spent working with the CRDs and the other half of the day was spent learning the basics of particle physics, how to perform an analysis, and how to work with e-lab. Presentations by a number of Wayne State faculty introduced the students to research in general, and particle physics in particular.
At the end of the first week, the students presented a research proposal before the lead teacher, mentors, and other interested faculty. The teacher and faculty would probe the students’ plan, aiming to help them focus their work and improve their plans. The students had interesting ideas and the faculty enjoyed working with them on their ideas.
At the end of each 2-week session, the students gave a presentation of what they had learned and the results of their experiment. The lead teacher, mentors, and other faculty provided feedback on the presentation and the experimental results. The student presentations and other material from the sessions are on the e-lab under lead teacher Scott Brunner’s name.
On November 16, 2013, we made a presentation at the Detroit Metro Science Teacher’s Association meeting held at Woodhaven High School in Woodhaven, MI. We had a one hour session where we presented some background on particle physics, histogramming, and the cosmic ray detector. The session had about 20 attendees.
On February 15, 2014, we organized a teacher professional development session that introduced Detroit area high school teachers to the CMS e-lab. This event was originally planned for February 1, but winter weather lead us to cancel and reschedule. The workshop ran from 9am to 1pm and went well, though attendance was 5 teachers --- 9 were registered to attend. We got excellent feedback from the teachers, with suggestions of how to improve the session.
Harr and Paz have also been regular attendees at Detroit Metro Area Physics Teachers (DMAPT) meetings.