2015 Annual Report - University of Minnesota

QuarkNet activity at the University of Minnesota's QuarkNet Center in 2015 included participation in the International Masterclass, and a summer workshop for teachers centered around both LHC/CMS data and cosmic ray muon detector data analyses.  

A total of 18 students and 3 local teachers participated in the Masterclass on March 28th, 2015. The students analyzed data from the CMS detector (WZH), heard talks from Minnesota HEP researcher Dr. Satish Desai and HEP graduate students, and toured the Univesity's Nano Fabrication Center. After analyzing the CMS data, students discussed results locally with Dr. Desai and Dr. Cronin-Hennessy. Throughout the day, several HEP graduate students helped out as well, sharing demos (cloud chambers, etc.) answering student questions, and sharing "life as a grad student" experiences at lunch with the high school students.  

The 3-day summer workshop for teachers was divided into two parts. First was a 1-day workshop in June at the University of Minnesota during which teachers heard two talks (one on consmology (Marco Peloso) and one on dark matter (Mark Pepin)), worked through an activity from the Data Portfolio, and perfromed a data analysis on CMS data (J/Psi).  In August, teachers met again - this time for 2 days at nearby Irondale High School - in order to work through plateuing cosmic ray muon detectors, then uploading and analyzing data from the detectors. Teachers will meet for an additoinal day in December into order to follow up on cosmic ray detector questions and to share ideas regarding implementation.    

As of 2015, there are 12 active Minnesota QuarkNet teachers; eight of whom have cosmic ray muon detectors.  Professor Dan Cronin-Hennessy continues to serve as the group's mentor, planning the workshop days with the assistance of lead teacher Jon Anderson and QN staff Shane Wood.  Minnesota HEP administrator Andrea Stronghart organizes logistics for the group, including rooms, lunches and paperwork.

Images below: (1) Masterclass students on tour (2) QuarkNet teachers discussing the use of cosmic ray muon detectors (3) One teacher group's CRMD set-up varying the angle of the counters.