2016 Summer Student Annual Report for Fermilab U of C site


Fermilab: University of Chicago

Student Summer Research and Teacher Workshop Annual Report

The Fermilab/University of Chicago QuarkNet Center sponsored its annual student summer research and teacher workshop for its 10th year. The summer research began June 20th and went until July 29th. The three day teacher workshop spanned from July 27th to July 29th. This year’s summer activities included two mentor teachers, eight high school students, (seven juniors and one sophomore), 12 physics teachers, and one lead scientist. Teachers from the workshop primarily were from the suburbs west of Chicago, all having taught physics or will be teaching physics this upcoming year. We had a good spread in gender, age, and years of experience in the classroom.

The summer research was extremely exciting for the students this year. Six of the students worked individually, each with a mentor scientist, while the other two students worked together, sharing a mentor scientist.  The students’ experiments ranged greatly. The students conducted research on a number of different areas including Astrophysics Detectors, Scientific Computing, Dark Matter Axion Detectors, Test Beam Facility, Muon g-2 Experiment, Dark Energy Survey, and the QuarkNet Radio Telescope.  During the week, the students had the opportunity to attend lectures by well-known scientists as well as go on tours of the experiments. We conducted weekly lunch meetings on Mondays to keep up with the logistics and share the progress on the students’ experiments.  Over the course of the summer, in order to more completely document their experience, the students wrote papers.  Finally, for the teacher workshop, each student prepared a presentation to give on their experiment. All of these went well and we are extremely proud of their progress and accomplishments.

The teacher workshop was also a great success.  Teachers immersed themselves for three days at Fermilab with data from a variety of Physics experiments.  During the first half of the workshop they looked at research projects done by our QuarkNet students, worked with scientists from Fermilab and toured Muon/g-2 and D0/Tevatron.  Scientists included Chris Polly, Fermilab and Muon g-2, Amber Stuver, LIGO and gravitational waves, and Brittany Kamai, History of the Universe.  During the second half of the workshop they worked with Marla Glover to review fundamentals of the CMS experiment and study how to teach with research data using the QuarkNet E-labs. Teachers developed a plan for leading students to the next level of data collection, interpretation, and explanation.

The Fermilab/University of Chicago QuarkNet Center continues to provide a top notch research experience and educational workshop. Both teachers and students expressed their satisfaction.  We are also now planning three different events to provide further opportunities for teachers.  We are scheduling an Introduction to Python workshop in the fall, a visit to the Yerkes Observatory in the winter, and in the spring one-day CMS Master Class for high school students.

Lead Teachers: Laura Brenski Thorpe and George Dzuricsko