2014 Annual Report - FIU

                            Quarknet Annual Report -  September 2014

                                       Florida International University Center – Miami, Fl

Quarknet Center:   F.I.U. -  Center since 2004

Faculty and Staff involvement: 

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez -  Mentor Scientist – PI

David Jones -  Coordinator

Lead Teachers affiliated with FIU Center (either attending QN week at Fermi lab or the new “Boot camp”.

• David Jones – 2004 (moved on to college teaching)

• JC Catala, Miami Lakes Educational Center, Miami Fl – 2008 (moved on to college teaching in 2010)

• Russell Harcha –Miami Killian Senior HS, Miami Fl – 2009

• Jorge Barroso -  Miami Coral Reef Sr. HS,  Miami Fl -- 2011

• Andres Torres -  Ronald Reagan Sr. HS (attended both QN and Boot camp)

•  Miranda Chin – Miami Sunset Sr. HS (attended Boot camp 14)


Workshop -  Summer 2014,  July – 5 day workshop August 4 - 8, 2014


•  Andres Torres – workshop leader, Reagan HS

•  Russell Harcha – Miami Killian

• Miranda Chin-Hernandez – Miami Sunset Sr. HS

•  Andres Guaty – Felix Varela Sr. HS


  5 @ $100 per day

Total = $1600

 Academic Year 13/14 FIU Center Activity

Classroom Detectors:

•  Killian Detector:

         Another detector was placed at Miami Killian HS with our other Lead Teacher Russell Harcha.  Russell enjoys particle physics and the chance to work with the detector.  Russell seemed to make a little headway with using the detector and a small little “physics club” that worked with him after school.

This group made progress this past year.  A couple of dedicated students and Russ got the detector completely calibrated and working well.  The group participated in the National Muon Day event and had some success with some flux data during this period.

         Russell intends on building more success with the detector this year and has already used the detector during the 9/25 event from Fermi lab.

Felix Varela -    Andres Guaty  has had limited work with the detector in the past.  He seems committed and seems to have renewed interest after this summer’s workshop.

Sunset Sr. HS -   Miranda had the detector at her school, but found it difficult to incorporate the detector use into her very busy schedule.  She attended the Boot Camp this summer and seems to have interest in maybe implementing some ideas in her classroom.

• Ronald Reagan Sr. HS -  Andres Torres

         Andres had some success this past school year.  A group of students working with the detector used their work in the ISSEF competition.  They earned a place in the national standings.  Picture below of students and Andres.

This is a news blurb about the students from Reagan HS:

60th Annual South Florida Regional

Science and Engineering Fair Results:

   1. - Rebecca Zappala                      (9th grade)            Honorable Mention            Engineering Honor Society      Environmental management

   2. - Nicole Manfrini                         (12th grade)              Superior                        Engineering Honor Society      Environmental/Mechanical Engineering

   3. - Natalia Padillo-Anthemides        (10th Grade0          First Place                        Engineering Honor society      Environmental Management

   4.-  Physics students and Engineering Honor Society members Ana Olano and Yonah Elorza have been selected to participate in The International Science and Engineering Fair as one of the 6 projects representing South Florida in Los Angeles between May 11, 2014 and May 16, 2014. Their work was in particle physics and was conducted in our physics lab. We would like to express our gratitude to David Jones, FIU CHEPREO Education and Outreach Coordinator, for his support with the equipment provided by QuarkNet program -2003, along with Fermilab. The project was entitled “Muon Flux through Various Substances and Conditions” and deal with the deflection of muons resulting from decaying cosmic rays using electrical and magnetic fields as well as free-flowing ions in electrolytic cells

2013-14  -  Detectors in Schools  (and 14-15)

The current year will have detectors at

i)  Miami Killian   -   Russell Harcha

ii)  R Reagan Sr. HS -  Andres Torres

iii)  Felix Varela Sr. HS -  Andres Guaty  -

iv)  Miami Sunset Sr. -  Miranda Chin

 Summer  2014 Workshop –

 The workshop was a 5 day workshop.  Jorge Rodriguez interacted with the four QN teachers.  They worked on the following activities during the week:

  • Using R. Harcha’s detector – disassembled the detector completely and rebuilt from scratch to learn all of the working parts of the detector
  • Learn the Z-term/working with electronics
  • Plateauing the working detector
  • Working out kinks/bugs with Z-term, uploading, and interacting with the Cosmic Ray E-lab interface
  • Working with Jorge Rodriguez on Particle physics ideas.
  • Andres Torres presented to the group his work from the Boot Camp.
  • Andres Torres presented to the group the work that his students did to earn a place in the International Science Competition.

The four teachers had a great week and really enjoyed the interaction with PI/Particle Physicist Jorge Rodriguez.  I think the connections made during the week will help out with troubleshooting during the year.

Future Events:

After a few years working with the HS teacher, Jorge Rodriguez is seeing how to best interact with the teacher/High schools.  Rodriguez is still working on getting the CRIL detector up and going… and this means a more interesting and visual demonstration for HS visits.