2014 Annual Report - FSU and Workshop Agenda

The Florida State University High Energy Physics group continues to sponsor our local QuarkNet efforts as it has since joining as an inaugural member of QuarkNet fifteen years ago.  During the past five years the FSU QuarkNet center has interacted with physics-related research institutions in our community.  This past year has seen support from researchers directly affiliated with Florida State University.  This year’s guest speakers and laboratory visits involved the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the radiation and oncology treatment facility of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, and four faculty member s from FSU Physics.  The major thrust of this year’s efforts was a five-day workshop  held on the campus of Florida State University, coordinated by FSU Professor Horst Wahl and lead teachers Adam Lamee and Brian McClain.  The workshop successfully included eleven male and five female teachers from ten different schools.  In addition, several past teacher members were able to participate on a limited basis.

A portion of the FSU QuarkNet professional learning community discussed the QuarkNet Data Camp investigation of w+ : w- ratio and mass of z using data sets of events.  This two-day Data Camp included a visit from QuarkNet Staff Member Tom Jordan.

This physical science professional learning community continues to focus on the main concepts of advances in particle physics and mass/energy transformations.  The workshop agenda included conversations and activities in particle physics with special emphasis on activities that utilize data collection and analysis.  Six of the members in the learning community have been to CERN and  informally shared their experiences.  Activities dealt with:  lab activities investigating rotational kinematics using an argument-driven inquiry approach, explicit tour of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and continued discussions of the Higgs boson discovery, properties, and importance.  Our post-workshop surveys still continue to indicate the top two desires of the group for future sessions are:  more on the basics of the Standard Model and for experience using web-based resources for students.  The FSU QuarkNet group has additional members who were unable to attend this workshop but who do plan to continue their participation as their schedules and school calendars allow.

The guest presentations by Dr. Jorge Piekarewicz on related topics in astrophysics; Dr. Jim Brooks, Chairman of the FSU Physics Department, discussion of interdisciplinary aspects of current physics research; and the expanded discussion of the Higgs boson by Drs. Andrew Asker and Laura Reina were informative and provocative.

Our plans for the 2014-2015 include bimonthly afternoon meetings during the school year and involving new and returning members of the physical science and education communities with the first meeting coordinated by teacher Adam Lamee scheduled for October.