2015 Student Summer Research and Teacher Workshop-FNAL/UC Annual Report


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 9th year. The summer research began June 22nd and went until July 31st. The three day teacher workshop spanned from July 29th to July 31st. 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.

QuarkNet Students and Teachers PictureThe summer research was extremely exciting for the students this year. Two of the students worked individually, each with a mentor scientist, while the other six students worked in two groups of three, sharing a mentor scientist.  The students’ experiments ranged greatly. The students conducted research on a number of different areas including Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors, the Pulsar II and VIPRAM chip, Liquid Argon in a Time Detection Chamber, and the piloting of 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 and nature walks. We conducted weekly lunch meetings on Wednesdays to keep up with the logistics and share the progress on the students’ experiments. 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. This year the first two days were filled with a CMS data workshop, conducted by Shane Wood.  The third day included all of the student presentations.  Chris Stoughton, the lead scientist, started each day with an opening discussion.  Rick Cavanaugh conducted the CMS scientist talk, and Tim Meyer, Fermilab COO, came through with a “Chalk-Talk”.  While the first two days focused on the CMS and LHC, the third day included a healthy overview of topics from a wide variety of areas of study.  The eight students gave six presentations, after which the teachers interacted with them and the mentor scientists for their project.  This year, only two brief tours were included, though they were particularly relevant to the presentations.  We visited the CMS Remote Control Room in Wilson Hall, and the temporary pilot arrangement of the QuarkNet Radio Telescopes, located at D0 Outback.  We ended each day with a discussion about bringing what the teachers learned at Fermilab back to their classroom.

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 in the works of planning three different events to encourage and help teachers in areas they requested. We have planned a fall Portfolio Report meeting for the teachers, a winter behind-the-scenes tour of the Adler Planetarium for their families, and a spring one-day CMS Master Class for high school students.

Lead Teachers: Ben Sawyer and George Dzuricsko