Rice University/University of Houston
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified)
on Monday, September 16, 2013 - 15:46
Welcome to the QuarkNet at Rice University and the University of Houston center. We meet serve teachers in the surrounding area.
We had two Saturday physics events during the fall of 2015. One was on
September 19 and was titled "The Physics of Sound and Music", and the second was on
October 17 and was on the topic of high temperature superconductors. The talk about
sound and music was especially popular, with approximately 180 students in
At the end of the fall semester, University of Houston outreach coordinator
Robert Dubois retired and moved to New Mexico. We were unable to regroup in time to
organize more Saturday Physics events during the spring of 2016, but hope to host
two or three events during the fall of 2016.
We held a CMS master class at Carnegie Vanguard school in March of 2016. We had
about 25 students participating in the all-day event. Professors Frank Geurts and
Marj Corcoran gave a lecture about the standard model and helped the students work
with the CMS data.
A one-week workshop was held on the Rice campus from June 6-10,
2016. We had 17 teachers in attendance each day. This year we received special
permission from Quarknet to host more than 15 teachers due to the
number of inquiries we had this year (thanks very much!). Quarknet Fellow Marla
Glover showed the teachers the CMS Master Class on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had a
series of very interesting and well-received talks over the course of the week.
Professor Mustafa Amin, a cosmologist at Rice, gave a talk about dark matter.
Professor Larry Pinsky from the University of Houston talked about the CERN@school
program in the UK, and ideas about extending the program to the US. We had two talks
about medical physics--one from a former Rice Ph. D. student, focussing on proton
therapy for cancer. The second talk dealt with various types of medical imaging.
We also spent three afternoons working with cosmic ray detectors. One of our
new teachers, Thomas Etienne, has taken over the detector from Dobie High School
(formerly Jeanne Parlangeli's detector). The Dobie HS detector had problems which we
were able to trace to the DAQ card. Later in the summer Marj Corcoran was at
Fermilab and was able to exchange the broken DAQ card for a working one.
One of our teachers, Robert Schenke of Carnegie Vanguard HS, is retiring this year,
and returned his detector to Rice.
One of our Quarknet teachers, Mary Yarbray, attended the Data Camp at Fermilab in July.
Another of our teachers, Jason Williamson, was selected to attend the Summer Academy
in Greece. Marj saw Mary at Fermilab in July, were she was very much enjoying the
program. Jason has promised to tell the rest of the group all about the trip to
Greece at our workshop next June.
Participating teachers will:
- Apply classical physics principles to reduce or explain the observations in data investigations.
- Identify and describe ways that data are organized for determining any patterns that may exist in the data.
- Create, organize and interpret data plots; make claims based on evidence and provide explanations; identify data limitations.
- Develop a plan for taking students from their current level of data use to subsequent levels using activities and/or ideas from the workshop.
We will also provide opportunities to engage in critical dialogue among teaching colleagues about what they learn in the workshop.
June 7--Day 1
09:00 Coffee, Registration
09:30 CMS Update
10:00 Level 1 Data Portfolio Activities
10:45 Level 1 Data Portfolio Activities
11:30 Q&A Reflection/Implementation
13:00 Level 2 Data Portfolio Activity:
13:45 Level 1 Data Portfolio Activity
14:30 Reflections and Discussion
15:00 End of Day
June 8--Day 2
09:00 Coffee/Recap of Yesterday/Plan for Today
09:30 Larry Pinsky--CERN@school program in UK
11:00 Level 2 Data Portfolio Activitiy
CMS Masterclass Measurement Introduction
11:45 Q &A
13:00 CMS measurement
14:00 Reflection and Discussion
14:30 Implementation Plans/How to Use
14:45 Reports and Discussion
During the academic year 2014-2015 our QuarkNet center sponsored six “Saturday Physics” events. On September 27, 2014, Professor George Reiter of UH presented “Lunar Solar Power” to an audience of about 100 high school students and teachers on the UH campus. On October 15, 2014, Professor Frank Toffoletto of Rice U presented “The Physics of Sound and Music” on the UH campus. On November 15, 2014, Professor Gemunu Gunaratne of UH presented “Asking the Right Questions: Random and Chaotic Motions, Patterns, and Networks” on the UH campus. On February 7, 2015 Professor Lawrence Pinsky of UH presented “Particle Physics and the Standard Model” on the UH campus. On March 7, 2015, Professor Mini Das of UH presented “Frontiers in X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging” on the UH campus. On April 18, 2015, Professor Pat Reiff of Rice U presented “Magnetism, the Aurora and MMS” on the UH campus.
Our site provided Summer Research Fellowships to eight students: Asta Wu and Brian-Tinh Vu from Dulles High School; Justin Castillo from St. Thomas High School; Nicholas Tong from Elkins High School; Mojdeh Yadollahikhales from Bellaire High School; Nishaa Iqbal from DeBakey High School for Health Professions; Hope Willenborg and Joseph Palakapilly from Clements High School; and fellowships to two teachers: Alain Harvey from Jersey Village High School, and Sanjay Gupta from The Summit High School. We received about 40 applications for the 8 student positions and 2 applications for the teacher positions. The student fellowships lasted six weeks and the teacher fellowships lasted eight weeks starting June 15. The fellows were also treated to four luncheon seminars by professors, Kouri, Chu, Pinsky, and Meen.
A one-week workshop was held on the Rice campus from June 22-26, 2015. We had 13 teachers in attendance each day. Robert Baker from Quarknet visited us the first two days of the workshop. Each morning we had talks on topics of interest. Marj Corcoran talked about outstanding problems in particle physics and the Mu2e Experiment. Jason Hafner, a physics professor at Rice, talked about his research in biophysics. Jason also talked about his experience with videotaping his introductory physics lectures and offering an online course to the general public (very successful!). Stephan Bradshaw, also a physics professor at Rice, talked about his research in solar physics. Lisa Whitehead from the University of Houston talked about her work in neutrino physics. One of the teachers, Karen Hampton, gathered the slides from all the talks and set up a Google Drive web site so that the talks would be available to everyone.
During the afternoon we worked on the cosmic ray detectors. We had a total of six detectors, including two that had been returned to QuarkNet because they were not being used. All six detectors were up and running by the end of the workshop. On the last day two of the detectors took data in shower mode simultaneously. We intend to look for coincidences in this data between the two detectors, which were on opposite sides of the room.
Maikel Garcia's detector was returned to Rice in the spring of 2015, since he had left teaching. Robert Sullivan, one of the QuarkNet regulars, worked with Maikel's detector, which was working very well by the end of the workshop. He took this detector to use in his school. The second detector which had been returned to Rice was taken back to Fermilab by Marj Corcoran in July.
Two of the teachers who are regular workshop attendees (Julia Bell and Linda Bazard) attended the Data Camp at Fermilab in July.
Submitted by Marj Corcoran and Robert Dubois