Annual Report on QuarkNet activities at the NIU center, 2014
The QuarkNet center at NIU is happy to report another year full of engaged learning activities with participation of students and teachers from several area High Schools. The center’s mentors Profs. Dhiman Chakraborty and Michael Eads were assisted by graduate students Blake Burghgrave and Puja Saha in conducting the annual spring masterclass and summer institute. Detailed programs of these can be found on http://nicadd.niu.edu/quarknet/events.php. In addition, each of two HS students gained 6-week summer internship experience under the supervision of Prof. Eads.
The Masterclass, which took place on March 14, was attended by 17 students, including an exchange student from Germany, and three teachers from participating high schools: Metea Valley High School (Aurora, IL), Neuqua Velley High School (Naperville, IL), and Sterling High School (sterling, IL). It was a highly successful event, with all HS students successfully analyzing ATLAS data with tools and instructions provided, and discussing their findings with Fermilab scientists and participants at two other centers by video conferencing at the end of the day. A university media article covering the event is available at http://www.niutoday.info/2014/03/14/a-super-collider-lesson/
The summer institute, which spanned the entire week of July 07, was attended by 12 students and three teachers from the same schools. The program included introductory talks by NIU physicists as well as a guest speaker, Prof. Ashutosh Kotwal, from Duke U./Fermilab, experimentation with Cosmic Ray detectors, and an extensive tour of Fermilab. The students split in three groups, each of which performed their own experiment. In the morning of the last day, they presented the results as a talk accompanied by a written report. These can be found under the agenda on the program page above. The program concluded with a half-day tour of Fermilab, which included guided tours of the 15th Muon g-2 building, the underground neutrino areas, the Liquid Argon Test Facility, the DZero detector, and the Tevatron tunnel. Enthusiastic positive feedback was received from several of the participants. floor of the Wilson Hall, the new Muon g-2 building, the underground neutrino areas, the Liquid Argon Test Facility, the DZero detector, and the Tevatron tunnel. Enthusiastic positive feedback was received from several of the participants.
Two of the HS students were selected by their respective schools (MVHS and NVHS) for the 6-week summer internship program, which followed the institute. Abstracts of their work have been submitted separately by their supervisor, Prof. Eads.
In addition to the above, like previous years, the NIU QuarkNet center put up a booth at the annual NIU STEM Fest in October 2013, and will do the same at the next one coming up in one month: http://stemfest.niu.edu/stemfest/
. The day-long event open to public is visited by thousands each year. The QuarkNet booth featuring the CR detector, samples of various detector elements, posters about High-Energy Physics, and manned by mentors, teachers, as well as students from the QN center at NIU has enjoyed good popularity each of the past three years since the festival’s inception.
The NIU QN team is happy to welcome Prof. Jahred Adelman, who has joined the university in Fall 2014, as a new mentor. Given the necessary funding support, this expansion of the team can be expected to translate into a substantial growth in the center’s reach and range of activities.