Outreach & Pipeline Development

Education in sciences of interest for stewardship science begins before graduate school. Research shows under-representation of females and minorities starting at or before high school math and science classes. CENTAUR members and institutions sponsor outreach activities to attract young students to sciences of interest before this sorting occurs. These outreach activities help encourage high school students to consider careers related to nuclear physics, including those in stewardship science. 

At Florida State University, the John D. Fox Superconducting Linear Accelerator Laboratory hosts outreach events including Saturday Morning Physics for high school students and a week-long summer camp for rising ninth graders.

Florida State University Assistant Professor, nuclear physicist and CENTAUR scientist Sergio Almaraz-Calderon provides a tour of the John D. Fox Superconducting Acceleratory Laboratory for camp students.

 

The inaugural Nuclear Medicine and Science Camp was hosted on FSU’s campus in Panama City, Florida on July 23 – 27, 2018. The four day camp focused efforts on rising ninth graders in the Bay County School District to engage students in STEM classes. Two physics teachers from the school district’s lowest income high school, Rutherford High School and a Rutherford IB graduate starting as a physics major at FSU ran the camp, with support from CENTAUR faculty at FSU.

 

Camp students present the results of their measurements of how radiation intensity varies with distance from a source at the Nuclear Medicine and Science Camp, held July 23-27, 2018.

Two camp students measure the reduction of radiation intensity with distance from a source at the Nuclear Medicine and Science Camp, held July 23-27, 2018.

 

Improving student preparation for STEM field college majors, the 28,000 student school district anticipates approximately 500 students taking high school physics this fall. At FSU’s Panama City campus, Bay County high school students will have access to radiation monitors, sources and gamma-ray spectroscopy equipment used during the camp through the “STEM Closet” program, to enhance classroom learning during the school year. 

 

Camp students examine shellfish taken from the the bay shoreline at FSU’s Panama City campus for radioactivity.

Two students prepare to learn gamma-ray spectroscopy techniques on the third day of the Nuclear Medicine and Science Camp. Camp instructor Alexis Dutton – located between the students – assists. FSU science teaching student Sara Huerta looks on.

 

Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M University provides facility tours for students from high school to graduate school, with 640 people visiting the building in 2018.

The K500 Cyclotron at the Cyclotron Institute of Texas A&M University is capable of supplying a variety of ion beams to experiments.

A Department of Energy University Facility, the Texas A&M University Cyclotron Institute is a major technical and educational resource for the state and the nation.

 

The students in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Texas A&M do research with faculty for the summer. Part of this program includes Street Physics each summer, engaging community members of all ages at First Friday in downtown Bryan, Texas.

 

Undergraduate researcher Ian Jeanis describes anoptical illusion to an interested young scientist as part of the “Street Physics” outreach event in July 2018.

Undergraduate student Esha Rao creates liquid nitrogen ice cream for community members as part of the “Street Physics” outreach event in July 2018.

 

Texas A&M also hosts Saturday Morning Physics community lectures.