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Educational Programs

Brookhaven's Office of Educational Programs (OEP) works with various institutions to bring the science of the LHC into the classroom.

  1. Particle Physics Masterclass

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Students from six local high schools -- Farmingdale, Sachem East, Shoreham, Smithtown East, Ward Melville, and William Floyd -- came to Brookhaven National Laboratory to experience research with particle physicist Helio Takai. They were among more than 6,000 high school students from around the world who participated in the annual international Hands-on Particle Physics Masterclasses. In this program, now involving 23 countries, particle physicist mentors show the students how to use data gathered by the large particle collider experiments at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, to unravel hidden secrets of high energy physics.   More Information

One of the largest of these efforts, supported by the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration between Brookhaven and New York University to develop in-class laboratories and computer methods that illustrate physics concepts relevant to the LHC's ATLAS experiment. Through this partnership, researchers and educators: create a "Modern Physics" curriculum for high school students in Brookhaven's Community Summer Science Program, a five-week program meant to assist students with their science-based career plans; promote remote access collaboration between Brookhaven, CERN, and U.S. and international secondary schools through the use of a web conferencing system; and leverage existing educational programs with ATLAS research initiatives. Future plans include enrolling students from NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in Brookhaven's Pre-Service Teacher program. While at Brookhaven, the pre-service teachers will work on a scientific project with a mentor from the Laboratory's ATLAS group and couple with a master teacher to disseminate the ATLAS curriculum in New York City schools.

Brookhaven also plays a role in QuarkNet, a particle physics education and outreach program that creates communities of scientists and teachers with the goal of improving physical science education in the classroom. With assistance from OEP and New York University, members of the Brookhaven QuarkNet group participate in a variety of activities, including: attending CERN and Fermilab workshops to learn about the LHC and detector machinery first hand; participating in international, hands-on Masterclasses, where students from local high schools discuss particle physics with their European counterparts via video conferencing; and building, monitoring, and analyzing data for the Mixed Apparatus for Radar Investigation of Atmospheric Cosmic-Rays of High Ionization (MARIACHI) project, which detects ultra high-energy cosmic rays in the atmosphere.