QuarkNet program receives $6.1 million NSF award to advance science education:
QuarkNet is a professional teacher development program funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy (also see QuarkNet's new web home under construction).
Its goal is to involve high-school teachers and their students in state-of-the-art research that seeks to resolve some of the mysteries about the structure of matter and the fundamental forces of nature.
The program brings together high school physics teachers and their students to
centers at nearby universities or national laboratories.
Each center acts as a mentoring "hub" for science teachers from several high schools in the surrounding region.
Participating teachers work on particle physics experiments during a summer and join a cadre of scientists and instructors working to introduce some aspects of their research into their classrooms.
Together with a few of their students they attend annual 2-week summer workshops at the center they are affiliated to.
Involving the students at the summer workshops and masterclasses allows tomorrow's particle physicists to peek over the shoulder of today's experimenters and gain first-hand experience in cutting-edge research in high-energy particle physics.
It is envisaged to be a long-term program with each teacher staying involved for several years.
Teachers receive a stipend for workshop attendance, equipment, training, and assistance to set up cosmic-ray detection apparatus at their schools.
They share their data and results with fellow QuarkNet participants.
Each school is given a cosmic ray detector (CRD) kit, which can be used for a number of interesting experiments.
Students and teachers also have the opportunity to interact with scientists at the corresponding center and QuarkNet staff throughout the academic year for a variety of cool classroom projects.
Results can be shared with other schools across the country, for example, the cosmic ray e-lab, and some experiments can be carried out in collaboration with other schools.
Masterclasses are held periodically to bring together multiple centers for brush-ups and updates on latest developments.
For more information, visit
Since 2008, Northern Illinois University has been one of more than 50 QuarkNet centers
scattered all over the US. Together, they involve some 60,000 students from 500+
high schools in 24 states each year.
At this web site you will find infomation about activities and opportunities
We are looking to forge partnerships with more schools in this exciting program.
For further information, questions, or comments, contact
Prof. Dhiman Chakraborty
Department of Physics
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
e-mail: dhiman_AT_nicadd.niu.edu (replace "_AT_" by "@").
Last updated: 2011-03-14