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Is PARTICLE right for you?
Why get involved?
Just for physics?
Takes a lot of time?
Not very technical?
What is the summer institute?
How will students benefit?
Quotes from participating teachers

Is PARTICLE right for you?

Why should I get involved with PARTICLE?

PARTICLE is an easy way to introduce your students to topics in modern physics and have them experience real experimental research. Students are excited to learn about what is on the cutting edge of physics and enjoying contributing to original cosmic ray research.

Is PARTICLE just for physics classes?

PARTICLE is most often used in physics and earth science classes, but could also be implemented into chemistry, biology, or any high school science class. This basic experimental research can be done at any grade level. More advanced students may choose to do more statistical analysis, but the basic analysis only requires an understanding of algebra and graphing.

Doesn’t it take a lot of time?

Nope! The first step is to participate in the three week Summer Institute. After that, it’s up to you. PARTICLE does not have to take over your class! The way the program is implemented varies from teacher to teacher and school to school. At some schools, the research projects are a class requirement and at some they are an extra-credit activity. Some teachers do research projects after the AP exams are over. If you don't have an entire class period to devote, you can do a ten minute demonstration. Many teacher have the telescopes set up in the back of the room collecting data while teaching other lessons. In this way, it doesn't take time away from class, but you can still collect data to analyze.

What if I’m not very technical?

We are here to help you! You will learn how to set up and use the muon telescopes during the Summer Institute and after that we are available for technical support in your school. Each year, there is a graduate student who is devoted to helping your projects succeed by visiting your classroom and helping out in anyway possible. He or she will bring demonstrations, give a talk, or help with technical problems. To see what other teachers have done, look at their websites.

What will the Rochester PARTICLE Summer Institute include?

  • Construction of a muon detector and cosmic ray telescope
    • The development of labs using the muon detectors for classroom use with students.
  • Exploration of physical and web-based demonstrations of modern physics phenomena
  • Lectures from University Physicists
  • Tours at the University of Rochester (including the Laser Energetics Lab) and Cornell University (accelerator)
  • A stipend of $300 per week.
  • Up to three graduate credit-hours in physics and a special rate of $100 per hour

How will your students benefit?

  • Classroom use of comic ray telescopes
  • Rochester PARTICLE web-site for sharing cosmic ray data and laboratories
  • Classroom use of curricular materials developed by QuarkNet program
  • Student conference (PARTICLE day) at University of Rochester to present results of classroom cosmic ray experiments

Quotes from participating teachers

"To me, it's the same as a spring scale. It's just another apparatus. ... It's just so easy to use. I think teachers need to push a little bit to get through that initial phobia and apply a little imagination."

"I think its one of the most enjoyable things [the students] do all year. I don't know if it puts them on the trail to become a future physicist, but I think it makes them see that doing research, doing science, is something that they are very capable of doing."

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, PO Box 270171, Rochester, NY 14627-0170, (585)-275-5306