On Monday and Tuesday of this past week, a pilot LIGO workshop was held at Jordan hall. It was attended by nine area teachers, conducted by Tom Loughran, and Dale Ingram sat in via teleconference.
LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory and consists of seismometers set up over two four-kilometer arms in a remote location in Washington. These seismometers are braced so that they will not pick up seismic activity on the earth, but rather pick up gravitational waves from space. Unfortunately, it is impossible to eliminate all the seismic noise that the earth makes so LIGO is able to detect earthquakes from all over the world.
The data picked up by LIGO is stored in an online program called Bluestone, where it can be accessed by teachers and students to find and identify earthquakes. The LIGO conference was held was aimed at showing teachers how to use the LIGO e-labs in their classrooms.
Tom Loughran discusses with teachers how they can introduce e-labs into their classrooms.
There has been a LIGO workshop on August 10th and 11th for area middle and high school teachers. Dr. Loughran showed everyone how to make a poser on the I2U2 website. Here’s mine-
Here’s what I found on Bluestone-
Today I sat in on a Skype meeting between Dr. Karmgard, Dr. Loughran, Jill Ziegler and Doug Berry. Every week this group meets to discuss the work Doug is doing at CERN and how they can use information from CERN with grade school and high school students.
Doug is currently writing C++ code for the ECAL test beam at CERN. By creating beams with known particles he is able to test how the ECAL reacts to particles. Every week he corresponds with people here at QuarkNet on how this research can be used in schools to as examples of particle physics.
Friday July 24th was the annual QuarkNet Symposium.
The Symposium is held to inform everyone of what each research group has been doing throughout the past few months. In the morning each teacher presented a brief overview of what their group has accomplished and what the future plans for the project are. Some teachers are using what they have done during the summer as material for lessons in the classes they teach. After lunch, the REHS interns set up posters they had made that summarized their work of the summer. This was open to parents so they could see the final work of the summer and even the head of the department of physics attended.
Bob Panoff (right) assists one of the teachers in using the Interactivate tools on Shodor’s website.
The President and Founder of Shodor, Bob Panoff, came to Jordan Hall July 22nd and 23rd to give an Interactivate workshop to area teachers. Shodor is a non-profit organization based out of North Carolina that provides free online science and math tools to teachers. Shodor currently has dozens of high school and college students working to improve their materials. The workshop presented by Bob Panoff aimed to show teachers our area to learn how to use the online tools that Shodor provides and use them in their classrooms.
The tools Shodor provides ranges from learning Algebra to Statistics and over 150 tools are available online. A lesson on how to use each tool is included on the online page, and suggestions on how teachers can utilize each tool as well.
Below: some examples of the online Interactivate tools Shodor Provides
This workshop was made possible by the support of the Notre Dame college of science, which sponsored the workshop. Many QuarkNet summer teachers attended the workshop as part of their summer work.
Just a few things happening at QuarkNet lately- Parent Night- we had an open house for all the parents of the REHS Interns so the parents know what their students have been doing this summer. Everyone had a great time learning and talking about the work done here at QuarkNet.
Finishing Up- The Teachers and Student Interns are finishing up their research for the summer and preparing for the symposium on Friday July 24th where everyone will present their work from this summer.
Upcoming- NCSI workshop July 22nd and 23rd at Jordan Hall sponsored by NDeRC. Also, next week is QuarkNet week where any of the interns from this summer who wish to learn more about the work here have the opportunity to take workshops about particle physics.
Project GRAND (Gamma Ray Astrophysics at Notre Dame) is a field of over 100 meters squared that contains sixty four huts with CRDs (Cosmic Ray Detectors). These huts are constantly gathering information, which is then sent to computers in a trailer in the center of the field. (for an aerial view click here)
Christian and C.J. are the RHES interns at project GRAND this summer. Their jobs at project GRAND can vary from day-to-day, from analyzing data to cutting grass to confronting wasp’s nests in huts. They monitor and preform maintenance on the CRDs such as checking and fixing gas leaks in addition to monitoring the circuit boards.
Above: The REHS interns Christian (back) and C.J. (front) gather what they need to fix a gas leak that is affecting a quarter of the huts at project GRAND.