Physics Assistant Professor mentors three high school teachers now bound for summer studyUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
College of Natural Sciences
Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Hawaiʻi QuarkNet mentor Veronica Bindi, an assistant professor in Physics at UH Mānoa, has mentored three local high school teachers selected by the national QuarkNet Project, an education and outreach program that partners high school physics teachers with particle physicists. As a result this summer, Kaiser High teacher will participate at the Fermilab Data Camp in Illinois, and two Kamehameha School teachers will take part in the CERN ISE workshop in Greece.
"I am proud that three of our high school teachers have been selected by QuarkNet," said Bindi. "They will represent Hawaiʻi doing research in some of the most important laboratories in the world for particle physics, such as Fermilab. These experiences are very important for their professional development and growth, and their students and colleages will benefit and be inspired."
Duc Ong, a physics teacher at Kaiser High, is among the 24 teachers selected to attend Data Camp in Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. Data Camp is designed to be an introductory workshop for both new and veteran teachers of physics and physical science to learn about particle physics and high energy physics. Different from a traditional teacher workshop, the data camp emphasizes an authentic data analysis experience. The teachers will receive a real dataset from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment operating at CERN in Switzerland. They will work in small groups to analyze the dataset and visually interpret event display plots similar to those used by particle physicists at CERN. For more details on the workshop, see https://quarknet.i2u2.org/page/data-camp-2016.
Said Ong, “I have already done a couple of projects involving Cosmic Ray e-Lab and QuarkNet and would like to learn more, so I can incorporate this better in my curriculum. As a part of the IB philosophy of international-mindedness, I find that a collaboration of physicists from all over the world is an excellent way for my students to see this in action. Also, my MS thesis was on data from BES with Dr. Fred Harris at UH Mānoa about nine years ago, so I have some background in particle physics.”
Warren Huelsnitz and Peter Grach, high school physics teachers at Kamehameha Schools, are part of the QuarkNet Program's 20 physics teachers selected from across the U.S. They will join 30 European counterparts in July to attend the Inspiring Science Education (ISE) Summer Academy in Marathon, Greece, a six-day training and networking program aimed at boosting inquiry-based learning in high school classrooms (http://ise.ea.gr/). Participants will work with digital resources from European science and teaching organizations, including lesson repositories, remote-operated telescopes and a computer simulation program called augmented reality. The National Science Foundation funded the trip through QuarkNet.
Grach's interest goes beyond just what happens in his classroom. As a QuarkNet mentor teacher, a College Board AP physics consultant, HI DoE mentor teacher, and student teacher mentor, he has been always interested in tools to help local physics teachers become more engaging and, ultimately, more effective.
Huelsnitz began a life in physics after retiring from the Navy in 2006. He earned his PhD in high energy physics at the University of Maryland, while a member of the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory Collaboration. That was followed up by a couple of years at Fermilab working on the MiniBooNE neutrino oscillation experiment. After conducting research in neutrino physics and neutrino astrophysics for several years, he turned to teaching physics to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
For more information, visit: https://www.phys.hawaii.edu/