The 2018 IceCube Masterclass: engaging students around the world with IceCube scientists

The fifth edition of the IceCube Masterclass hosted over 300 students at 17 institutions in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. High school students, mostly in their last two years before college, continue to find value in this program because of the hands-on activities and the connections they make with the scientists. The masterclasses were held on March 7, 8, 10 and 14.

Over the last few years, more than 1000 students and teachers have engaged in a full day of activities centered around IceCube science. This year, Michigan State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and the University of Geneva joined the masterclass program for the first time. At the University of Mainz, one of the students traveled approximately 300 miles to get to the masterclass.

The IceCube Masterclass was created in May 2014 to promote research careers in astrophysics, and more broadly in science, among high school students. Researchers at participating institutions guide the students in replicating an actual IceCube analysis.  They can choose from two activities developed for two different analyses: the discovery of very high energy astrophysical neutrinos or a measurement of the cosmic-ray energy spectrum. Both activities help students learn about IceCube and also about the scientific process underlying experimental investigations in particle astrophysics.

As in previous years, students from all of the countries mentioned that one of their favorite things about this program was the opportunity to meet and talk to scientists. Many of the students also commented that they loved learning new concepts and ideas about physics. We’re excited that another successful IceCube masterclass is now on the books. Check out the video with photos from some institutions that participated in the 2018 masterclass.