Education

WIPAC is working with students and teachers to develop resources for using the app in formal and informal educational environments. DECO is a unique app for learning about cosmic rays, physics, and astronomy, but it also serves as a means to:

  • develop research experiences through hands-on and inquiry-based learning
  • develop a collaborative mindset and a goal-oriented approach to learning
  • incorporate critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills
  • learn how to use technology to address a problem

If you are a teacher interested in collaborating with us or using the app in the classroom, please write to deco@wipac.wisc.edu.

 

Learn to classify DECO events


A straight "track" shape indicates a muon produced by a cosmic ray


A "worm" shape indicates an electron produced by a radioactive decay that either produced an electron directly or produced a gamma ray that then knocked loose an electon


A "spot" shape indicates an electron or gamma ray


"Multi-hit" patterns such as this are intriguing, with several possible origins



The DECO project aims to detect cosmic-ray induced particles, such as muons, but the recorded events also include electron or gamma-ray interactions. 
The pattern of the recorded signal helps us learn more about which particle hit the phone camera. Do you want to practice your skills? Let’s see how many events you can classify correctly with the DECO quiz

 


DECO interns from the summer of 2015 examine the properties of particles detected by the DECO app. Photo: Jamie Yang, WIPAC

 

Opportunities for high school teachers and students

2016 summer internships for high school teachers and students will open soon

During the summer of 2015, four high school students worked with us to develop new classification algorithms for DECO events and to develop the iOS app for DECO.

DECO also hosts a group of students for WIPAC’s high school internship program, which runs weekly in the afternoon during fall and spring.  Applications open in early fall.