Explore astrophysics and the universe in Spanish, have an authentic research experience with a masterclass, work with WIPAC researchers and students through local internships, and invite our researchers to your local event. These programs connect audiences with the WIPAC experiments around the globe.
WIPAC High School Interns
WIPAC runs high school internship programs during the academic year and during the summer. The high school internship programs provide students in the Madison, Wisconsin, area the opportunity to work on real-world physics experiments. Students learn how to write computer programs, get to know working astrophysicists, and contribute to data analysis.
The academic internship programs are held on a weekly basis and generally host about 20 high school interns at our offices. Applications are usually accepted in early fall. All interested students are encouraged to apply; no physics or programming background is necessary. Individual projects are catered to the interests of each student.
WIPAC hosted a summer internship in 2014 where students worked on annotated science papers. This program was inspired by “Science in the Classroom”, an educational project of the AAAS Science magazine. Follow the links for the papers our students worked on: Science 2013, Nature 2012, Nature 2001.
¡El Universo es Tuyo! (The Universe is Yours!) is an initiative that seeks to engage Madison’s Spanish-speaking community through the science of the universe. Activities planned for this year include: stargazing, sungazing, public talks, a masterclass for high school students, as well as the opportunity for students to intern with WIPAC and Centro Hispano. People of all ages are encouraged to participate! This effort is made possible through a partnership with UW Space Place and in collaboration with: Centro Hispano, UW Arboretum, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, HAWC, and IceCube.
WIPAC is one of the institutions hosting the IceCube Masterclass, an educational program of the IceCube Collaboration. The IceCube Masterclass program, started in 2014 at select locations around the world, invites young students—our future scientists—to learn about particle astrophysics by doing real research.
The IceCube Masterclass is a one-day event where high school students learn about astrophysics through lectures and hands-on analysis of data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located in Antarctica at the South Pole. Students also discuss their results in a virtual meeting with other students from across the US or from other countries in Europe. So far, WIPAC has hosted around 30 students each year in the English edition. The Spanish edition will have second editon in March 2017 with 30 more Hispanic students.
For more information, please visit the Masterclass website.
UW–Madison’s QuarkNet Center
WIPAC leads and hosts UW–Madison’s QuarkNet Center, which aims to develop innovative and genuine astrophysics research experiences for high school teachers and students. QuarkNet, a national program sponsored by NSF and the U.S. Department of Energy, partners with universities and research labs around the country to offer unique professional development for physics teachers and engaging research experiences for their students.
Our QuarkNet activities include the IceCube Masterclass in Madison, the teacher workshop “Astrophyiscs in the Classroom” held during the summer, and other opportunities for teachers and students to engage in specific research and outreach projects.
Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin
Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin was a two-year public education program funded by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment that ran from 2012 to 2014. The project centered around all 26 University of Wisconsin System schools, where we both gave campus presentations and provided community events.
Events ranged from campus colloquia to large-scale, interactive, family events. Topics we covered during Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin events included the challenges of constructing a huge research facility at the South Pole as well as neutrino astronomy, the search for dark matter, computer science, and cosmic rays. After two years, 6,350 miles, 300 volunteers, and 52 events in 26 communities, Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin shared scientific exploration and innovation with over 5,000 Wisconsinites. For more information about the project, visit universe.wisc.edu.