Union College Physical Constants Workshop

For High School Physics Teachers and Students

Beginning in 2008, the Department of Physics and Astronomy has held the annual Union College Physical Constants Workshop for high school physics teachers and students. In this one-day workshop, five to seven teams of teachers and students perform experiments to measure fundamental physical constants and gain experience with modern instrumentation and laboratory techniques such as high-resolution video analysis, scattering experiments with a particle accelerator, and scanning electron microscopy.

The goals of the workshop are to stimulate students to study physics and pursue careers in science, provide teachers with an exciting and enriching professional development experience, and to establish a network through which the Department of Physics and Astronomy can support local high school physics education. The workshop has been supported by the NASA New York Space Grant, the New York State Section of the American Physical Society, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

An average of 17 high school students and 6 teachers have participated in the workshop each year. Each high school participant receives a T-shirt and a notebook containing the workshop materials. The teachers also receive professional development certificates. A continental breakfast and lunch are also provided and a good time is had by all.

One of the teachers had the following to say after the workshop: "I just want to say thank you for all the effort, time, and planning you did to put on the workshop last Saturday. Our students had a great experience and are extremely appreciative of the opportunity to participate. The instructors were excellent teachers and we enjoyed each lab. The level at each station was very appropriate and understandable. The day went by very quickly!"

For more information about the workshop, please contact Prof. Francis Wilkin at wilkinf@union.edu.

Below are links to some of the workshop materials and pictures from the events.








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Union College Department of Physics & Astronomy