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The “Out” in “Public Outreach” at Weber State University. Brad Carroll, Dept. Physics, WSU. Four Strategies:. Traditional outreach Bringing selected groups to WSU Sending faculty and majors to public schools Interdisciplinary outreach to non-majors. Traditional Outreach.

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the out in public outreach at weber state university

The “Out” in “Public Outreach”at Weber State University

Brad Carroll, Dept. Physics, WSU

four strategies
Four Strategies:
  • Traditional outreach
  • Bringing selected groups to WSU
  • Sending faculty and majors to public schools
  • Interdisciplinary outreach to non-majors
traditional outreach
Traditional Outreach
  • Talks for Lions, Elks, Audubon clubs
  • Guest commentaries in local papers, magazines
  • Presentations for local elementary and high school classes
traditional outreach1
Traditional Outreach
  • Ritchey Lecture (endowed) given annually
  • Gene Shoemaker, Steve Vogt (extrasolar planets)
traditional outreach2
Traditional Outreach
  • Get out where the people are!
  • Physics booth at the Weber County Fair
  • Exhibit in theater for “Attack of the Clones”
traditional outreach3
Traditional Outreach
  • Planetarium run by director and 5 physics students
  • 18 astronomy classes taught in planetarium
  • Hosts ~200 events yearly to ~8000 people (nearly half are special presentations to school groups)
  • Budget $4500/yr, plus grant from Utah State Office of Museum Services
traditional outreach4
Traditional Outreach
  • Student-run public observing sessions at WSU
  • Free every Wednesday night
  • Supported by Ogden Astronomical Society
  • Most telescopes donated
traditional outreach5
Traditional Outreach
  • ~20 off-site public star parties per year
  • Numerous locations, including out-of-state and public schools
  • Run by faculty and Ogden Astronomical Society
traditional outreach6
Traditional Outreach
  • Ogden Nature Center
  • Summer Solstice Celebration
  • Creatures of the Night (Halloween)
traditional outreach7
Traditional Outreach
  • Natural Science Museum
  • Run by emeritus faculty
  • Coordinates with planetarium in serving school groups
  • Budget a few $k
  • Grant from Utah State Office of Museum Services
  • In Lind Lecture Hall
student activity scholarships
Student Activity Scholarships
  • Full tuition waiver
  • Participate in community and school district outreach programs
  • Planetarium and museum each have two scholarships, physics department has one
  • Prepare for a fight persuading your university scholarship committee to grant these!
selected groups to wsu
Selected Groups to WSU
  • S4 (Science Seminars for Superior Students)
  • Run by Center for Science and Math Education
  • Presentations by faculty and outside specialists
selected groups to wsu1
Selected Groups to WSU
  • Utah State Science Olympiad
  • Run by Center for Science and Math Education
  • Physics faculty and students are event supervisors
selected groups to wsu2
Selected Groups to WSU
  • MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) and STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering) programs
  • Increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women who enter and succeed in science and engineering
  • Tours given by faculty and physics majors
  • Statewide, reaches over 3000 annually
selected groups to wsu3
Selected Groups to WSU
  • Science teacher workshops (NASA, NSTA)
  • Run by Center for Science and Math Education
  • Taught by faculty
to public schools
To Public Schools
  • SPS tutoring in high schools
  • Awarded the Blake Lilly Prize
to public schools1
To Public Schools
  • “From Spreadsheets to Space” video distributed to local high schools
  • Produced by physics faculty and majors
to public schools2
To Public Schools
  • Model rocket clubs
  • Supervised by physics faculty and students
to public schools3
To Public Schools
  • Project Starshine
  • Shuttle will place a mirrored satellite into orbit for observation by K-12 students
  • Director Gil Moore (Morton Thiokol)
  • Physics faculty supervise polishing of mirrors by public school students
to public schools4
To Public Schools
  • “Gifted and talented” programs
  • Activities led by physics faculty
to public schools5
To Public Schools
  • After-school enrichment programs
  • Presentations by faculty and students
interdisciplinary outreach
Interdisciplinary Outreach
  • Half-time physics faculty position belongs to WSU Honors Program
  • One course per semester taught for Honors Program
  • “Energy and the Environment”“Energy and Entropy”“Physics of the Mundane”
  • Three Cortez professors in physics
  • Physics faculty on Honors Faculty Advisory Council
  • “Pizza with a Prof” talks
interdisciplinary outreach1
Interdisciplinary Outreach
  • “Physics in the Plays of Tom Stoppard”
  • Read Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Arcadia, and Hapgood
  • Theme: How much control do we have over our lives (philosophy and physics)?
interdisciplinary outreach2
Interdisciplinary Outreach
  • In preparation: “Measuring the World”
  • Read Mason & Dixon by Thomas PynchonThe Measure of Reality by Alfred W. CrosbyComing of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris
interdisciplinary outreach3
Interdisciplinary Outreach
  • Interdisciplinary faculty collaborations
  • A five-year series of independent study courses on astronomy with a WSU artist
  • Painting selected by Swedish Academy of Sciences for 2003 Nobel physics poster
interdisciplinary outreach4
Interdisciplinary Outreach
  • “Principles of Physical Science” for elementary education majors
  • Team-taught with a chemist
  • Students have close contact with both instructors
interdisciplinary outreach5
Interdisciplinary Outreach
  • Physics majors as ambassadors
  • Some SPS events open to all
essential ingredients
Essential Ingredients
  • Commitment to volunteer and service work
  • Cohesive self-motivated group (faculty and students)
  • Realistic goals
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