|Students touring one of the many laser labs|
housed in the J.R. Macdonald Laboratory
This year, ten summer scholars studied exponential growth using a bucket and water and exponential decay using M&Ms. They also looked at sun spots, watched a 3-D printer work, tested the laws of motion and “why it’s important to not get caught up in experimental bias when conducting experiments.”
Because of Dr. Yanik’s collaboration with Dr. Carlos Trajellos, former Associate Professor of Physics at KSU, who actively participated in the Si Se Puede Hacer Matematicas y Ciencias (Yes, I can do mathematics and science) program that Dr. Yanik sponsors in the Fall, she decided it would be interesting to take the Summer Scholars on a field-trip to the AMO J.R. Macdonald Lab. Dr. Yanik described experience saying, “While there the kids spoke with faculty and college students about their research involving lasers, fiber optics and high-speed photography.” Students also visited some of the KSU engineering labs. According to Yanik, the students enjoyed the field-trip and the whole experience very much.
Education and outreach funding for the physics teacher workshop was provided by the Kansas and Nebraska NSF EPSCoR Track 2 Grant #1430519 titled: "Imaging and Controlling Ultrafast Dynamics of Atoms, Molecules, and Nanostructures." The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of atomic/molecular/optical science.