Our work in cosmology is especially rewarding because of the public fascination with the universe and its origins. Cosmology engenders excitement across the entire spectrum of understanding, from the smallest child to the most expert of our colleagues. It is our hope that exposure to our excitement will plant the seeds of interest that will blossom into a budding fascination with science in the next generation of young adults. We have an intense commitment across the education and public outreach (E/PO) spectrum from elementary school to college level, and the public. We endeavor to captivate young people, especially women and other underrepresented minorities in physics, and instill an appreciation for science.
The members of our group participate in a wide range of Public Outreach Activities:
- TRITON-Cam - Short for Ten-cm Radiotelescope Imager and Teaching Observatory Network Camera. Radioastronomy provides an ideal platform for general astronomical education. Using a custom-made radiotelescope on the roof of the UCSD Science and Engineering Research Facility, we conduct observations of the sun, moon, planets, and radio-bright sources such as the Crab Nebula and Taurus A. This telescope is sensitive to both the intensity and polarization of centimeter wavelength radiation.
- Math for America - a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve math education in US public secondary schools by recruiting, training and retaining outstanding mathematics teachers. Professor Keating is a board-member for Math for America, San Diego. In October 2010, Prof. Keating organized and hosted a benefit event in La Jolla which featured local and national business leaders, faculty, MfA SD student-educators, scientists, and our Congresswoman, Susan Davis.
- Ice Scientist - Middle-school science book featuring co-PI Brian Keating's NSF-supported research at the South Pole on BICEP Ice Scientist, by Sara Latta. Ice Scientist won a National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council award in 2010. It meets the "Common Core" standards for reading, language, speaking, and listening.
- COSMOS - a 4 - week academic enrichment program for high school students that emphasizes the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. These programs, spread across the University of California campuses, center on project-based learning augmented by short lectures. They strive to stimulate student participation in science fairs and other similar competitions while encouraging students to aim for careers in STEM fields. Dr. Thomas Renbarger, Prof. Brian Keating, and Mr. Maxwell Thiemens have created an astronomically-themed COSMOS cluster using model sounding rockets to learn about remote sensing at UCSD. For more information, click here.
- Young Physicists Program - A UCSD program that brings middle school and high school students from across San Diego together with physics students and professors from UCSD on Saturday mornings each month. A typical morning can involve college-level lab activities, interactive demos, lots of interaction with undergraduate students and a presentation by a different guest professor each month touching on cutting-edge research and advanced concepts in physics, as well as reasons for choosing physics as a career and tips on how to make it happen. Professor Brian Keating is one of the UCSD professors participates in the program through lectures and experiments concerning his research.
- Sally Ride Science Foundation - A San Diego based E/PO organization led by a member of our collaboration, Dr. Karen Flammer. The company, founded by the astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, works with schools and educators to create and improve science learning experiences for middle-school girls and boys, with an emphasis on encouraging girls to pursue their interests in STEM. Their efforts include organizing and hosting science festivals and discovery workshops, as well as sending scientists to local schools to give talks and science demonstrations. Professor Keating and graduate students Darcy Barron and Stephanie Moyerman are committed to working alongside the Sally Ride Foundation.
- STARS - A UCSD Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS), supported via the NSF, by the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). In summer 2010, graduate student Darcy Barron mentored the underrepresented UCSD STEM students during an intensive summer research experience on campus.
- Elementary Institute of Science - A premiere enrichment center in San Diego County, EIS has been offering science and technology learning opportunities for over 46 years. Each year, around 700 students, from over 250 schools, participate in EIS’ “hands-on and minds-on” science programs. Stephanie Moyerman served as an instructor for two years at the non-profit Elementary Institute of Science.
- NSF CAREER and NSF AAPF - Professor Brian Keating Starting has run educational experiences for thousands of K-12 students based on his own research as a NASA Graduate Fellow E/PO, then later as an NSF AAPF fellow, and currently as an NSF CAREER awardee.
- Radio Jove - Students use a radio telescope at UCSD to study the emissions of Jupiter, the Sun, and our Galaxy.
Sofia Gonzalez-Marin, Myles Ishihara, Antoni Shtipliyski, David Owen and Ryan Vo