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Public Outreach

Research Opportunities for High School Students

The Department of Physics & Astronomy welcomes high school students interested in participating in research.  To read about labs currently accepting students please visit our Opportunities for High School Students page.

The following forms should be completed and signed prior to beginning your research opportunity:

Lab Waiver
Intern and Volunteer Intake Form

All completed forms should be sent to the Assistant Chair in Tech F173.

Reach for the Stars

Prof. Vicky Kalogera leads a GK-12 program called Reach for the Stars: Computational Models for Teaching and Learning in Physics, Astronomy and Computer Science. Funded by the NSF with support from CIERA and Northwestern University, this NSF program places STEM graduate student fellows in K-12 science classrooms for the academic year with the goal of enriching their education and strengthening their development as researchers by advancing their communication and teaching skills.

Science in Society

Science in Society is a Northwestern University research center dedicated to science education and public engagement. Several faculty members and graduate students participate in the center’s outreach and learning programs each year. Many of our students have taken part in and been awarded high honors in the annual Scientific Images Contest (which includes events and activities at the Museum of Science and Industry).   Many department affiliates are also contributors to HELIX, an online magazine of science writing by Northwestern scientists. Recent writers include grad student Mike Zevin, post doc Elizabeth Hicks, and faculty member Jens Koch.

In addition to contributing to HELIX, Jens Koch was featured in "Science Kids Embark on a Physics Adventure" for an event he hosted where middle school students were invited to experience the unusual properties of low-temperature materials. André de Gouvêa, Ian Low, and Tim Tait cowrote the article "Big Ideas, Small Particles", discussing the physics we hope to explore with the European-built Large Hadron Collider. Heidi Schellman wrote "From a Physicist's Mind" which discusses how physics research is connected to everything from MRI scanners to the Internet.

Observing at Dearborn Observatory

The department holds public observing hours on most Fridays during the school year in historic Dearborn Observatory.

Heilborn Lectures

Since 2001, the Department has hosted annual Heilborn Lectures every spring. These lectures always include a talk intended for the public.

Radio Astronomy Lectures

With the generous support of the late George Heilborn, the Department hosts talks by distinguished experimentalists who study the sky using radio waves.  The Radio Astronomy Seminar talks are recorded and can be viewed here.

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