Introducing Synchrotrons into the High School Classroom

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 3:00pm

Speaker: Antonio Lanzirotti, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Program Description

Evolving education-philosophy and curriculum reform in North America and elsewhere is placing a greater emphasis on inquiry-based instruction as a means to engage students and develop critical thinking skills, as well as promote increased interest in the sciences. This new emphasis is an opportunity for scientists and their institutions to move their outreach activities from static, one-way demonstration and narrative approaches to more dynamic scenarios where students and teachers are directly involved in original research conducted in the research lab. Large scientific user facilities such as the Synchrotron Light Sources can offer unique opportunities to challenge students with an authentic scientific-inquiry experience. An international team of scientists from four Light Source facilities have developed initiatives that have taken students from being scientific tourists to active researchers, through opportunities that range from participating in research programs, either in person or by distance learning, to conducting and publishing their own original research. The scale and versatility of these synchrotron facilities provide both unparalleled research opportunities and a compelling ‘gee whiz’ factor that excites students. The result is not only new knowledge, but also young people who are scientifically literate and able to collaborate, think critically and problem solve. This talk will give a flavor for what this team has accomplished, the experiments that students have conducted, many of their own design, and plans for the future.

Introducing Synchrotrons into the High School Classroom
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