Space Explorers Program (K-12)
Founded in 1991 the Space Explorers Program connects local, under-represented minority students with the university research community. By immersing these middle and high school students in the process of doing science, we hope to increase their interests and abilities in science and math and help them to succeed in high school and beyond. Graduates of the Space Explorers matriculate in college as science majors at a rate that is five times better than is predicted by combined national and Chicago Public Schools statistics. The Space Explorers Program offers a multi-year, multidimensional commitment from the members of the Institute. Students participate in weekly hands-on, in-depth laboratory sessions, residential science institutes at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, visits to research labs, and enrichment field trips.
CPS/UofC Internet Project (CUIP)
Since 1997 the Chicago Public Schools / University of Chicago Internet Project (CUIP) has been a trusted technology partner in the Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Kenwood and Oakland neighborhoods. CUIP works closely with principals, technology coordinators and teachers to ensure that computers and the Internet are an important part of student achievement. Today students are surrounded by the digital technologies which will shape their future society. CUIP seeks to ensure that students and teachers have the knowledge and vision needed to compete, succeed and participate in our digital world. CUIP was founded by Don York, the Horace B. Horton Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and over the years has given countless undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Chicago an opportunity to make an impact in the public schools.
- Cuip in the classroom
- Digital Library
- Chicago web docent
- The Web Institute for Teachers
Science and Technology Outreach and Mentoring Program (S.T.O.M.P.)
S.T.O.M.P. Science Club at North Kenwood Oakland Charter School: Scientists, graduate students and/or advanced undergraduate students from the department work with school staff to create an after-school science program. University graduate students direct the science club throughout the year. Diana Jergovic directs the University of Chicago's S.T.O.M.P. program, and it is supported by the office of the Vice President for Research.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Sky Server
SDSS Sky Server offers opportunities to explore real data and images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Sky Server Tools allow one to tour famous places in the Universe, search for and images and objects, and to visualize and explore detailed astronomical data. SkyServer Projects, allow students of all ages and abilities to learn science by studying the 180 million stars and galaxies SDSS.
Apache Point Observatory's 3.5-meter and the Public
The 3.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO), located in New Mexico, can be remotely operated from here in Chicago via the Internet. A working observing station is located at Adler Planetarium in downtown Chicago. Images from the telescope (if released by the scientists) can be accessed by Adler and used for next-day showing to public.
Cosmus: Open Source Science Outreach
Cosmus is a group of scientists and science communicators interested in bringing current science - particularly (but not exclusively) astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology - to the public by providing visualizations that explain scientific concepts and data. Cosmus intended audience includes museum professionals who design and make exhibits, scientists looking for visuals to use at presentations/outreach, high school and college teachers, members of the press, etc. Cosmus visuals have found widespread use in enhancing public events & lectures and in museums such as Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum. The Cosmus group has made numerous presentations especially to the research community in an effort to further engage active scientists creating visual images associated with ongoing research.
Undergraduate Research Experiences
The department offers many opportunities for undergraduates to play an active role in forefront research. Undergraduate students who are interested in pursing this exciting and valuable educational experience are encouraged to contact faculty members who are conducting research of interest. Students seeking summer positions are encouraged to apply to the Physics REU program as many members of the department mentor students through this program.
Women in Physics and Astronomy (WAP)
Founded in January 2005 WAP runs lunch time discussions which are attended by women graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, senior researchers and faculty.
Cosmology Short Courses
The KICP regularly offers cosmology short courses for educators with the goal of integrating modern research into both formal and informal educational settings. These courses bring the latest discoveries, developments, data, and tools of research to diverse audiences e.g., planetarium staff and 4-year college faculty.
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum Partnership
Adler is one of the premier planetaria in the world and was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. Today it is home to an incredible museum and one of the worlds most advanced digital planetaria. The department has a strong partnership with the Adler. We collaborate on a number of levels including public programming, researchers with joint appointments, serving as members of their advisory board, and co-hosting workshops, conferences and events.
Adler events and activities that often have a UC involvement include:
Adult Education Courses Members of the department engage the "students" with courses developed around their latest research activities.
Astro Science Workshop (ASW)
ASW gives Chicago-area high school sophomores and juniors the opportunity to do astronomical research with telescopes and real data at Adler and Yerkes Observatory. It is typically organized by a department graduate student.
Far Out Fridays FOF Far Out Fridays are packed with activities for adults and kids, including: telescope viewings, attend lectures, and more!
Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI provides resources (e.g., telescopes) in a number of different ways to further science education beyond the formal curriculum offered on the U of Chicago campus. Programming includes Hands-On-Universe, Space Explorer Institutes, Saturday Tours and the Quester Museum.
Local museums such as the Adler Planetarium are always looking for volunteers and usually have formal programs for incorporating volunteers into their routines or for special events. You, as a scientist, have information and, at the very least, thinking skills that make you a valuable resource. Call the museum of your choice and volunteer!