University of Tennessee SPS Chapter: Outreach

University of Tennessee SPS Chapter

Our main outreach program is TECOP (TEnnessee Cosmic-ray Observatory Project). This program started in 2001 as an effort by undergraduates to start an experimental research project in which they could involve area high schools. We designed and built arrays to detect cosmic ray showers, designed and built electronics to monitor the arrays and take data, and wrote computer programs to analyze the data. Each high school that participates sends students to workshops where they build their own detectors and electronics sets. The high schools then take their arrays to the school for the classes to use for educational purposes. The long-term goal is to have all the arrays linked together to create a large-area detection area.

During Homecoming, many of the departments set up exhibition booths in a campus park for alumni to look at; SPS runs the physics booth and wows people with demonstrations of magnetism, electrostatics, liquid nitrogen, engines, mechanics, and optics. (Liquid nitrogen is always a favorite.)