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College of Arts and Sciences


Tutor List
List of current PhD students willing to tutor undergrads and area high school students.

Konopinski Memorial Lecture Series

ScienceCafe Bloomington videos

Annual Science Fest
The Physics Department (in conjuction with the IU Science Fest) has an annual Open House in the fall. All are welcome to visit the Physics Department for a wide array of activities including hands-on exhibits, contests, and demonstration shows. This event is well attended by Indiana K-12 students with more than 1000 visitors annually.

Contact: hgevans @ (Hal Evans) (faculty, Chair Outreach Committee)
Web: /outreach/openhouse.shtml
Funding: Departmental, IU Foundation
Co-Sponsors: IU Science Fest
Frequency: Annual, early fall
Audience: K-12 students, parents, all are welcome to attend


Physics Fun for your School or Group
Physics department faculty and students will take physics to you! We welcome requests from schools, libraries, and other organizations for book discussions, presentations and demonstration shows. We can gear the event to any age group. Contact us. We'd be happy to share our love of physics with you.

Contact: hgevans @ (Hal Evans) (faculty, Chair Outreach Committee)
Funding: Department of Physics
Frequency: On demand
Audience: K-12 students, adults


WonderLab: Museum of Science, Health, and Technology
WonderLab is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for people of all ages, especially children, to experience the wonder and excitement of science through hands-on exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity, encourage exploration, and foster lifelong learning. It remains a grassroots organization supported by hundreds of volunteers, staffed by many individuals who nurtured it from its beginnings and treasured as a valuable asset by the community. It was recently selected as a Top 25 Science Center in the United States, ranked #17 by Parents Magazine in 2008.

Prof. Cathy Olmer (Physics) is one of the original founders and since 1998, she has served as its first and only Executive Director and helped establish the permanent home for the museum. Since opening day in 2003, the museum has welcomed 329,522 visitors (70,000 in 2007, 80,000 projected in 2008), and since its birth in 1995, WonderLab has served 493,207 visitors.

All exhibits, programs and summer science camps support Indiana science and math academic standards. Science programs are offered all year for elementary-age children and their families, and for specific ages, such as toddlers/preschoolers (Science Soup series), preschoolers (Discovery Time series), elementary school (WonderCamp), teens (Teen Challenge Nights series), and adults (joint programs with IU Continuing Studies). More than 11,000 children visit on school field trips visit each year and having a shared experience that teachers can tap into when covering different science units later.

WonderLab encourages family learning, with special efforts targeting families without a tradition of valuing education. WonderLab has more than 1,650 member families, who regularly visit the museum. More than 140 elementary and middle school teachers from five school districts have received training at WonderLab to make science more engaging for their students in the classroom and to help schools improve results on statewide standardized science testing. WonderLab is a community outreach partner for IU professors on National Science Foundation grants. WonderLab has about 800 volunteers each year, and about 1/3 of these are IU students.

The Department of Physics supports WonderLab through faculty and staff presentations as well as contributions to and establishing exhibits. In particular, the resources of the Physics Machine Shop are used often in the construction and refurbishment of exhibits.

Contact: olmer @ (Cathy Olmer) (faculty, Executive Director)
Funding: Non-profit, admissions, memberships, private & corporate donors, grant-funding agencies for some exhibits
Frequency: Full time, all year
Audience: K-12 students, parents, interested locals & adults


Foundations in Science and Math summer program for High School Students
The Dept. of Physics offers a summer program in Mathematics and Science for local high school students.  University graduate students will instruct participants, who will be taught foundational principles and problem solving techniques to help prepare them for their high school courses. Courses offered include biology, advanced biology, chemistry, AP chemistry, physics, AP physics, pre-calculus and calculus. The 12 hour program takes place in the summer for a modest cost per student.  Classes are capped at 15 students to facilitate and effective learning environment and meet in the afternoons or evenings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  For more information, go to

Contact: kphagner @ (Kyle Hagner)
Funding: College of Arts & Science
Frequency: Annual, Summer
Audience: High school students


cynthia.carini @ (Brownie Girl Scout Math & Science Day)
Will be hosted by the Department of Physics in Swain Hall West for its 20th year in 2011. The event is organized through the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana by Cindy Carini. Each year volunteer faculty, staff, and students from five or six departments (most but not all from COAS) organize activity rooms where Brownie Girl Scouts (grades 2-3) participate in a long afternoon of hands-on science activities. In the recent past the event has drawn approximately 200 girls from southern Indiana on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The event pays for itself through modest participant registration fees, but in the past few years the Office of Women's Affairs has supported the room organizers at a level of $50- $100 per room per year (most of the activities are funded by the Departments or clubs though). In addition to supplying the lab space, the Department of Physics has paid for extra custodial services for the day of the event. As for all Girl Scout events, a survey is collected each year from the girls and their leaders.

Contact: cynthia.carini @ (Cindy Carini) (volunteer)
Funding: Modest registration fees, Office of Women's Affairs
Frequency: Annual, Fall
Audience: Brownie Girl Scouts (grades 2-3)


Outreach via Nanoscience Center and Energy Frontiers Research Center Proposal
Dave Baxter (Physics), Jill Robinson (Chemistry), and others are presently working to establish a partnership between the Indianapolis Children's Museum, Wonderlab, and the IU Nanosciences Center to develop exhibits and help publicize the Center's activities to general audiences. The goal is to have this be an ongoing effort over many years covering a wide range of science related to nanotechnology. An initial project, focused on energy topics, is being written into our submission for an Energy Frontier Research Center (to be submitted by 1 October to the Department of Energy). We are also working to establish a similar relationship with the Louisville Science Center, but that effort is in an earlier stage of development.

Contact: baxterd @ (Dave Baxter) (faculty, Nanosciences Center member, EFRC Co-PI)
Audience: K-12 students and teachers
Funding: Dept. of Energy (EFRC), COAS (IU Nanosciences Center)


Department of Physics QuarkNet
A program funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy to involve high school teachers and students in frontier research by partnering them with researchers and experiments at Fermilab and CERN. The program provides research experience and ideas for teaching particle physics concepts in a context that high school students and teachers find exciting.

For many years the Physics Department has run annual week-long Summer Institutes for ~6 Indiana high school teachers each year and ~20 high school students (3 – 4 per teacher). Students stayed in dorms on campus during the Institute.

The project alternates mini-lectures and QuarkNet "MasterClass" activities including collaborating via videoconference with other QuarkNet university centers with hands-on project work: designing and building cosmic ray telescopes. These instruments are based and active at a number of Indiana high schools. Throughout the project and continuing to date, we have held periodic weekend meetings during the academic year to discuss upgrades and data analysis.

Contact: rvankoot @ (Rick Van Kooten) (faculty, QuarkNet PI)
Funding: National Science Foundation, Dept. of Energy, COAS (covering costs of students' stay)
Frequency: Annual, week-long Summer Institute, 3 – 4 weekend meetings per academic year
Audience: High school teachers & students


Department of Physics Research Experience for Undergrads
(Not K-12, but does encourage undergrads to enter STEM fields)
The Physics Department and the IU Cyclotron Facility host an NSF-REU program. About 14 undergraduate physics majors are typically selected from a pool of about 50 applicants dominated by students outside IU. Students typically spend 10 weeks at IUCF or the Dept. of Physics working on individual research projects with a member of the Physics/IUCF faculty or staff. Several of our REU students are selected to attend the DNP Fall Meeting as part of the Conference Experience for Undergraduates (CEU) program to present a poster about their research work. The REU program is now in its twentieth year of operation at IUCF and third year in the Dept. with over 255 alumni, about one-quarter of whom are female.

Contact: jcarini @ (John Carini) (faculty, Project co-PI) or bacher @ (Andy Bacher) (faculty, Project co-PI)
Funding: National Science Foundation
Frequency: Annual, summers
Audience: Undergraduate


Adopt-a-Physicist Program
We participate in the Adopt-a-Physicist program that aims to introduce high school physics students to the variety of options open to people with degrees in physics, and give students a chance to interact with "real" physicists. It does this by connecting high school classes with physics graduates via online message boards for a 3-week period. In this supervised forum students and physicists can talk freely about careers, school, work, and more.

Contact: rvankoot @ (Rick Van Kooten) (Faculty)
Sponsor: American Physical Society
Frequency: Annual, Fall
Audience: K-12 students
Instructions to Join


Science Olympiad
Many Dept. of Physics faculty, scientists, postdocs, and students have contributed strongly to the planning, organization and running of various Physics-related Science Olympiad events for local, regional, and (less often) state and national-level competitions typically hosted at the Bloomington - IU campus. This event engages high school students in competitive individual and group activities involving various aspects of science and technology. We also supply staff and lab equipment.

Contact: General faculty; hgevans @ (Hal Evans) (Chair, Outreach Committee)
Web: Current College program,

Tours of MES Hall: Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter (CEEM)
Guided, general orientation and customized tours are offered to persons who are interested in learning more about the history, research and other activities at CEEM. CEEM is often the first real large-scale scientific research laboratory seen by students from local middle and high schools and small colleges. Tours of CEEM provided throughout the year are frequently conducted by faculty, post-docs and students from the nuclear physics group.

Contact: or by telephone at (812) 855-5466.
Funding: Office of the Vice President for Research, National Science Foundation
Frequency: On demand
Audience: 7–12 students, parents, interested locals & adults


Hoosiers Association for Science Teachers, Inc. (HASTI)
For the last three years, have maintained a "Physics Booth" at exhibits session of the HASTI annual meeting at the Indianapolis Convention Center, primarily promoting our Applied Physics and Medical Physics undergrad program to Indiana high school teachers. Over the past 5 years, faculty and staff have given a number of talks at the HASTI annual conference.

Contact: mashephe @ (Matt Shepherd) (faculty, Applied Physics Coordinator)
Funding: Departmental
Frequency: Annual, usually ~Feb.
Audience: Indiana middle and high school teachers


Indiana Chapter of the American Association for Physics Teachers (INAAPT)
The Department of Physics hosted the 2009 Spring Meeting, April 17, 18,2009 at IU Bloomington, see The Department sponsored the meeting and arranged co-sponsorship via financial support from COAS. Part of this was funding the keynote speaker, Prof. Lawrence Krauss. Department faculty participated in a Frontiers of Physics Workshop of the meeting. Dan Beeker, our Departmental Undergraduate Lab Coordinator is a past president of the INAAPT.

Contact: debeeker @ (Dan Beeker), Undergraduate Lab Coordinator
Funding: Various, Department of Physics, College of Arts & Science
Sponsor: American Association of Physics Teachers
Audience: Physics teachers at all levels in the state of Indiana


Indiana Junior Academy of Science (IJAS)