In the Greater St. Louis area, local educators and cosmic ray scientists are teaming up to introduce a linked grid of cosmic ray detectors to high school students through the Quarknet program. Quarknet is a national project designed to bring high school students and teachers to the frontiers of research into the structure of matter and the fundamental forces of nature. In St. Louis, a network of cosmic ray detectors will be deployed in local high schools. The data collected will be organized to allow it to be correlated with data from other locations. Such correlations, by distinguishing cosmic rays from ground radiation and instrument noise, help to identify the properties of high energy cosmic rays.
Jim Small is President of
the Saint Louis Astronomical Society and a science teacher at Parkway
South High School. Rich Nieman teaches at Brentwood High School. Along
with seven other teachers and two undergraduate physics students, they
participated in a cosmic ray workshop this summer, in preparation for
the Quarknet program. An avid astronomer, Mr. Small has before used
optical telescopes rather than cosmic ray detectors to probe the skies.