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This is an interview with Kenneth Cecire, who has distributed cosmic ray detectors to countries around the world, launched a cloud-based data server and cosmic ray analysis platform called e-lab, and offers various opportunities to engage with advanced physics, such as the particle analysis experience program Masterclass and physics workshops for high school teachers, mainly in the United States.

I belong to a particle physics outreach group called Quarknet and mainly engage in three activities: supporting cosmic ray exploration, the International Masterclass, and physics workshops for high school teachers. The International Masterclass is a workshop where students analyze data collected from actual accelerator experiments themselves. This program was first conducted in high schools in the UK, where students use a tool called an event viewer to see computer renderings of physical events that occurred. It was later taken over by a European outreach group, and I collaborated with colleagues in Germany to create two CMS Masterclasses. Subsequently, we also created a Masterclass on neutrinos. Today, we also offer Masterclasses on ATLAS, ALICE, LHCb, BELL II, MINERvA, Particle Therapy, and Pierre Auger. Participating students become particle physicists for a day, analyze data, share their results, and discuss with physicists via video conference.

For high school teachers, we offer workshops on special relativity, quantum physics, and neutrinos.

High school students measured cosmic ray using a simple cosmic ray detector with Quarknet staff.
The detector that the student crouching in the center of this picture is “Cosmic Watch” ,
that is the least expensive cosmic ray detector developed by Spencer.N when he was MIT student.

Why did you start Quarknet’s activities?

 I started these activities because I wanted to solve the problem that high school students have difficulty accessing the latest physics. In many American high schools, there is often only one year allocated to teaching physics. Therefore, it is rare to reach modern physics by the end of the course, and even if they do, most high school teachers find it challenging to teach modern physics. However, modern physics is extremely interesting and captivating for students.       

When do you feel joy in your outreach activities?

It’s always enjoyable when conducting Masterclasses for high school students. It’s wonderful to witness the moments when students discover something. Additionally, it brings me joy to collaborate with my teacher colleagues to create workshops. If I weren’t doing this job, I believe I would be working somewhere else.

CMS実験マスタークラスのイベントビューワーの画像。陽子を衝突させた際に生じる粒子のの軌跡や角度、位置を知ることができる

What kind of efforts do you want to expand your outreach activities in the future?

高校教員向けのデータ解析ワークショップの様子。 

 

This is a scene from a data analysis workshop for high school teachers.

I started these activities because I wanted to solve the problem that high school students have difficulty accessing the latest physics. In many American high schools, there is often only one year allocated to teaching physics. Therefore, it is rare to reach modern physics by the end of the course, and even if they do, most high school teachers find it challenging to teach modern physics. However, modern physics is extremely interesting and captivating for students.

How can middle and high school students interested in Quarknet participate?

Finally, please give a message to middle and high school students, people involved in cosmic ray outreach, and school teachers.

In the world of particle physics, international cooperation is so common that even countries with poor political relations can naturally collaborate on particle experiments. Therefore, it was a natural progression to conduct outreach activities in international cooperation. For example, we conduct particle physics workshops at schools in Morocco and collaborate with organizations such as Accelerator Kitchen in Japan and CERN in Switzerland.

Physics is a truly fascinating subject. For example, learning about the law of conservation of momentum and connecting it to learning about how a Z boson decays into two muons can lead to better learning by linking it with various things taught in school education.

How can middle and high school students interested in Quarknet participate?

 If you are interested in Quarknet or similar programs, please send me an email first. By contacting me, I can introduce you to outreach groups active in your area or inform you about upcoming events.



・インタビューをしてみて、メッセージ
・Quarknetへの参加方法について簡単に要約・案内