In the news:
Dobie, South Houston
students among elite
group to participate in international physics project
Physics and journalism students from Dobie and South Houston
high schools are among only five groups in the nation that
were invited to participate in an international project to
learn and report about a new super-collider project in
CERN, an international physics consortium, is unveiling its
new particle physics experiment - the Atlas Project. The
consortium, the National Science Foundation and Quarknet, a
national organization of universities, physics laboratories
and high school teachers, have invited the students to
Geneva to observe, learn and produce news reports on the
Dobie and South Houston will send a physics student, a
journalism student, a student videographer and a physics
teacher overseas to Geneva to participate in the project.
Dobie students participating are Preston Andrews, Kelsey
Kaiser, Hong Thai and science teacher Susan Fontanilla.
South Houston students Nicole Neveu, Cindy Le, Jose Bermudez
and physics teacher Jim Preston will also participate in the
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these
students," said Alena Grinstead, Pasadena ISD science
instructional specialist. "They will be able to learn from
some of the world's top physicists and then share what they
have learned with their classmates."
The students from the two Pasadena ISD schools will act as
news reporters to students in the community and across the
nation and will chronicle the project through blogs,
websites and videos.
The experiments will occur during CERN's "Open Days" event,
scheduled for April 5-6. During this time, the public will
be able to view the Atlas experiment. The particle physics
experiments are designed to examine the fundamental nature
of matter and the basic forces that have shaped the
universe. As part of the experiment, scientists are
searching for the collisions of high-energy protons.
Students will visit the Atlas Project's Large Hadron
Collider (LHC), which is a gigantic scientific instrument
near Geneva that spans the border underground between
Switzerland and France. The LHC is a particle accelerator
used by physicists to study the smallest known particles -
the fundamental building blocks of all things. Physicists
will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the
Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high
"This is a great honor for the students at both of these
schools," said Pasadena ISD Superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis.
"This is going to be an outstanding learning opportunity
that they will remember for the rest of their lives."