University of Wisconsin-Madison

The IceCube Masterclass welcomes a hundred students and teachers in Europe and US

The IceCube Collaboration consists of around 300 researchers from all around the world. The IceCube community is larger though, taking into account winterovers, technical personnel and support staff. And every IceCuber is an active outreach ambassador for the Antarctic neutrino observatory.

Tomorrow, May 21, the collaboration is launching a new activity for high school students, the IceCube Masterclass, developed with the aim of integrating this strong sense of community into the IceCube outreach activities. By participating in the masterclass, students will learn about neutrinos and what they tell us about the universe while also finding out about a unique experiment: IceCube, a cubic-kilometer neutrino detector buried in Antarctica’s ice.

The masterclass is a unique event where high school students and accompanying teachers are invited to join IceCube collaborators for a few hours and experience real research by performing an analysis using IceCube data. Students will meet active physics researchers and link up with student peers from the US or from other countries in Europe.

The 2014 edition is being hosted by five IceCube institutions in four cities in Europe and the US. Over ninety high school students will join IceCube researchers at the Universität Mainz (Germany), University of Delaware in Newark (US), Université Libre de Bruxelles and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), and WIPAC at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (US). They will learn about IceCube and other research projects at the host institutions and they will participate in a collaborative and guided research activity to replicate the observation of the first very high energy astrophysical neutrino flux, a research analysis published a few months ago by the IceCube Collaboration in Science.

This is the pilot edition for this program, which will grow with additional IceCube host institutions and other analyses in the future. The IceCube Masterclass program is inspired by the International Masterclasses program, started in 2005 by the International Particle Physics Outreach Group and supported in the US by QuarkNet.

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