Ninth edition of IceCube Masterclass connects students with IceCube scientists

The ninth edition of the IceCube Masterclass hosted over 100 students across 20 research institutions in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United States. This year, the IceCube Masterclass took place in March and April, with some institutions hosting in person for the first time in two years.

A group of students outside
Credit: Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Germany

Created in 2014, the program exposes high school students—mostly sophomore class and up—to research careers in astrophysics and IceCube science. Each host institution provides a day full of hands-on activities and lectures, including analysis of real IceCube data, lunch with IceCube researchers, and a webcast with researchers at the South Pole.

Credit: Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) / Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Carolin Schwerdt, who helps coordinate the IceCube Masterclass at DESY in Zeuthen, Germany, noted that the switch to an in-person class was successful overall. Students asked questions and most voluntarily stayed longer than the allotted time.

The Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) in Madison, Wisconsin, also hosted an in-person program this year. Abhishek Desai, a postdoctoral fellow at WIPAC who helped lead the activities, said the students enjoyed working through the example analyses.

“In short, Masterclass provides students a preview into the life of a researcher, increasing their enthusiasm for science at WIPAC and their knowledge about the IceCube detector,” said Desai.

“The IceCube Masterclass is truly a collaboration-wide effort,” said Ellen Bechtol, outreach specialist at WIPAC who helps organize IceCube Masterclass. “It was great to see so many IceCube institutions hosting a Masterclass event again this year.”