University of Wisconsin-Madison

A new edition of the IceCube Masterclass makes new connections with students

The sixth edition of the IceCube Masterclass hosted over 150 students at 13 institutions in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. High school students, mostly in their last two years before college, continue to find value in this program because of the hands-on activities and the connections they make with the scientists. The masterclasses were held on January 30, March 20, April 4 and April 11.

Group photo of masterclass students at WIPAC. Credit: Lindsey Steffes, WIPAC.
Group photo of masterclass students at WIPAC. Credit: Lindsey Steffes, WIPAC.

Over the last five years, more than 1000 students and teachers have engaged in a full day of activities centered around IceCube science. This year, the Ohio State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University, and Marquette University joined the masterclass program for the first time.

The IceCube Masterclass was created in May 2014 to promote research careers in astrophysics, and more broadly in science, among high school students. Researchers at participating institutions guide the students in replicating an actual IceCube analysis. They can choose from two activities developed for two different analyses: the discovery of very high energy astrophysical neutrinos or a measurement of the cosmic-ray energy spectrum. Both activities help students learn about IceCube and also about the scientific process underlying experimental investigations in particle astrophysics.

Students following along with a presentation at the masterclass at the University of Rochester. Credit: Danielle Daniels, Kearns Center/University of Rochester.
Students following along with a presentation at the masterclass at the University of Rochester. Credit: Danielle Daniels, Kearns Center/University of Rochester.

As in previous years, students mentioned that one of their favorite aspects of this program was the opportunity to meet and talk with scientists. Many students also mentioned learning about the process of science research and data analysis as main lessons of the day. We’re excited that another successful IceCube masterclass is now on the books.