Educational Programs


The IceCube Masterclass program, which began in 2014 at select locations around the world, invites young students—our future scientists—to learn about particle astrophysics by doing real research.

The IceCube Masterclass is a one-day event where high school students learn about astrophysics through lectures and hands-on analysis of data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. The day’s schedule generally includes lunch with IceCube researchers and opportunities to discuss results in virtual meetings with students participating at other masterclass sites in the US or abroad.

This program has been designed for students who are in their last year of high school and have a special interest in physics. For more information, please visit

Try your hand at the Masterclass particle quizzes here.

Upward Bound

Upward Bound provides opportunities for high school students from low-income families, whose parents didn’t attend college, to succeed in higher education. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions.

Since 2004, IceCube has provided curriculum and support for the Upward Bound summer program at UW-River Falls.

  • The Upward Bound class is taught by teachers and researchers with Antarctic field experience.
  • Teachers who take part are also participants in the National Science Foundation–supported TEA (Teachers Experiencing the Antarctic and Arctic) and PolarTREC programs.
  • High school students receive math and science enrichment instruction based on IceCube related topics.
  • The instructors also have served as mentors for pre-service teachers, who hone their teaching skills by observing and assisting with the classes.
  • Opportunities for practicing teachers range from graduate courses on bringing IceCube science to the classroom to participating in the Upward Bound instruction to enhance curriculum, content, and pedagogy skills.

For more information, contact


Since 2009, teachers have gained research experience at the South Pole through a partnership between IceCube and PolarTREC, a National Science Foundation program that pairs scientists with teachers to provide field deployments to the polar regions. PolarTREC gives talented teachers an opportunity to gain knowledge, improve teaching practices, and increase students’ understanding of polar research.

Most recently, Jocelyn Argueta, a scientist-performer from Los Angeles, traveled to the South Pole during the 2019-2020 summer season to help with maintenance work for IceCube. Her blogs, written in English and Spanish, can be found on the IceCube PolarTREC expedition page.

Our next PolarTREC educator is Elaine Krebs from Los Angeles.

Another way past IceCube PolarTREC teachers have brought their research experiences to students is through the Upward Bound program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Upward Bound helps high school students from low-income families whose parents did not attend college prepare to succeed in higher education. A team of teachers, led by Wisconsin Rapids science teacher Steve Stevenoski, uses an innovative, inquiry-based curriculum developed around a different theme related to IceCube research each summer. Participating in Upward Bound gives the teachers a chance to explore new ways of teaching and enhance their curriculum using new content knowledge and pedagogy skills.

Photos, journals, and resources from the explorations are available on the PolarTREC website.

Past PolarTREC teachers who worked with IceCube researchers:

YearEducator name and link to journals + resources
2009Casey O’Hara
2010Katherine Shirey
2012Liz Ratliff
2014Armando Caussade
2016Kate Miller
2017Lesley Anderson
2019Jocelyn Argueta
2021Elaine Krebs

Other Programs

IceCube is committed to providing educational or research opportunities to students of all ages.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

IceCube participates in the UW–Madison Astrophysics REU program. Each summer undergraduate students can work on neutrino physics projects under the supervision of IceCube scientists.

The IceCube project provides several exciting topic areas for summer student research projects. In past years, students have studied the cosmic ray moon shadow that results in a deficit of muons and have compared the radiation from three blazars, a type of active galactic nucleus. REU students contribute to maintaining IceCube’s place at the forefront of astrophysics and astroparticle physics research. Students are given a directed research project, attend engaging weekly lecture series, and go on organized weekend field trips as well as other less structured social events with other REU students.

Currently, participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the US. (If you are attending school in the US but are not a US citizen or permanent resident, please contact us before applying.) We highly value diversity among our participants; women, members of underrepresented minorities, and students from small colleges are all encouraged to apply.

Students interested in this program may contact

South Pole Experiment

The IceCube Collaboration’s South Pole Experiment Contest aims to engage middle school students from around the world in science exploration conducted in Antarctica. Currently the program is only being run in Belgium. Contact if you are interested in having your class participate and would like more information.