Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellow Selected to Travel to South Pole With IceCube, the World’s Largest Neutrino Telescope
Five Additional KSTF Teaching Fellows to Aid in Antarctic Research, Bringing Polar Science into the Classroom
A primary goal of the National Science Foundation supported IceCube project is to engage and motivate the next generation of scientists and engineers. “We want to make sure that every participant maximizes the impact of this incredible opportunity,” said Dr.
“KSTF is honored to partner with one of today’s premier science project,” said Dr.
One of the biggest science projects ever funded by the National Science Foundation, IceCube is designed to detect neutrinos, other subatomic particles as well as high-energy cosmic rays. The detector grid with its unique light sensors is built so that scientists can determine the neutrinos’ direction, energy level and ultimately learn about their source such as an exploding star or a black hole. “IceCube gives us is a new window into the universe,” said Dr. Madsen. “This fundamental research can lead to improved understanding of nature and have enormous potential to open up new areas of science.” When IceCube is completed in 2010-2011, it will occupy a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice. Significant scientific investigations are already under way with the data collected during the construction phase.
During his stay at the South Pole, Mr. O’Hara will work on the cosmic ray detector on the surface. Good preparation and a healthy mental attitude are essential: Some of the challenges facing those who work at the IceCube observatory include extreme temperatures (-5 to -31 degrees F /-15 to -35 degrees C during the austral summer); 24 hours of intense sunlight; and 10,000 ft. of elevation that can cause altitude sickness.
“I look forward to this adventure and to sharing the thrill of scientific discovery with my students,” said Casey O’Hara. “I know that I will be able to develop rich and exciting curriculum because of my experience at the South Pole.”
Mr. O’Hara’s KSTF support team will be fully briefed on the goals, logistics and science of the project during the training session in
Katey Shirey, physics teachers at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia(chosen as the first alternate to go to the South Pole with IceCube in the 2009-2010 winter and selected to make the trip in the 2010-2011 winter)
Liz Ratliffe, mathematics teacher at Lexington High School in Lexington, SC
Kristen Fancher, chemistry teacher at Dansville High School in Dansville, MI
James Lane, prospective biology teacher studying at Hamline University
Scott Murphy, prospective physics teacher studying at the University of Maryland
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) was established by Janet H. and
SOURCE The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF)