The Virginia Tech Physics Department and the Center for Neutrino physics are building a QuarkNET Center.


We are seeking high school teachers to partecipate in the program. QuarkNet is a network of teachers and students supported by the National Science Foundation and by the Department of Energy. It was created over fifteen years ago in the United States to encourage high school teachers to participate in summer research and bring that research to their classroom. A broader goal of the QuarkNet collaboration is to reform and improve physics education primarily through teacher professional development. QuarkNet has a variety of universities and laboratories participating in high-energy physics experiments, but each center has its own unique program. For example, the center that we would like to build at Virginia Tech will involve high school teachers, with the help from undergraduate students and physics department faculty, build a portable muon detector that can be operated by high school students and teachers at their respective schools during the regular school year. We think that this is a great opportunity for us to work together and bring the excitement of physics research into the high school. You will have the opportunity to visit Fermilab, one of the biggest particle laboratories in US, look at real experimental data, participate in the data analysis, and more than anything, understand how a complex particle accelerator experiment works. You will then have the possibility to bring some of the tools and knowledge you've gained into your classroom. The QuarkNet program will provide you with support on how to share what you have learned with your students. The program will provide not only opportunities for you and your students to participate in cutting-edge physics research, but it also provides support for travel, accommodations, and a daily stipend of $100/day for meetings and summer internships. As one teacher participant said:

"Your program rejuvenates my soul. It connects me with a cadre of intelligent and excited educators. It reinvigorates my teaching and provides me avenues to extend and enliven the projects that I can offer my students. Without the QuarkNet program I am sure that I would have left teaching years ago."

To move forward, the Virginia Tech QuarkNet program has start to identify leading and associate teachers who would like to participate in our program. We have currently two leading teachers and several reqeust for associate teachers. The leading teachers participated in a QuarkNet workshop this summer at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. The workshop was held on August 4 - 6. We hope that the same two teachers would be able to stay in the program for the following years when they will be asked to attend a one week data camp at Fermilab in Chicago, IL as well as hold a seven week research appointment at Virginia Tech. The seven weeks can be distributed through the summer and we will be very flexible in trying to accommodate your needs. We understand that this program requires a demanding time commitment, but we hope that by establishing a community of lead teachers who will participate for a few years, we can build a strong, rewarding program for both teachers and high school students. If you would like to join our program do not hesitate to contact Prof. C. Mariani (mariani(at) If you would like to read more about QuarkNet, please visit:


The QuarkNET Virginia Tech Physics Group

C. Mariani (PI), J. Simonetti, A. Robison and M. Norris





QuarkNET Center at the Department of Physics of Virginia Tech has been funded by NSF with a Career Award 14-0178-07