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minutes of October 15, 2005 Physics Theorynet meeting

Physics Theorynet meeting, 15 Oct 2005,
Room 114 DA, Northeastern University, Boston

minutes/action items:

Attending (in spite of rainstorm):

Participating Teachers:
 Rick Dower, Roxbury Latin School, rick dower roxburylatin org
 Michael Hirsh, Needham H.S., Michael_hirsh needham k12 ma us
 Farhad Riahi, Commonwealth School, Boston, friahi commschool org

Participating Theorists:
 Emanuel (Ami) Katz, Boston University
 Albion Lawrence, Brandeis, albion brandeis edu
 Ken Olum, Tufts, kdo cosmos phy tufts edu
 Tomasz Taylor, Northeastern, taylor neu edu

 Amihay Hanany, MIT, hanany mit edu (out of town)
 Mike Wadness, Medford H.S., mjwadness verizon net
 Scott Carlsson, Gloucester H.S., scarlson gloucester k12 ma us
 Hong Liu, MIT, hong_liu mit edu (research leave)
 Ken Rideout" rideoutken hotmail com, Swampscott H.S.

1. Update of high-school visits since last meeting in April:

-Needham (Michael Hirsh): Ami Katz talked about particle physics in two
classes. His presentations were followed by lively Q&A sessions. It is very
interesting that in the junior class there were questions from girls about
women's involvement in science. Ami, as a Lisa Randall's (ex-)student, was
very well positioned for encouraging girls to think about careers in 
According to Michael, it was a big success.

-Gloucester (Scott Carlsson) and Roxbury Latin (Rick Dower): After Spring 
visits, Albion and Tom will return in November/December

-Medford (Michael Wadness): Mike writes: "Last year my students in Medford
were very surprised to talk to a physicist that didn't wear a lab coat and
have big, bushy, white hair!". He refers to Hong Liu who is on research 
this semester. Ken Olum will get in touch with Mike to arrange a
visit still in Fall/Winter.

-Boston Commonwealth (Farhad Riahi). Max Tegmark spent one full morning in
the school, visiting two classes and stayed for a lunch with students.
According to Farhad, students were very happy and want to see physicists 
often. At Farhad's suggestion, Tom will check if some other, not yet
participating theorists are interested in visiting his school.

2. Expansion plans: Theorists are confident that they could recruit more
participants -- 3 or 4 names were mentioned, of Boston newcomers, and from
Rhode Island and New Hampshire. However, there was only one response to the
message distributed last year by Rick, and one to the anouncement at the
recent Quarknet meeting. Rick promised to explore more efficient ways of
advertising our program.

3. Budget update: Tom received a supplement to cover
teachers' stipends, equipment and some travel/material expenses (thanks, 
and personally to Fred Cooper who conceived this program). From now on,
stipends will be $100 per meeting, and Tom will be very scrupulous in
reimbursing parking/zip-car bills etc.
Everybody agreed that the upgrade of the cloud chambers and new 
equipment are the highest priority. At the present time, one cloud chamber 
with Rick (Roxbury Latin) and one with Jesus Hernandez (Lawrence). Teachers
will work together with theorists on developing new demonstrations. In
addition, Michael's and Farhad's schools will
receive brand new LCD projectors.

4. Since some visits are already planned, pairings will remain unchanged
 until the next meeting:

Amihay Hanany -- Ken Rideout
Ami Katz -- Michael Hirsh
Ken Olum and Hong Liu -- Mike Wadness
Albion Lawrence -- Scott Carlsson
Max Tegmark and ??? - Farhad Riahi
Tom Taylor -- Rick Dower

We hope to hear from Jesus Hernandez and Max Tegmark if they are still
interested in participating.

5. Graduate Students participation. We should decide if we want to apply 
 a big grant supporting graduate students assisting K-12 teachers 10 hrs 
Tom promised to digest the program description and to solicit teachers' and
theorists' requests. The questions to think about are:
-- to teachers: would you know how to keep busy a grad student 10 hrs per
Only Farhad gave a definite "yes" answer, so we need to hear form others.
-- to theorists: do you have students (U.S. green-card holders or citizens)
might profit from such a funding opportunity?

6. The next meeting is (tentatively) planned for January 28, 2006.
   Hopefully the first round of visits will take place beforehand.

5. Other logistics

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