Cool Star Lab Introduces Students from Across Latin America to the Joy of Physics


Members of the Cool Star Lab were part of a contingent of 16 Physics undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, teachers and faculty who facilitated a morning of physics demonstrations, circuit building and LN2 ice cream, as part of the Institute of the Americas Science & Innovation Camp.  40 high-school students from across Latin and South America were selected to participate in this two-week residential camp at the Institute of the Americas, receiving classroom and field instruction from Spanish-speaking teachers, with conducting projects focused on innovation and evaluation of scientific and technological responses to climate change.

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A Mindset Workshop

jpegI’ve recently gotten turned on to the concept of Mindset and how it influences the way my students (and I) respond to challenges and successes, and generally learn.  The basic idea, developed out of an extensive body of educational psychology research by Carol Dweck and others, is that our interaction with the world lies on the spectrum between two poles: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. And where we sit on this spectrum in our various spheres in life – academics, work, relationships – can have a profound impact on our happiness, ability to persist in challenges, and success.

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Adam Burgasser shares thoughts and experiences on recruiting diverse graduate students in UCSD workshop

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On April 21st, the Division of Social Sciences at UCSD held a panel discussion on Recruiting a Diverse Graduate Student Pool, which included Adam Burgasser, Frances Contreras from the Department of Education Studies and Antonio DeMaio from the School of Medicine. Adam spoke on the efforts of the UCSD Physics Department to increase diversity in its graduate program.

Physics has a long road toward equity, with only 2% and 3% of Physics PhDs being conferred to African Americans and Hispanic Americans, and only 19% of Physics PhDs going to women. One tool toward improving these numbers and those of faculty and STEM professionals is to recruit, train, support and retain a diverse graduate population.

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Dianna Cowern Participates in BeWiSE Overnighter

Cool Star Lab Outreach Coordinator Dianna Cowern participated in the BeWiSE (Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering) overnight camp on April 18th at the Scripps Birch Aquarium.

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Cool Star Lab Participates in First Vista STEMFest

On March 11th, members of the Cool Star Lab, along with UCSD Physics undegraduate and graduate students and other UCSD groups, participated in the first Vista STEM Fest at Washington Middle School in Vista.  We had a three-table booth full of demonstrations on sound, vibration, electricity, fluid dynamics, thin films, and rotational motion, and we even had a telescope out to view Jupiter, Orion and the Moon. Organized by teachers in the Vista Unified School District to engage students and the community on the excitement of science and engineering, the STEM fest looks to be a new tradition for San Diego.

Thank you to all of our student volunteers!