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K-12 Science 2 Schools Traveling Science Programs: Our Mysterious Universe

Program Title:
Our Mysterious Universe
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Geographical Area:
South-Western Ontario
General Description:
Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, is Canada's most prestigious centre for research in theoretical physics. It is where some of the brightest and most creative scientists from around the world work together to push the limits of our understanding of the universe, exploring foundational questions such as:

What is time?
How did the Big Bang begin?
Can fundamental physics lead us to an extraordinary new type of quantum computer?
How can we reconcile Einstein's theory of space, time and gravity with quantum mechanics?

The Institute's high school outreach program brings the excitement of such cutting edge theoretical physics research to eager young minds in the classroom. The program consists of an interactive "chalk-talk" that encourages plenty of questions and discussion, with efforts to support the curriculum wherever possible. Key points covered include: (1) the enormous impact that physics has had and continues to have on society, technology and the economy, (2) how much we don't know, and how truly deep and profound the mysteries of the universe really are (Newton and Einstein did not figure out everything!), and (3) some details about Perimeter Institute itself: the type of research we do and some insight into what it is like to be a research scientist: the curiosity, the drive, the crazy hours and the creativity. The discussion is aimed at high school students at all levels in groups composed of one or more classes. Typically envisioned are students taking physics classes, but we are also especially interested in reaching students who are not or have not yet been exposed to physics in the normal course of their studies.

The program is conducted by our Program Coordinator, Richard Epp. Dr. Epp has a Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics, has taught courses at the university level and has nearly a decade of experience as a postdoctoral fellow at the front lines of theoretical physics research. Dr. Epp brings to the presentation a deep appreciation for the beautiful ideas physicists have constructed over the centuries to try to make sense of the universe we live in; a passion to share these ideas with students - especially the wonder, curiosity and imagination of the scientists behind the ideas; and a desire to spark students' interest in the wonderful world of creating new ideas and a new understanding of the world around us.
Area of Science:
Target Grade Levels:
10, 11, 12
Target Group Size:
Any size ranging from small groups to assemblies of multiple classes

The information contained in this page is accurate as of April, 2003.