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K-State Today

October 18, 2012

Physics starts outreach program in collaboration with Olathe campus

Submitted by Kim Coy

The Kansas State University physics department and Kansas State University Olathe have begun a new outreach program geared toward high school students and the public at large.

The outreach program consists of a series of seminars, which are taking place at the K-State Olathe campus. These seminars will highlight areas of advanced research performed at the K-State physics department and promote the role of physics in society. They will be given by physics faculty members including Vinod Kumarappan, Chris Sorensen and Sarah Golin.

The seminar series is focused on counties and cities around the Kansas City area, including Johnson County, Wyandotte County, Leavenworth County, Douglas County and Miami County in Kansas, and Lee’s Summit and Independence, Mo. The series is advertised in 70 independent high schools within Johnson County alone.

The seminars are specifically designed to be accessible to all education backgrounds and to present physics in a manner that is exciting and dynamic. This will be used to foster the interest of middle and high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, learning as well as a recruitment tool to encourage students to join the Kansas State University physics department.

The first talk was given Sept. 26 by Sarah Golin. She gave an overview of the physics department as well as potential physics career options. The second talk was presented by Vinod Kumarappan on ultrafast laser-matter interactions. Both talks created a lot of interest among the students in the audience and many of them stayed afterwards to discuss their interest with the speakers.

This series will continue for the current fall semester as well as the spring semester.