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High school students become a “Scientist for a Day” at UNF

Two students working on dark matter data analytics on a computerThe University of North Florida’s Department of Physics invited local high school students to become scientists for a day and hosted a free one-day masterclass about dark matter last week. 

Students had the opportunity to work with experts in the field, including UNF physics associate professors Drs. Chris Kelso and Jack Hewitt, discussing dark matter, what makes up much of the matter in the universe, as well as careers in physics. In addition, they toured the UNF physics department and participated in hands-on experiments analyzing data from current dark matter observations. 

The masterclass also featured Dr. Pearl Sandick, professor of physics and astronomy & associate dean for faculty and research in the College of Science at the University of Utah, who shared her expertise in dark matter/particle astrophysics.  

The UNF Physics Department regularly hosts workshops for local schools and free public events. The next Astronomy Night, hosted by the physics department and Astronomy Club, will take place at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 5, featuring Al Bott from the Northeast Florida Astronomical Society discussing "Astronomy on a Budget." They will also host an Eclipse Watch Party on Monday, April 8, at UNF’s Coxwell Amphitheater.