Track C Descriptions

Nuclear Astrophysics: Fusion, Fragmentation, and Radioactive Decay

What do the history of the universe, the life and death of stars, and the elements that make up your body have in common? Nuclear astrophysics! Nuclear reactions such as fusion, fragmentation, and radioactive decay have guided the chemical evolution of the universe and the energy cycle in stars.

This course, sponsored by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics and MSU’s world-class Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), will introduce you to the wonders of nuclei in deep space!

  • Use a hands-on model to test what nuclei can do
  • Discover how world-class nuclear astrophysics happens at MSU
  • Explore FRIB's rare isotope research areas on a (virtual) tour

Supplies needed: paper plate, 8 each of two different small items (pennies and nickels?), 2 six-sided dice, paper clip, light source (flashlight, etc.), 5 different small objects light enough to be held up on the plate (game pieces, cereal, coins, etc.)

National Parks: America's Math

Do you love touring America’s natural gems? Do you wonder all about the vastness of America’s mosaic of nature? What about the volume of the Grand Canyon? Have you ever wondered what the volume of a human being is? How about human beings in the Grand Canyon-how many would fit? Do you want to find out? Students will be introduced to large numbers, volume, unit conversions, and estimations to explore the idea of volume and large quantities. Research has shown that a student’s understanding of solid volume measurement can have a strong influence on the solving of advanced measurement problems.

The Science of Measurement: Learn how ancient and modern tools were used for measurement

Students will learn about various measurement tools and how they were developed over the course of hundreds of years. Students will learn about how modern instruments, like satellites, use nature, like salt flats, to help calibrate themselves in space. In addition, students will explore how people used to measure without modern tools and explore the tools they had at that time.