Upward Bound Math Science students “Explore Physics at Yale’s Wright Laboratory”

group of people standing in front of a large, blue circular sculpture and posing.
May 5, 2023

On May 4, 2023, fourteen students from Waterbury’s Upward Bound Math Science program came to Wright Lab for a half-day’s worth of activities that included a facility tour, two scientific demonstrations, a panel discussion, and a meet and greet.

The tour, led overall by Wright Lab program manager Victoria Misenti, included an overview of Wright Lab’s shop and lab facilities, with stops along the way at labs where students heard from and interacted with Wright Lab researchers, including postdoctoral associates Fernando Flor, Michael Jewell, and Thomas Penny; graduate students Samantha Pagan, Emily Pottebaum, Ananya Rai, Ben Siegel, Sierra Weyhmiller, and Sierra Wilde; and undergraduates Aaron Chizhik, and Barkotel Zemenu.

During one of the stops on the tour, Chizhik, Flor, Pagan and Pottebaum, as well as Yale Physics instructional support staff Caitlin Hansen, Stephen Irons, and Paul Noel, provided two demonstrations for the participants related to their research in developing and using particle detectors.  The first demonstration was of a cloud chamber, where students could see visible tracks of charged particles, including cosmogenic muons, a type of particles coming from outside the Earth, and other particles that are otherwise not perceivable by our normal senses. The second was a demonstration of new technologies and equipment that Pagan has been helping to develop to track these same particles in research instrumentation.

After the tour, the group went to the Wright Lab lecture room for a panel discussion, moderated by Yale Physics graduate services coordinator Rona Ramos, and including assistant professor Charles Brown, postdoctoral associate Fernando Flor, graduate student Caitlin Gish, and undergraduates Diane Documet and Robin Tsai.

Finally, the students had a “meet and greet” and luncheon with representatives from various student organizations in Yale Physics and the researchers who had led tours earlier.