Community Is Key At Physics Career Day

Physics Career Day 3 pics

On Saturday October 3rd, UCF’s Physics Department hosted their 3rd annual Physics Career Exploration Day.

Physics Career Exploration Day is geared toward high school students who want to explore careers in physics. This event aimed to show each student the many different career paths available to graduates with a physics degree. The students were encouraged to bring their parents along, while they heard from physicists, as well as speakers from the physics department about the great career opportunities in their fields. With approximately 100 people in attendance, this was a fun filled day of physics exploration.

The day started with some light refreshments in the physical sciences building and the Dean of the College of Sciences, Michael Johnson, Ph.D., kicked off the event with a welcome speech.  Several speakers then took the podium. Among the speakers were, physics chair professor Talat Rahman, Ph.D., assistant professor, William Kaden, Ph.D., director, president and CEO of Irradiance Glass, J. David Musgraves, Ph.D., and assistant professor Adrienne Dove.

Physics Career Day 40 - Dean J

Students heard the personal stories of successful physicists, how they chose their career path, as well as some of the exciting things they do on a daily basis and the great career opportunities within their fields. A panel discussion was also held between current graduate students, faculty and staff, allowing for questions and interaction with the prospective students.

At 12:30pm the attendees were treated to pizza for lunch. After lunch, the students, with their parents and/or teachers, were introduced to the undergraduate physics program. There they learned about the classes that are included in the undergraduate track for a physics majors, and what they can do now to prepare to study physics.

Laurene Tetard, Ph.D., also introduced them to the new method for teaching physics that UCF has introduced. “The method has eliminated long lectures or tests and has implemented team work.”

The students were then taken on 5 different lab tours of the physics research facilities to see and better understand the learning environment at UCF. The lab tours were run entirely by graduate students.

Along with thePhysics Career Day 9 tours, there were experiments and demonstrations led by physics undergraduate and graduate students. The demonstrations included the Coca Cola and Mentos experiment and making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

Ahlam Al-Rawi, Ph.D., recognized all the physics students on their hard work and the group effort it took to make this event a success; this was the first time graduate students were completely in charge of many of the activities.

They closed out the day with delicious ice cream and giveaways provided by Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

Physics Career Day 24A big thanks goes out to the physics out-reach committee for organizing this exciting and educational day. The physics faculty and staff expressed the feeling of community within the physics department and Dr. Al-Rahi emphasized “caring, community and communication”; these three factors that were implemented into the activities throughout out the day, but should also be applied to everyone’s daily lives.

Eduardo Mucciolo’s, Ph.D., goal for this outreach event was to “get the students interested in science 1st, coming to UCF 2nd and going into physics 3rd.”

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