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Compass Summer 2012

Sep 15, 2012   //   by jessica.marie   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Compass Summer 2012

        An entire week of non-stop physics. I know for any physics major that sounds like heaven but for the vast majority or people that doesn’t sound very appealing. However, I think one of the best parts of Compass was that no matter how much we knew about physics when we showed we left learning not only more physics concepts but also loving physics at least a little more.

        Throughout the week, we learned about models for a slinky. Somehow, we learned about tension, forces, springs, gravity and collisions by simply dropping slinkys. It was definitely a challenging week including homework that may or may not have been impossible. However, as valuable as the problem sets were more importantly the summer program helped show us how to effectively design and execute experiments and collect data.

        Beyond just the academic part of Compass all of us were given the opportunity to explore what physicists are doing right now by visiting several Berkeley labs and the Lick Observatory. In addition, we were even given the opportunity to meet and get to know fellow physics, engineering, and computer science students.

        Compass allowed us to learn about models but also make connections in the physics community. I’m looking forward to continuing my time in Compass by taking the Physics 98 class with my friends from Compass Summer 2012.

Cal Day 2012

Aug 23, 2012   //   by kristinerezai   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Compass Project Cal Day Booth

Hi all!  Sorry this is a bit on the later side, but better late then never.  I am writing a blog post to reflect upon the successes of the Cal Day Booth that Marvin and I put on to attract incoming freshmen and inform people about what we do in Compass.

So I first got the idea to have  a booth for Compass for Cal Day during Parents Weekend.  My mother and I were talking about how amazing my experience has been at Cal since I became a part of the Compass Project even though originally I was reluctant to apply to the program.  To me, it was just another application to fill out and I had heard very little about the program.  To this day I am thankful I filled out the application.  But as I was reminiscing about the amazing week I had as part of the program, I began to realize that there may be others who also got the application to join the Compass project but did not fill it out because they were unsure about what this program really is viagra rapide.  That is when I decided that it is my duty as a current Compass student to inform incoming students about the amazing opportunities that arise out of the Compass Project.  I felt that having a booth at Cal Day is a great way to inform incoming freshman about the Compass Project so that they would be excited about joining it.

The first step to putting on the booth was to talk to the physics major advisor Claudia Trujillo.  Without the help of Ms. Trujillo, the Compass Cal Day booth would not have happened at all.  She gratiously secured a spot next to the Society of Physics Students and other Physics booths on Sproul Plaza.

The real work was done in April as Cal Day approached.  Thanks to the physics graduate students I was able to procure a plethora of beautiful Compass brochures as well as use the supplies in the Compass office.  Marvin and I made a pretty sign that was taped to the front of the booth and we used some of the advertizing props already in the Compass office.  In addition to having a merely informational booth we decided to have some activities at the booth including making oobleck and gak.

On April 21 we brought everything down from Foothill and set up the booth.  It looked lovely, and I am proud to say I was a part of the success of the table.  I’d like to thank Drew, Emma, and my foothill friends Jolie and Huda for helping carry all of the equipment down to Sproul Plaza from Foothill.

As the day wore on, the booth became increasingly popular.  People, both young and old, were drawn to the table.  Many people were interested in what the Compass Project is and most had never heard of it.  Youngsters enjoyed making oobleck and gak while incoming freshmen learned about the Summer Program and got the necessary information on how to apply.  I’d like to thank everyone who helped work the booth and clean up including Ayman, Emma, Drew, Celeste, Julia, Cansu, Rui, Salman, and Jenna.  If I am missing someone please let me know so he/she can be recognized.

Again I’d like to thank everyone who was part of the Compass Cal Day booth.  Without your time and dedication the booth would not have been as successful as it is.

As I finish up this post I look to the future to Cal Day 2013.  I hope that the Compass Project will be a part of the booths on Sproul Plaza so that more incoming freshman will be encouraged to apply to the project.  I also hope to be a part of the success of the Compass Cal Day 2013 booth and expand it so it will be even more successful.

Reflecting on the Physics Education Research Conference: What makes Compass unique?

Aug 11, 2012   //   by Dimitri   //   Blog, Compass Presentations, Physics Education  //  No Comments

Compass was pretty well-represented at the recent Physics Education Research Conference (PERC); Angie, Anna, Gina, Joel, and I all made our way to Philadelphia to share ideas with a national network of physics educators. (Check out our presentations here and here, and our paper here.) A lot of really smart, thoughtful people are paying close attention to how students learn, and there are tons of great ideas out there for improving the way we teach physics.

Compass 2012 Fundraising Campaign and Social Hour

Jul 27, 2012   //   by Jacob   //   Blog, Compass News, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Compass, as you know, is almost entirely a volunteer organization. It was started around 2006 by a group of idealistic graduate students (depending of course on how you define “started”), and it is still run by a dedicated group of grad students and undergrads. Furthermore – and this is critical – the current leaders are not just stewards for a set of programs that were handed down to us. One of our real strengths is that Compass is continually growing and developing as a program – we’re a collection of physicists and friends thereof who are united by a guiding set of principles. One of those principles is personal empowerment and self-determination.

Pi Day! (High School Outreach)

Apr 20, 2012   //   by Jenna Pinkham   //   High School Outreach  //  1 Comment

(Back left) Jenna and Emma give a guided tour of hyperbolic space. (Front right) Pauldeep challenges student to a game of Nim.

In a nutshell, Pi Day was a group of Compass students preparing some fun math- and science-flavored hands-on activities to present to a group of high school students. We brought materials to build nifty gliders that look like they shouldn’t be able to fly but do, a worksheet filled with some unusual math problems that require a certain amount of creativity, and awesome demonstrations of spherical and hyperbolic spaces.

High School Outreach – Part 2

Dec 6, 2011   //   by Jenna Pinkham   //   Compass News, High School Outreach  //  2 Comments
Fall 2011 Shadow Day

Shadow Day lab tours. From left to right: Jenna Pinkham, Melina, Ariana, Mr. Towey, Dimitri Dounas-Frazer. Photo taken by Ana Aceves.

Introduction by Dimitri Dounas-Frazer

The Fall 2011 semester saw Compass delve into high school outreach for the first time. Compass partnered with the Making Waves Education Program for two events: (1) Shadow Day, where high school seniors followed Compass undergrads to their college classes, and (2) a  math fair called Radical Pi Day, which was described in an earlier post. This post will focus on Shadow Day.

High school outreach – Part 1

Dec 5, 2011   //   by Jenna Pinkham   //   Compass News, High School Outreach  //  1 Comment
Radical Monte Pi-thons

Radical Monte π-thons. Left to right: Drew Edelberg, Yongchan Kim, Ana Aceves, Salman Kahn, and Dimitri Dounas-Frazer. Not shown: Marvin Alcantara and Phillip Merlo.

Introduction by Dimitri Dounas-Frazer, grad student

Last summer, I was hanging out with a friend of mine, Armando Franco. Armando teaches math for the Making Waves Education Program, an after-school program that supports urban, low-income children on their path towards gaining acceptance to college. We started talking about working together, and he suggested that Compass might be able to help Making Waves with two projects: (1) taking high school juniors and seniors to college-level math and science classes, and (2) designing events for their fall math fair, called Radical Pi Day. In this post, I’d like to share with you how Compass participated in Radical Pi Day.

Writing About Science

Nov 29, 2011   //   by Harjit   //   Compass News, Physics Education  //  3 Comments

Over the past few months, I’ve been interested in writing about science viagra ou trouver. When I say science, I’m primarily talking about astronomy and physics. I would like to be able to talk about a concept and explain where it originates from and its basic elements to a layperson. Does anyone have any advice/suggestions on how I can get started and how far I can take my writing. Currently, I’m thinking about trying to explain the idea of dark matter, candidates for dark matter, and why we know it exists. I would appreciate any help! Thanks!

Compass 2011 Summer Program Videos

Aug 24, 2011   //   by Allen Rabinovich   //   Summer Program 2011  //  2 Comments

At the end of this year’s summer program, the students have made wonderful and humorous videos about the work they’ve done. We’d like to share them with you.

Oobleck Drop – Microscopic View of Oobleck:

OOBS – Oobleck Protection:

Fruit Ninjas – Oobleck Demonstration:

Cookin’ with Physics – Ooblek Applications"

A Story of Overwhelming Generosity

Aug 4, 2011   //   by JoshShiode   //   Compass News  //  2 Comments

Fundraising thermometer as of August 1. Less than $650 to go!

We’re one week from the end of the line, with the top of the thermometer square in our sights. If you told me three weeks ago we would raise over $4,400 in the first week of our fundraising campaign, or that we’d be seeing donations of $10s, $100s, even $1000s from all our parents, colleagues, and even undergraduate students(!), I would probably have applauded your optimism with a condescending pat on the back and a “Sure, we’ll see…” Today, the only word I can use to describe the campaign: overwhelming.