Students Performing Experiments Collaboratively Through Remote Access (SPECTRA)
(Take data at http://spectra.src.wisc.edu/)
The SPECTRA (Students Performing Experiments Collaboratively Through Remote Access) program is managed by the Education and Outreach group of the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC). SRC is funded by the National Science Foundation and the UW-Madison to provide scientists with an intense source of light and the support needed to conduct scientific research. SPECTRA is designed to provide high school and college science students the opportunity to learn how light is used as a research tool and to conduct real scientific measurements using a synchrotron light source. This allows the students to virtually go beyond the classroom walls and also provides science teachers valuable enrichment.
The SPECTRA facility is composed of 3 coordinated components: a Grasshopper high resolution Monochromator beamline that provides monochromatic light between 40 and 600 eV, an ultrahigh vacuum experimental chamber that can be manipulated remotely containing 2 types of samples, and an internet website that allows control of remote measurements.
- Seven PhotoAbsorption samples can be selected to insert into the photon beam.
- Fifteen PhotoEmission samples are available for Total Electron Yield measurements.
- Data is taken remotely through the website: http://spectra.src.wisc.edu/
- Individual experimental runs are entered in a queue and are sequentially processed.
- Students can work singly or in research teams.
- Students can use SPECTRA as part of a class sequence or for independent study.
- Some experiments can be done to investigate properties of the lightsource or the monochromator.
- Simple absorption measurements can be made through the photoabsorption samples showing the optical properties of different materials.
- More complex chemical bonding can be analyzed through photoemission measurements.
Using the SPECTRA experimental station
An ideal pedagogical sequence would be:
- Students learn the background physics and/or chemistry concepts that apply to their project.
- Students visit the SRC to participate in an introductory presentation and a tour of the synchrotron lightsource.
- If a visit is not possible, a web-based virtual tour is available.
- Students plan their experiments and take data remotely over the web.
- Students analyze their data and discuss issues with their research team and/or teacher.
- A poster session is organized at the school or at the laboratory for students to share observations and ideas in a format similar to research conferences.
For more information about this teaching tool or to reserve SPECTRA beam time, please contact Chris Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 877-2137.