The Astrophysics course will establish a firm introduction of the forces at work upon the fabric of the universe and how these dynamics interplay to create the structure and harmony that we observe today.
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Beginning from the cosmic chaos, astrophysics will delineate the foundation goals of the field through tracing the evolution of the universe from its origins through to modern times and probing into its future fate.
Students will delve into the depths of the cosmos to push their understanding to the very frontier of the unknown, and perchance beyond that! Students embarking on this adventure will be introduced to the wave-particle duality of light, radiation and stellar evolution, illuminating their curiosities in the process. They will then explore advanced topics in cosmology such as supermassive black holes, the spacetime fabric and mapping the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Studies will culminate with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
The curriculum is supported by computational simulations of dark matter and galactic formation, physical demonstration, student-led discussions and thought experiments. Observational astronomy will be interlaced into the course using solar and night sky observational telescopes, focusing on techniques for identifying the constellations and naked-eye astronomy. Students will pursue their final research in a self-selected specification of interest. Projects vary, but are all relevant to modern professional research and exploration, such as observational astrophysics, astroparticle physics or physical cosmology. Their final research projects will incorporate real data from working telescopes and research laboratories.
Minors: In addition to the "Major" activities, students participate in “Minor” labs that allow them to gain a breadth of scientific knowledge by exploring different scientific disciplines. These may include activities such as extracting the DNA of a strawberry or delving into forensic science with blood type analysis.
Enrichment Activities: In the afternoons and evenings give campers the opportunity for informal science learning, as well as leadership and problem-solving training through workshops, experiments, guest speakers, and recreational activities. Students will also attend a mid-program excursion to a local science venue.
Camps for rising 9th-12th graders have two options:
- Extended Day: Extended Day Campers attend camp from 9am to 9pm seven days a week (except check-in and check-out days, which are half days), with lunch and dinner provided in the dining hall each day.
- Overnight: Overnight campers check-in after lunch on the first day of camp and check out before lunch on the last day of camp. All meals and shared dorm accommodations are provided.
|Program||Grades||Location||Start Date||End Date||Price Options||Register|
Sample Schedule Co-ed Science Camps
|7:30 am||Overnight campers - wake up!|
|8:00 am||Breakfast in the dining hall (overnight campers)|
|9-9:15 am||Extended day camper check-in|
|9:00 am||Camp meeting & warm up|
|9:15 am||Lab session|
|12:00 pm||Lunch in the dining hall (included for overnight & extended day campers)|
|2:00 pm||Lab session|
|5:30 pm||Dinner in the dining hall (overnight & extended campers)|
|6:30 pm||Evening class session|
|7:45 pm||Evening recreation & activities|
|8-9:00 pm||Extended day camper check-out|
|9:30 pm||Floor check (overnight campers get ready for bed)|
|10:00 pm||Room check & lights out|
Education Unlimited believes in small-group, immersive learning with subject matter experts and experienced teachers. We strive to provide industry-leading instruction to all of our students and hold all staff to the highest possible standards. Staff assignments vary by program and location. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:
Rhonda McCoy, PhD - Camp Director
Dr. Rhonda McCoy is a Manager of Quality Control for a leading global biopharmaceutical company. Through analysis of quality from creation to post-expiration date, Dr. McCoy oversees a team that ensures medications sold around the world are both safe and effective. Dr. McCoy holds a PhD in Chemistry from Howard University in Washington DC. A member of the Education Unlimited team since 2005, Dr. McCoy has been passionate about the empowerment of middle and high school age girls throughout her career, evident in her work as Director of our Science and Engineering Camps for Girls. She has volunteered her time as the scholarship program chair for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and taught chemistry and physics in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools of Charlotte, North Carolina.
In addition to her doctorate degree, Dr. McCoy has a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A&T State University. Prior to her five years as a research assistant at Howard while pursuing her doctorate, she spent time as an analytical chemist with the global cosmetics brand, L’Oreal. In her free time, Rhonda enjoys travel, shopping, and time with her family.
Gladys Velez Caicedo - Instructor
Gladys Velez Caicedo is a technical instructor in the Department of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A graduate of Columbia University in New York City, Gladys holds a Bachelor of Science degree in astronomy & physics. Gladys has conducted high energy particle astrophysics at various labs around the world, such as Nevis Laboratories and as part of the VERITAS collaboration. Gladys developed a passion for high school education during her college years. While at Columbia, she established the Columbia Education Studies Program in 2011, designed to give high school students wide-range access to university education.
Gladys joined the Education Unlimited team in 2017. She developed the curriculum for the astrophysics summer camp program, offered as of summer 2018.