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The Summer of Science program, established and led by the McDonald Institute will be offered between July-Mid August 2024. This year, the program is being co-supported by the Carbon to Metal Coating Institute at Queen’s University (C2MCI).


The Summer of Science is a free afternoon enrichment program for middle school and high school aged students (including students graduating this June). The program will be available virtually, and we will also try to have an in-person cohort for those in the Kingston area. Over 12 afternoon sessions, this program focuses on physics and chemistry and the process of doing science. The Summer of Science program is led by undergraduates and joined by scientists at the McDonald Institute and the Carbon to Metal Coating Institute. Participating students explore a variety of content and practices that are part of the every-day job of the astronomers and particle physicists at the McDonald Institute through hands-on activities. This program’s goal is to supplement the focus on scientific content in the classroom with the tools of the trade that are at the heart of doing science. Activities will as much as possible involve students recreating and exploring these demonstrations at home before sharing with their cohort.


An example of skills and practices that may be touched on:

  • Inquiry

  • Hypothesis forming

  • Experimentation

  • Data Analysis

  • Searching past research publications

  • Computer Programming

  • Presenting results

  • Laboratory safety


These skills will be covered through their application to physics and chemistry content such as:

  • Understanding the Periodic Table

  • Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry

  • Analytical Techniques for Material Science

  • Nanomedicine Fundamentals

  • Fundamentals of Astronomy: Galaxy, Structure, Cosmology, Dark Matter

  • The standard model of particle physics: particles and how they interact

  • Neutrinos and dark matter from a particle astrophysics perspective

  • The Nobel-prize winning SNO Experiment

  • Evidence of dark matter

  • The nature of neutrinos

  • The hunt to detect these elusive particles


Students may also get involved with their instructor’s research projects. This involvement will contribute to the research being done here at Queen’s and will be recognized appropriately.


NOTE: The program is entirely free for all participants. 


Program Afternoons: Students will meet with their instructors over approximately six weeks both in person or online depending on the group. Note: in your application email, please indicate any dates that may not work for you. We will accommodate you. Please also confirm if you would be available to participate on campus as an in-person group.


Program Conclusion: The summer program will end with a presentation by the students on their involvement in research projects over the summer. These presentations will be open for all to join, including friends and family.


The application period to enrol in this program will open in April 2024 - please keep checking back here for more information.


For more information, don’t hesitate to email and make sure to reference “Summer of Science.”

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