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    About the RET Program | FAQ | 2011 Projects



    What are the program dates?
    Summer of 2011:  June 20 - July 29

    What are the expected work hours? Will we have to work on weekends?
    The expected hours for the summer are regular business hours (approx. 40 hours a week, M-F, from 8-5).

    Do I have to attend the entire six weeks?

    When is the application deadline?
    Complete applications are due on 12 MAR 2011.

    What are the application materials?
    Official SRC – RET application (available on-line December 15, 2010)

    When will I find out if I've been accepted?
    Accepted applicants will be notified by 26 MAR 2011.

    What experience level are you looking for? In other words, do I have to have research experience?
    No research experience or background is required.  Applicants with a strong desire to learn about research methodology and spectroscopy, and to share this knowledge with their students, are desired.  

    What instructional experience are you looking for? In other words, is consideration given for type and duration of teaching experience?
    Special consideration is given to instructors who teach in schools with a significant population of traditionally under represented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

    What is the cost?
    There is no cost.  In fact, you will be paid a stipend of $8,000.  The program also includes three UW Grad credits in Physics (a $2,000 value), classroom equipment support and covers the expenses associated with presenting the results of your experience at a professional conference (up to $500).

    Is the $8,000.00 stipend per school or per teacher?
    Per teacher

    What if I need a place to stay?
    Limited funds are available for participants who are unable to commute and wish to stay at the facility's Bob Green Guest House.

    What will we be doing during the six weeks?

    What are the research projects going to be like? Do I have a choice in the matter?
    Though details of the individual projects will vary, several possibilities exist. Effort will be made to match a teacher's first choice with an appropriate mentor and project. Additional information on the mentors and the research projects can be found here.

    What is a synchrotron?
    A synchrotron is an electron storage ring, related to the large particle storage rings like the ones at CERN or Fermi Lab. Charged subatomic particles (electrons in SRC's synchrotron) are accelerated to 99.999% of the speed of light in a vacuum chamber and held in a somewhat circular 'orbit' by strong magnetic fields.

    What is synchrotron radiation? What is it good for?
    Synchrotron Radiation (SR) is a by product of the relativistic charged particles curving through the magnetic fields that hold them in 'orbit' in the synchrotron. It was originally seen as an undesirable waste of the energy put into accelerating the particles intended for collisions. The SRC synchrotrons ("Tantalus" and "Aladdin") were actually designed to maximize the production of 'light' in the UV and soft X-ray portions of the electromagnetic spectrum: a portion of the spectrum difficult to produce by any other means. Researchers interested in studying the effects of this radiation on various materials have been coming from around the world to conduct their research at SRC for over three decades.

    Do I need to know how a synchrotron works?
    No.  We will be using the SRC synchrotron as an intensely bright ‘light bulb’.  However, an explanation of what a synchrotron is and how it works is part of the instruction you will receive during the first week.

    What is FTIR microscopy?
    FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Radiation) microscopy uses microscopes that ‘see’ in the IR portion of the spectrum.  The Fourier Transform technique breaks the IR light into its individual spectral components providing detailed information on the chemical make-up of the sample, at each individual picture element!

    Do I need to know how an FTIR microscope works?
    No.  Part of your training will explain the basic principles of operation and instruct you in the proper use of the microscope and image processing.

    What if I'm not a science teacher? Am I still an eligible program candidate?
    Availability is limited and preference will be given to high school instructors in the disciplines associated with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). However, any instructor in a position to positively influence students' interests in STEM associated careers is welcome to apply.

    What is involved in the conference presentation?
    Participants are asked to present their experience to a group of their peers at a state level professional conference, such as WSST (Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers), WAPT (Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers), etc.  The presentation may be in the form of a poster presentation or a short talk and should address the participant’s program experience and its influence on their classroom instruction.

    Do I have to pay for the conference myself?
    No.  The SRC – RET program will provide up to $500 to cover the cost of attending the conference, including membership dues for one year.

    For more information or questions don't hesitate to contact us.

    Rick Cole
    SRC-RET Program Coordinator
    (608) 877-2137

    Chris Moore
    SRC Education and Outreach Coordinator
    (608) 877-2137

    SRC Central Office
    (608) 877-2000

    Synchrotron Radiation Center
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    3731 Schneider Drive
    Stoughton, WI 53589