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Paid Summer Research Experience for Gr. 7-12 Math/Science Teachers in Astro-Physics at MTU

This on-campus summer research experience will provide teachers with an opportunity to immerse themselves in modern-day astrophysics research and receive guidance in translating their learning into new classroom materials. Dr. Petra Huentemeyer, a professor in the Department of Physics at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, has received a grant from NSF to investigate highest energy gamma-ray emission from the Milky Way. Her research group studies extreme astrophysical environments such as star forming regions, remnants of super novae, pulsar wind nebulae, and binary star systems using data from the HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory.

The scope of this research experience will be tailored to the participant’s experience and interest. The program may include instruction on computationally-based research with data sets from state-of-the-art astrophysical telescopes and the design of age-appropriate, content-rich, inquiry-focused learning activities for middle or high school students.


• Off-campus (~4 weeks): Before arriving in Houghton, the participant is asked to work remotely for 2-3 hours/week on introductory material and preliminary project development, in collaboration with Dr. Huentemeyer’s research group. • On Campus (~6 weeks): The participant will work intensively on their collaborative research project and secondary curriculum, 30-40 hours/week. • During following school year: the teacher will work with Dr. Huentemeyer and her group on further secondary curriculum development and assessment.

Logistics & Benefits

When: 6 weeks on campus during the summer of 2020, exact start/end dates are negotiable though a start date at the end of June is anticipated (e.g. June 29 – August 7)

Where: Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI.

Compensation: $4,200 (we will help with finding accommodation)

Travel funds to present at a conference: Up to $2,000 available to present research experience and/or newly developed curriculum at a professional scientific conference (e.g. American Physical Society) or professional education conference (e.g. National Science Teachers Association, American Association of Physics Teachers) – during the following year. If the collaboration leads to published work, the teacher will be included as a co-author.

For more information on Dr. Huentemeyer’s research, please visit the homepage of the HAWC Observatory at:, her homepage at: department/faculty/huentemeyer/, or send her an email:

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