Educational Outreach

Computational Physics, Inc. encourages its employees to take an active role in providing and supporting educational experiences for young people in the Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) fields by giving presentations in the local schools, participating in school programs, and supporting organizations that promote STEM learning via tournaments and competitions. The company recognizes the volunteer efforts of its staff by periodically publishing these educational outreach activities here.

June 2013

Dr. John Coreira has been a mentor for the Annandale High School International Baccalaureate Design Technology class for the 2012-13 academic year, as well as a judge for the Diocese of Arlington Science Fair for the past two years.

May 2013

CPI Helps High School Students Learn About STEM Careers

Dr. Peter Rochford helped high school students learn about future careers in the Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) fields by giving a presentation on Future STEM Career Opportunities and by participating in a panel discussion on "Research Opportunities". This was held at the 5th annual Thomas Jefferson Symposium To Advance Research (tjSTAR) at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virginia on May 29, 2013. The purpose of the presentation and panel was to help TJHSST students learn about the research aspects of potential careers and encourage them to pursue careers in the STEM fields. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

TJHSST is a Virginia Academic-Year Governor's school that offers a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing the sciences, mathematics, and technology. Students from several school jurisdictions are selected on the basis of aptitude and interest in the biological, chemical, physical, mathematical, and computer sciences and their intent to pursue college in the STEM fields. tjSTAR is a day-long research symposium held annually at TJHSST to enrich student learning and interest. This school-wide event of presentations, discussions, demonstrations, and interactive learning opportunities is intended to facilitate the sharing of student research projects, explore future research options, and discuss the research aspects of potential careers.

Annandale High School Physics Seminar

CPI Scientist Dr. Hal Knight gave an introductory seminar on geophysical remote sensing to about 50 International Baccalaureate Physics students at Annandale High School, Annandale, VA on May 23, 2013. The seminar included an auroral data analysis exercise with far ultraviolet (FUV) images. The students derived precipitating electron energy fluxes from N2 Lyman-Birge-Hopfield image values and compared them with coincident in situ observations. Dr. Knight was pleased to see the students did their calculations accurately and efficiently.

Woodson High School Career Fair

Dr. Peter Rochford participated in the Career Fair at W. T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia on Thursday, March 14, 2013. He provided students the opportunity to ask questions about careers in physics and what were the future career prospects in that field. The two most common questions asked by students were:

      1. What jobs can you get with a college degree in physics?
        Most people with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics get jobs such as a research technician
        /assistant, computer programmer, data analyst, work in an engineering field, or as an elementary/
        middle/high school teacher.
      2. How much would you make with a college degree in physics?
        The annual starting salary for a recent college graduate with a B.Sc. in Physics is in the $46,000
        - $58,000 range.

Students appreciated these and many other answers to their questions.

2013 Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament

Dr. Peter Rochford served as an Event Supervisor at the 2013 Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament held at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, Virginia on Saturday, March 2, 2013. He supervised the "Rocks & Minerals" event where high school and middle school students (separate divisions) were required to identify rock and mineral samples and answer geology questions. The Virginia Science Olympiad (VASO) is an organization dedicated to improving K-12 science education by creating a passion for learning science by supporting elementary and secondary tournaments with an emphasis on teamwork and a commitment to excellence. The tournaments are rigorous competitions that consist of a series of team events which students prepare for during the year. These events span the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, and technology. The events require a balanced knowledge between science concepts, process skills, and science applications, as well as teamwork, group planning, and cooperation. Individual CPI staff are pleased to volunteer their time in encouraging K-12 students to learn more about the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields through organizations such as Science Olympiad.

February 2013

Annandale High School Science Fair

CPI scientist Dr. Hal Knight participated as a judge for physics projects in the Annandale High School Science Fair in Annandale, Virginia on February 7, 2013. The students reported on their experiments investigating principles of physics and demonstrated their ability to analyze, document, and present scientific results. The projects were quite interesting and some results of the high school students' investigations raised questions without easy answers.

Future STEM Career Opportunities Videos

CPI has published a three-part video seminar for high school students about future career opportunities in the Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The seminar was given at the 4th annual Thomas Jefferson Symposium To Advance Research (tjSTAR) at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virginia on May 30, 2012. The purpose of the seminar was to make high school students aware of the good career opportunities in STEM fields and to encourage them to pursue careers in such fields. The video encourages students by reporting findings from several studies on the low unemployment rates, high salaries, and positive future outlook for STEM careers.



May 2012

CPI Helps High School Students Learn About STEM Careers

Dr. Peter Rochford helped high school students learn about future careers in the Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) fields by giving a a presentation on Future STEM Career Opportunities and by participating in a panel discussion on "Research Opportunities at the High School and College Levels, and Beyond". This was held at the 4th annual Thomas Jefferson Symposium To Advance Research (tjSTAR) at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virginia on May 30, 2012. The purpose of the presentation and panel was to help TJHSST students learn about the research aspects of potential careers and encourage them to pursue careers in the STEM fields. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

TJHSST is a Virginia Academic-Year Governor's school that offers a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing the sciences, mathematics, and technology. Students from several school jurisdictions are selected on the basis of aptitude and interest in the biological, chemical, physical, mathematical, and computer sciences and their intent to pursue college in the STEM fields. tjSTAR is a day-long research symposium held annually at TJHSST to enrich student learning and interest. This school-wide event of presentations, discussions, demonstrations, and interactive learning opportunities is intended to facilitate the sharing of student research projects, explore future research options, and discuss the research aspects of potential careers.

CPI Judges at TSA Technosphere 2012

Dr. Peter Rochford participated in the Technology Student Association (TSA) Technosphere 2012 state conference in Richmond, VA on May 4-6, 2012. TSA is an international Career and Technical Student Organization made up of Middle School and High School Technology Education Students that encourages students to pursue STEM topics: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Students have opportunities to compete, lead, and learn about these topics through leadership and competitive conferences at Regional, State, and National levels.

Technosphere 2012 included a Virginia state competition at which Dr. Rochford volunteered to judge high school projects for Biotechnology Design. Participants selected a contemporary biotechnology problem that was related to Pharmaceutical/Agricultural Chemicals and had to demonstrate an understanding of it through documented research, the development of a solution, a display, and an effective multimedia presentation. The winners of the competition can be found at the Virginia TSA web site.