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8th Grade Program

In 1990, two faculty members discussed that there was nothing available for rising eighth grade girls to interest them in physics. They applied to the National Science Foundation for funding and from there; the Physics Department Summer Girls Outreach Program was started.

The program began with one, two-week program, session from 9-1 and has grown to two, two-week, sessions daily from 8:30-4. In the morning, the girls listen to lectures, see demos, write in journals (these journals are read daily and commented on by teachers and aids) and do hands on experiments from a lab manual designed especially for them. Since just about every principle of physics is incorporated in the building of roller coasters, the afternoon will be used to design and build working models of roller coasters (each one approximately 8 feet). To close out the program, we invite parents, teachers and siblings to a closing ceremony where they can see the participants of the program do their favorite demo. The Young Eagles Program has been a large contributor to the program taking the girls flying as part of learning about aerodynamics.

Since its inception, approximately 1,000 rising ninth graders have attended this program going on to become engineers, doctors, computer specialist and, of course, physicists. The participants of the program come from Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. In addition, we have had girls from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and internationally. Since this is a free program, applications are received from a diverse group of young females, with one thing in common--- the desire to learn more about physics. We do not ask for letters of recommendation or grades, but applicants are required to write a paragraph explaining why they would like to attend this day camp program.

First Session June 30, 2008 - July 11, 2008
Second Session July 14, 2008 - July 25, 2008

Application Deadline: April 21, 2008

10th Grade Program

After increased popularity and demand for the Summer Outreach Program for rising 9th grade girls, the program is being extended this year to rising 11th grade girls.  While the 9th grade program focuses on traditional physics, the 11th grade program will jump into the world of modern physics.

The program will run daily from 9 – 3.  In the mornings, the girls will be introduced to the exciting world of modern physics.  They will learn about Relativity, Antimatter, Quantum Mechanics, Physical Uncertainty, Quantum Computing and more.  The afternoons will be filled with hands-on lab activities, visits to labs working ion modern physics, discussions with professors currently doing work in modern physics and a project to make our discussions of modern topics tangible.  Students will be introduced to topics that they will likely skip in their high school classes, from the thought experiments of Einstein to current applications in code breaking.

Applying students are asked to write a paragraph describing why they would like to attend camp and what, if any, topics in modern physics they would most like to learn about.

July 28, 2008 - August 08, 2008

Application Deadline: April 21, 2008

Summer Girls Photo Album:

2006 (Courtesy of John Warther)

**Please print the 2008 Application and mail in before the April 21, 2008 deadline. **

For more information, please contact Bernie Kozlowski at 301-405-5949 or


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