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Educational Programs and Outreach

FAQs: Exemplary Student Research Program

Frequently asked questions

Who can participate?

The program is available to schools – one team per school. A team consists of a teacher and 4 – 8 students. The teacher must be employed by the school, and the students must officially attend the same school. While Argonne selects the teacher and school by application, the teachers are responsible for selecting the students involved in the program. Students must be age 16 or older by January of the school year. If under 16, they may only participate as observers and can do no hands on work at Argonne.

What is the program cycle? 

The program cycle follows a school year. It begins in the summer with a teacher workshop (August), which one teacher per team must attend. It continues with a submitted team proposal at the end of October. Pending beamline approval, experiments are conducted at school and samples brought in and processed on the beam date, which typically falls in February or March. Results are collected, analyzed, and placed in a poster format. Each team presents their poster at the Poster Session of the APS/CNM/EMC User’s Meeting in early spring at Argonne. Not counting the teacher workshop, this cycle typically means ~ 2 – 4 team visits. 

Is a stipend paid to teachers and/or students?


What logistics and costs must be covered by the school team? 

Transportation, food, and all materials for the research project. 

How do participants get lab access? 

Argonne National Laboratory is a controlled access facility. Upon completion of registration and training, the APS User Office will issue badge numbers to participants that are active through the end of the program. After notifying Argonne Educational Programs of an upcoming visit, participants can request badges for their visit date(s) through the My APS portal.

Are there team requirements while visiting facilities or while doing research? 

Yes. All participants must wear long pants covering the ankles as well as closed shoes. Students must work under the supervision of their teacher and mentor scientist. No one may work alone or explore unauthorized areas. 

What are the team deliverables? 

There are several deliverables:

  1. Submit an online General User Proposal.
  2. Conduct the experiment culminating with use of beamtime at the APS or other special equipment.
  3. Execute a robust data analysis with conclusions.
  4. Construct a poster following the program guidelines. Each team member must participate in the poster presentation. 

What are the program supports? 

These include:

  1. A beamline scientist will help the team design the experiment, assist with the proposal writing, facilitate the beamline portion or other equipment needs of the project, and assist with data analysis.
  2. The APS User Office staff will assist with registration, training, site access, submission of the online team proposal, confirming beamline assignments, and organizing the poster session in May.
  3. The Argonne Educational Programs coordinator will monitor deliverables, assist with proposals and posters, organize the poster session agenda, and be a facilitator for each team throughout the program.