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Friday, July 15, 2011
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  Proviso Students Shine in UIC's QuarkNet Program  

Forest Park, IL...Proviso Township High School District students from Proviso East, Proviso West, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy have come together for a high energy learning experience with the University of Illinois at Chicago's summer QuarkNet program.

The week-long summer adventure seeks to involve high school teachers and their students in cutting-edge research on the structure of matter and the fundamental forces of nature. It helps students sharpen their physics and exploratory skills over the summer. During the program, scientists work with students and teachers on physics projects that enhance students' abilities in science and discovery. They collect data, use scientific equipment, take field trips, and study various aspects of space and matter.

"We have learned so much during this program," said Proviso East junior, Daisy Espinoza. "We've learned about galaxies, the stars, and constituents that revolve around us. It's been great experiencing QuarkNet, learning new things, and getting more into physics. This has been a good opportunity. We've studied data and worked with detectors. It's been wonderful."

Proviso Township High Schools' teachers Robert Hurley(Proviso East), Bozena Suwary (Proviso West), and Dr. Cynthia Daniels (PMSA), work with the students daily and act as coaches in the program.

"The greatest ideas in the history of the world have been made by relatively young people," said Mr. Hurley. "So we want to expose our students to high-energy physics, scientific discovery, and research so that they have the ability to develop solutions that impact their environment."

Students Daisy Espinoza (East), Meleeza Pidu (West), Maribel Heredia (PMSA), Konstantin Kuksenko (East), Taben Miller (PMSA) and Tania Sosa (West) are Proviso's student participants. They say that in addition to learning how they can impact their environments, this summer experience has been an exciting journey of learning, building their scientific acumen, and forging new friendships.

"I joined the QuarkNet program to learn something new and to explore different aspects of physics," said Taben. "It has really opened the doors for different ways of learning and different ways of studying physics."

Tania added, "The program has been really good. We've met people from all across Proviso Township High Schools and from schools around Illinois. It's fun that we're getting to work together and see the city of Chicago. We're working on a college campus too. It's just been a great experience."

The workshop will conclude with each school's team presenting their initial research findings before their peers and the UIC QuarkNet Center mentor, Professor Mark Adams. The QuarkNet program will also continue into the new school year.

Great job, students and teachers. Keep up the excellent work!