High school students use cutting-edge tools to do scientific investigations.
The Cosmic Ray e-Lab provides an online environment in which students experience the excitement of scientific collaboration in this series of investigations into high-energy cosmic rays. Schools with cosmic ray detectors upload data to a "virtual data" portal where ALL the data resides. This approach allows students to analyze a much larger body of data and to share analysis code. Also, it allows schools that do not have cosmic ray detectors to participate in research by analyzing shared data.
Students learn what cosmic rays are, where they come from and how they hit the Earth. While scientists understand cosmic rays with low to moderate energies, some cosmic rays have so much energy that scientists are not sure where they come from. A number of research projects are looking at this question. Students will have a chance to gain their own understanding of cosmic rays and may be fortunate enough to capture a rare highly-energetic cosmic ray shower on their classroom detector and analyze their results with this e-Lab. The Cosmic Ray e-Lab addresses ALL science and engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards.