Although PING administrators were grateful to still be able to host PING, the shift from in person education to Zoom education brought its own unique challenges.
Historical: The PING 2020 program included participation in the last experiment of the MoNA Collaboration conducted at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory/Facility for Rare Isotope Beams as well as individualized interest-based research projects for each participant ranging from the fundamental study of unbound nuclei to developing codes for field mapping, experimental setup and the nuclear chart, as well as applications to cancer therapy. The participants then presented their research at two professional Fall 2020 remote conferences: the American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics meeting (October 29-November 1, 2020) and the National Society of Black Physicists annual meeting (November 5-8, 2020. The program also includes a follow-up eight month remote research component with the MoNA Collaboration.
2021: PING 2021 was held via zoom for 2 weeks in the summer, July 28th- August 6th. This consisted of meetings, mentored research, fun activities, meet and greets, and tours.
For the research component of PING, each high school participant is paired with an undergraduate mentor. The mentors and mentees typically met via Zoom once per day or every other day to keep in touch on specific interest-related research. PING met daily to touch base on research and do to fun activities. Within these meetings, participants were able to build a strong network involving the other participants, undergraduate mentors, administrators and a slew of special guests.
The program is not only geared to teach participants about STEM or physics. PING administrators and mentors strive to provide an entire experience for the PING participants. The goal is to well-round participants in preparation for their futures. PING administrators to find it equally important to focus on STEM, college preparedness, and agricultural education.
Agriculture can sometimes be a subject that is left unexplored or untaught to students on the STEM track. The very first program, PING 2014, is what made PING administrators realize the importance on educating on the subject of agriculture. It began when students were on a bus, headed to an offsite exploration. Cows in a field were one of the largest excitements of the day. It may seem to be a small thing, however, not all students have even seen a live cow before. PING strives to help bridge the gap between student and animal, city and country, STEM and farm. Head over to the agricultural page to see more.