QuarkNet Data Portfolio

A collection of proven instructional activities developed around data strands that help students develop an understanding about how scientists make discoveries. 
The Data Portfolio organizes activities by data strand and level of student engagement. Activities differ in complexity and sophistication—tasks in Level 1 are simpler than those in Levels 2 and 3. While each level can be explored individually, students that start in one level and progress to more complex levels experience increasingly engaging and challenging tasks. Teachers select activities to offer a learning experience of an appropriate length and level for their students.

A collection of proven instructional activities developed around data strands that help students develop an understanding about how scientists make discoveries.

The Data Portfolio organizes activities by data strand and level of student engagement. Activities differ in complexity and sophistication—tasks in Level 1 are simpler than those in Levels 2 and 3. While each level can be explored individually, students that start in one level and progress to more complex levels experience increasingly engaging and challenging tasks. Teachers select activities to offer a learning experience of an appropriate length and level for their students.

Activity Name Data Strand Level Pathway NGSS Practices Topic
What Heisenberg Knew

Heisenberg knew that, at the quantum level, we cannot know everything, at least not all at once. Students explore uncertainties in measurements of complimentary variables to find this out for themselves.

Neutrinos Quantum Mechanics Uncertainty
Mean Lifetime Part 3: MINERvA

Students collect data from muons which decay in the MINERvA detector in the Fermilab NuMi beamline to understand particle decay and determine the muon lifetime.

Histograms Mean Lifetime Uncertainty
The Case of the Hidden Neutrino

Students use momentum conservation to examine the decay of top-antitop pairs to determine what is missing from the event.

Conservation Laws Neutrinos
Mean Lifetime Part 1: Dice

Rolling dice serves as the model for decaying particles.

Histograms Mean Lifetime
Signal and Noise: Cosmic Muons

In this introductory tutorial that, students learn about how to distinguish muon signals from background and instrumental noise.

Signal to Noise Uncertainty
Signal and Noise: The Basics

Students analyze signals and noise first in audio and video forms and then look at signals and noise from physic measurements.

Signal to Noise Uncertainty
Mapping the Poles

Students explore some basics of magnetic fields that can be related to experimental particle physics.

Electricity & Magnetism
Making it ‘Round the Bend - Quantitative

Students measure the effects of electric and magnetic fields on particles. 

Electricity & Magnetism
Shuffling the Particle Deck

Teams of students organize cards depicting fundamental particles based on their characteristics. This activity is a foundation for learning about the Standard Model and parallels the methods used by scientists to organize the elements into the period table.

Cosmic Muons Neutrinos Standard Model
CMS Masterclass J/Psi

Students are physicists for a day at a university or lab where they work with physicists to learn how to analyze real particle physics data in the form of event displays.