On December 19, 2014 GEAR UP had the pleasure of visiting Tri-Cities’ very own LIGO site. LIGO stands for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. As the students learned during the presentation about LIGO’s history, there are only four sites in the world and we are fortunate enough to have one about 45 miles from River View High School. This visit was very educational and interesting for all Finley GEAR UP AVID students and staff. LIGO seeks to detect gravitational waves that are produced from events such as black holes or even neutron stars.
After the welcoming presentation about LIGO, the students were broken off to go and test out the hands-on exhibits and other activities that were set up for them to explore. Some activities consisted of picking up a box and looking through the open crease that allowed one to see the light it produced; this activity was called Scoping the Stars. Another fun activity students were excited to test was Giant Slinky, this exhibit was very impressive. It resembled a huge slinky for a lot of the students, hence the name. The student had to pull a lever back and forth a couple of times in order for the large spring to move and create waves.
This field trip was also a job site visit for River View students. Dakota Damerow was able to speak with a programmer while touring the control room at LIGO.
Finley GEAR UP partnered with LIGO and River View High School in order to take our GEAR UP AVID students on this exciting trip. Our students really seemed to enjoy their visit because they expressed it to us on our way home from LIGO. Thank you to Dale Ingram for planning this visit for River View AVID Students.