The PSFC is dedicated to teaching science through direct experience, whether it is addressing students, political representatives or the general public.

PSFC Tours

The PSFC is dedicated to teaching science through direct experience, whether it is addressing students, political representatives or the general public. Through demonstrations and tours of working experiments, MIT students and staff share the excitement of plasma research.

Tours typically include an overview about plasma and fusion, as well as a tour of MIT's fusion experiment, the Alcator C-Mod tokamak. Other plasma experiments may be toured, depending on time and availability.

  • Two weeks advance notice required
  • Tours last 60 - 90 minutes
  • Ideal tour size: 25 people or fewer

Read comments

“Just a few words of thanks for arranging the tour of your facility last Friday for our Suffolk University students. Both presenters were outstanding, so please extend my thanks to them as well. Most students knew very little about fusion, tokamaks, and all the cool science that goes with it. I think everyone was quite fascinated with what they heard and saw, and all came back with a great deal of enthusiasm.”
— Greg Sonek, ECE Department, Suffolk University

"I would like to convey my deep thanks to you for facilitating the recent exploratory visit that my son and I made to the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. I can attest that it was a wonderful learning experience! My son is currently a junior at Yale University, pursuing a physics-intensive course load, with the intention of someday being involved in magnetic plasma fusion research. This visit to the PSFC provided great inspiration toward that dream. I salute the PSFC for incorporating an important outreach component to its work, and wish you well in your efforts to inspire young future scientists and engineers, as well as enlightening the public to the importance of fusion research and MIT’s prominent role."
— Edward Barbour, Houston, TX

CONTACT

Paul Rivenberg
rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu

Postdoctoral Associate Ted Golfinopoulos involves Outreach Day participants in hands-on plasma demonstrations.

High School and Middle School Outreach Days

Twice a year the PSFC reaches out to High Schools (December) or Middle Schools (May) around Massachusetts, inviting one teacher and two students from each school to a spend a day at the Center. Through tours, talks and demonstrations, attendees learn about plasmas, their behavior, and their role in harnessing fusion energy. Students will have the opportunity to see how plasmas are confined, to perform hands-on demonstrations with electromagnetism, and to review the progress of MIT's plasma experiments, including the Alcator C-MOD tokamak.

Register for High School Outreach Day, December 14, 2018.

Read comments

“The presenters were excellent! They were engaging, enthusiastic and spoke clearly.”
—Ruth Crowley, Overlook Middle School

“I think the students enjoyed the superconducting presentation the most. Allowing the kids to be exposed to the use of liquid nitrogen is a costly experience they may never receive in our public school system.”
—Russell Young, Hanson Middle School.

“Thank you so much for continuing this awesome program.”
—Sarah Lavoie, Bourne Middle School

"Thank you so much for today.  My students talked about it nonstop for an hour and a half on the way home.  The moment they stepped out of the building, they looked at each other and all said 'I can't believe we got to do that!' and 'That was so cool!' and lots of other enthusiastic comments.  They adored every presenter.  They talked about how each presenter was so interesting and likable.  They couldn't believe they got to see the Alcator C-Mod.  They didn't think there was a single moment that should be left out, and I agree.  It was perfect!  Thank you for your hard work and your dedication to young students.  It really had an impact on them."  
— Tammy Kjonaas, Wheeler School

“They [the grad student guides] did a great thing in telling the kids what sorts of educational experiences led them to MIT – that’s super important for 8th graders – to hear about the journey.”
— Ellen Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Middle School

"[My] studentswere incredibly enthusiastic about Ted’s N2 demos – it was very light hearted and showed the fun side of working in science." 
— Gary Smith, Saint John's Prep (for more from Gary and his students, check out their thoughts about Outreach Day on the SJP Sci-Tech Club blog.

 

CONTACT

Paul Rivenberg
rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu

Participants at the APS-DPP Plasma Sciences Expo gather around the educational offerings of PSFC staff and students.

National Outreach

The PSFC collaborates with other laboratories and institutions on educational events. An annual Teacher’s Day (to educate teachers about plasmas) and Plasma Sciences Expo (to which teachers can bring their students) is a tradition at each year’s American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics meeting. The PSFC is also involved with educational efforts sponsored by the Coalition for Plasma Science (CPS), an organization formed by members of universities and national laboratories to promote understanding of the field of plasma science. The Coalition does outreach to Congress, the general public and plasma-related institutions.

CONTACT

Paul Rivenberg
rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu

Alcator C-Mod

3D Tours

Explore the interior of the Alcator C-Mod tokamak with this web based 3D tour. Panoramic images of the inside of the experiment’s vacuum chamber were stitched together in a three dimensional tour.

CONTACT

Paul Rivenberg
rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu

Invite a Fusion Expert

If you are interested in having a fusion expert speak to your group/class/club, please contact us and we will work with you to arrange something.

CONTACT

Paul Rivenberg
rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu