The UCSD Department of Physics is committed to improving access to and inclusion in the physical sciences, be it students, scientists or the public at large. Physics faculty, staff and students coordinate various outreach activities with the goals of inspiring middle and high school students to pursue education and careers in Science, Techonology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields; increasing the scientific literacy of the public; and broadly disseminating our research. We also participate in diversity initiatives aimed at increasing the numbers and success of women and underrepresented minorities in the physical sciences, and at improving the climate for students and researchers in Physics.

Outreach Resources

Instructional Resources for Outreach Programs

Lesson Plans authored by Professor Burgasser:

Outreach Activities

Angel Flight West is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs.
Contact: Brian Keating - (858) 534-7930
Astrofacts is a partnership between the UCSD Professor Adam Burgasser and Maui-based youth radio station radiOpio (KOPO-LP 89.5 FM) to bring astronomy-themed programming to the community developed for kids, by kids. It touches on all aspects of astronomy and space science, as well as science-related topics relevant to the Maui community.
Contact: Adam Burgasser - (858) 822-6958
Center for Advanced Nanoscience Programs
The Center for Advanced Nanoscience (CAN) has contributed a variety of projects aimed at outreach activities, including a variety of videos and plays.
Contact: Ivan Schuller - (858) 534-2540
Do the Math is a blog started by physics professor Tom Murphy in July, 2011 that uses physics and estimation techniques to paint a picture of the challenges our society will face in coming decades as we transition away from fossil fuels. The effort was motivated by the UCSD Physics 12 class on Energy and the Environment, aiming—in part—to teach people how to use physics and quantitative analysis in everyday life.
Contact: Tom Murphy - (858) 534-1844
RFT's mission is to improve the three A’s of Academics - Attitude, Attendance, Achievement - of academics in rising high school youth and to increase the size of the qualified applicant pool for competitive colleges, universities, and professional careers.
Contact: Adam Burgasser - (858) 822-6958
Tech Trek is a science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on a university campus where camps are held.
Contact: Alison Coil - (858) 822-3940
The UCSD Young Physicists Program brings middle and high school students from across the San Diego region together with physics graduate students and professors from UCSD on Saturday mornings each month to learn about fundamental topics in the quantifiable world via simplified college-level laboratories and interactive demos.
Contact: Oleg Shpyrko - (858) 534-3066

Diversity Resources

Dedicated to fostering a sense of community among the women of the Physics department, Graduate Women in Physics holds meetings once a month covering a variety of topics pertinent to women in the physics field.
Contact: Alison Coil - (858) 822-3940

Campus Groups and Organizations

The Black Student Union, organized in 1974, is a resource for African American students at UCSD. The group meets weekly at the Cross Cultural Center in the Price Center.
Contact: Email
M.E.Ch.A. de UCSD is a student advocacy organization that was established in 1969. It’s a national organization that has chapters in Middle and High Schools, as well as in Community Colleges and Universities from coast to coast.

Campus Community Centers and Resources

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center at UCSD provides a visible presence on campus and enhances a sense of connection and community among LGBT faculty, staff, students, alumni and the UCSD Community.
Contact: Email - (858) 822-3493
The Cross-Cultural Center provides services and programs that facilitate the personal and professional growth of students, staff, and faculty who are members of underrepresented groups. The center's goal is to help develop a multi-ethnic, culturally conscious university environment.
Contact: Email - (858) 534-9689
The International Center offers opportunities to become involved in programs and projects that encourage and support international students and their spouses.
Contact: Email - (858) 534-3730
The Women's Center increases awareness of issues that affect men and women of diverse backgrounds and experiences by providing education and support.

Campus Initiatives

Chancellor's Advisory Status of Women
The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) was formed in 1987 and is comprised of UCSD faculty, student and staff representatives appointed by the Chancellor.
Contact: Susan Marx - (858) 534-4652
Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences
Contact: Veronica Henson-Phillips - (858) 822-3536
Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees
Contact: Christopher Murphy - (858) 822-1492
The UCSD Diversity Council advises the chancellor on diversity with particular reference to institutional access and representation, campus climate and intergroup relations, education, scholarship, and institutional transformation.
Contact: Email
Contact: Email - (858) 534-2937

Resources for the Disabled

The UCSD Disability Resources Office provides information and resources for students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who have disabilities and wish to participate in the academic endeavors, professional opportunities, and campus events available in our community.
Contact: Paula Doss, UCSD ADA coordinator - (858) 534-3694

National Diversity Conferences and Organizations

AAS Committees: CSWA and CSMA
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) was established in 1979 with the charge of recommending practical measures to improve the status of women in astronomy and encourage their entry into to field. The mission of the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA) is to enhance the participation of underrepresented minorities in astronomy at all levels of experience.
Association for Women in Science
Contact: Email
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), since 1977, has worked to substantially increase American Indian and Alaska Native representation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields -— as students, professionals, mentors, and leaders.
APS & CSWP Programs
The American Physics Society (APS), through the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP), is committed to encouraging the recruitment, retention, and career development of women physicists at all levels. APS is also committed to the inclusion of underrepresented minorities in physics and has spent decades working on programs to increase recruitment and retention of African American, Hispanic American and Native American physicists.
The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) are a national nonprofit organization of individuals and organizations interested in quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research, teaching, leadership, and policy.
The National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), founded in 1977, promotes the professional well-being of African American physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and within society at large.
The National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) mission is to promote the professional well-being and recognize the accomplishments of Hispanic physicists within the scientific community of the United States and within society at large.

Outreach and Diversity Committee Members

Adam Burgasser (Chair) (858) 822-6958
Alison Coil (858) 822-3940
Eva-Maria Collins (858) 534-0524
Sunil Sinha (858) 534-5978