For Teachers

For teachers

This summer the Engineering Physics department of University of Wisconsin Madison will be offering the online Plasma Academy program. Plasma Academy is a one week course that is meant to teach about plasma and equip teachers with curriculum to share with their students. To help aid in the improvement of this curriculum we encourage teachers to ask students that are interested in physics to participate. We will explore multiple different aspects of plasmas and conduct hands on experiments to demonstrate these properties. Teachers will leave with a new understanding of plasma, curriculum that they can add to their courses of instruction, and materials to teach this curriculum with.

We will be offering opportunities online and in person. The in person component will be offered on the University of Wisconsin Madison campus. To cope with the online component we will be video conferencing and participants will receive kits that will be used to conduct experiments and witness the science in your own home. To participate please apply below, and we encourage you to talk to other teachers that would also be interested in participating. We hope to see you this Summer!

Dates: Monday August 15th through Friday August 19th from 9:00 am through 3:00 pm


Applications due July 29th at 11:59 pm

Program: Daily classroom schedule – 9:00am-3:00pm lunch break will be included.


Lecture: Introduction to plasma physics 

Activity: Use plasma ball to demonstrate properties of Plasma


Lecture – Electrostatic effects in plasmas: why are plasma so unique?

Activity– Faraday’s ice pail as analogion to the potential difference in the plasma ball


Lecture – Magnetism and interaction with a plasma: how to capture them?


Lecture– Thermodynamic aspects of plasmas: finite energy tunes light color!

Activities – Discuss properties of plasma particles to emit light as example for atomic structure and thermodynamic equilibria


Lecture – Fascinating applications: space propulsion, fusion energy and next generation particle accelerators

Activities – Virtual visit to the biggest fusion experiment in the world