Education and Outreach

APS-DPP hosts several free, interactive events where students, teachers, and the general public can explore familiar concepts of light, electricity, and magnetism with an unfamiliar state of matter - plasma! Join us to discover plasma science and fusion energy, learn about cutting-edge research, and find out about exciting career paths. Attendees will interact with physicists, engineers, and experts from national and international laboratories, universities, and industry who are ready to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for science while making the science accessible and engaging.

All events are organized by the DPP Education and Outreach Committee.

Interested in getting involved in outreach? Contact us!

APS Career Mentoring Fellows

For the Class of 2018 - Alumni

Graduate Opportunities Panel

Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 1-2:30pm (virtual)

Students applying to graduate school seldom know about all of the fellowship opportunities available for them.  Fellowships help cover tuition, sometimes provide extra stipends, give you more research and academic freedom when entering grad school, give you proposal writing experience, and, in general, look good on a CV. 
The APS-DPP Education and Outreach Committee hosts an annual Graduate Opportunities Panel which features program managers and recipients of fellowships and awards available for graduate students in plasma sciences from the National Science Foundation (plasma physics at NSF can be found both in the Mathematical & Physical Sciences and the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences divisions), Department of Energy Office of Science, Fulbright program, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships, Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration, GEM Fellowship, etc.
Find the 2022 Graduate Opportunities Panel slides here.

Click here to watch the recorded 2022 panel


Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Awards

Every year, undergraduate students present plasma physics-related research conducted at their undergraduate institution or at internships across the country and internationally.  While their presence at the DPP conference is already an outstanding academic achievement, a panel of DPP member judges attend their poster presentations and award the top presentations with Outstanding Poster Awards at the annual Student Appreciation Reception.  The diplomas are presented by the APS-DPP chair and the awardees are invited to attend the APS-DPP banquet.

More Info & Recent Winners

Visual Science Communication Contest

Annual contest for DPP presenters with the purpose of fostering communication of research presented at the APS-DPP Annual Meetings via visual media (image and video) to the broader community and the public.
Submissions consist of either an image or short simulation video (less than 100 MB) representing your research presented at this year’s APS-DPP meeting. 
The top entry and the runner-up in each category and the runner-up will receive cash prices. The winning entries will be featured on the APS-DPP website and Twitter (@apsdpp).

More Info & Recent Winners

Plasma Science Teacher Day

Tuesday, October 8, 2024 (in-person)
Atlanta, Georgia

More Info & Registration

Plasma Science Teacher Day is a day of free professional development workshops for teachers to learn about plasma physics research and ways to incorporate plasma lessons and activities in the classroom. These "real-life" topics, seldom found in conventional classroom discussions or in school textbooks, provide tools to help teachers inspire students to understand the research challenges of plasma science and related applications. The workshop presentations, handouts, and classroom resource materials are designed especially for middle and high school teachers and targeted to satisfy state and national standards.

Read more: Why Teach Plasma Physics?

Plasma Science Student Expo

Thursday and Friday, October 10-11, 2024 (in-person)
Atlanta, Georgia

More Info & Registration

The Plasma Science Student Expo is an exhibition during the annual APS-DPP Meeting that focuses on hands-on science education. Students, parents, teachers, and the general public are welcome to attend. Examples of activities are:

  • Make lightning with a Van de Graaff generator.
  • Observe your fluctuating body temperature on a special monitor.
  • Participate in a "flow bubble" demonstration.
  • Manipulate plasma with magnets.
  • Watch an electromagnetic wave demonstration.
  • Play with plasma “toys.”
  • Learn how to confine plasmas magnetically in a fusion device by participating in a computer simulation.
  • Meet and talk with professional scientists and engineers in the field of plasma physics and learn about cutting-edge research.

Contributing laboratories, industries, academic institutions, and government agencies include: APS Physics, Auburn University, General Atomics; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Wittenberg University, U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Science, U.S. Department of Energy Defense programs, and many more.