The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides B.S. degree programs in Physics, Astronomy, as well as a B.A. degree in Physics, a Concentration in Biophysics and a Physics\Engineering Program with Washington University. Faculty members of the department are actively involved in research in these areas. The department is also responsible for the providing education programs at the Drake Municipal Observatory.
The Drake Physics Prize Test is given to students in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota. First prize in the test is a full, four year tuition scholarship to the Drake Physics and Astronomy department. A second four year tuition scholarship is offered to a runner-up (top 50 seniors) based on the academic record of the student, high school teacher and counselor recommendations, and the results of interviews held in April. High school students and teachers seeking more information should contact the department at 515-271-3141.
Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered what their stories are, how they were formed and how old they are? Have you ever wondered how old the universe is, and thought about how all of the galaxies, stars and planets it encompasses, came to be?
These basic questions go back to ancient times, but still challenge modern astronomers equipped with large telescopes and satellite technology. Join us this summer for two weeks of fun and exploration, as we engage in creative activities and learning experiences generated by thinking about the universe and its history. Using data from Hubble Space Telescope, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and our own observations, we will try to estimate the age of the universe, following the techniques used by professional astronomers. We will look through the telescopes at the Drake Municipal Observatory, experiment in the physics lab at Drake University and learn about the story of the universe.
Application form for high school students