Physics-Astronomy Machine Shop
Outreach Efforts


Machine shops have been on campus for over 94 years!  While our work speaks for itself, the Physics/Astronomy machine shop doesn't limit its hard work merely to machines and materials; we're active in the community, too.  Some of the things we're known for include:

1. The M-Shop supports the Student Machine Shop. We have taught the “Student Shop Class” since 1986 at no cost to the student or the major professor. Representatives of every department group have taken the course.

2. The M-Shop has participated in several efforts of the Department to train High School physics teachers. We have taught several short courses on equipment operation and safe shop practices. These include the “Demonstrations Workshop” organized by Outreach Coordinator Sheron Snyder, and a CNS course for teachers organized by Merle Heidemann. As an outcome of these courses, the shop financed and constructed several demonstrations and gave them to the teachers, free of charge. Water rocket launchers, wave-flame demonstrations, weather station hardware, and assorted other demos were built and donated on behalf of the Department.

3. The M-Shop has given several invited talks to area groups. These talks are always concluded with an open invitation of help from us, to achieve their mission. These include the Portland Machinist Guild, the Mid-Michigan Physics Alliance and the Capitol Area Science and Math group. We have on several occasions, created and repaired demos for these groups at no charge.

4. The M-Shop is an active participant in the preparation of Science Olympiad each year.

5. The M-Shop hosts two sessions each year for the MRSEC program, "Sensing Our World."

6. The M-Shop was a founding contributor to the "Science Theater" group and received their "Outreach Award."

7. The M-Shop enhances the research and teaching of other departments across campus.  One-of-a-kind demos and research tools are built here and used across campus.

8. M-Shop personnel, acting as members of the department, serve on an advisory board to the Capitol Area Career Center. Every year, the M-Shop offers opportunities to CACC students for on-the-job work experience in the Shop. They work in our Shop two days a week as part of their training.  Here's a letter from Ingham Intermediate School District.