Physics and Astronomy Department

Western Associate Professor of Geology, Physics and Astronomy Melissa Rice works with undergrad and graduate students to support the Mars 2020 Rover mission.

In January 2020, my research team, composed of undergraduate and graduate physics and geology students from Western Washington University, experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. We traveled to Pasadena, California to meet other scientists…

Designing rubrics after midterms gave students in Linda Grabill’s class at Western Washington University insight into the grading process. “I had students tell me, ‘I’ve been studying wrong this whole time!’ or ‘I’ve been taking exams wrong. I hadn’t been thinking about demonstrating…

Western Washington University has been awarded a new five-year, $190,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to help train the next generation of science and math teachers as well as promote summer research opportunities for students who aspire to careers in the…

"In the images from orbit, it looks like someone drew a thick straight line with a dark felt marker on the southeastern side of the butte," wrote Melissa Rice, planetary geologist at Western Washington University in a mission blog post. "From the ground, it looks like a shallow ditch filled with…

Thursday, November 21st, 4 pm, in CF 386

Dr. Caroline Alvarado will demonstrate the ways in which a course designed for future K-8 science teachers, where they are involved in open-ended scientific inquiry, can be transformed by employing Critical Race Praxis for Educational…

Science is at its heart a treasure hunt.

A pair of astrophysicists, Carles Badenes of the University of Pittsburgh and Todd Thompson of Ohio State University, showed the value of pursuing the treasure of hidden knowledge in a paper published recently.

With the help of a team of…

Three years ago, Carles Badenes and his fellow astrophysicist Todd Thompson were at a conference where researchers were invited to put together impromptu proposals — pitched and awarded in the same weekend — in hopes of getting a small amount of seed funding to pursue a “crazy idea.”

But…

In a related development, earlier this month First Mode and Western Washington University announced they had…

Max Knittel is retiring this Thanksgiving after working for 44 years at Western as the Physics and Astronomy department’s engineering technician lead. As impressive as that sounds, Knittel’s time on the WWU campus began even earlier.

Knittel attended summer kindergarten at the Campus…

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