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Student Spotlights

Caroline Piephoff is a senior Physics student hoping to work in the renewable energy field following her graduation. This summer she had an internship working in operations and maintenance with solar PV 40159410_2157556727622496_4743520546384248832_n.jpgplants and is continuing her interest in solar energy with her senior thesis. She will be working with Carla Ramsdell and David Sitar this upcoming year to examine the effects of using a Fresnel Lens instead of parabolic mirrors with solar cookers, and possibly apply that research to water purification. She also is writing a paper with Sitar on the history, relevance, and accuracy of finding and equation for the sun’s analemma.

Outside of the department, Caroline is heavily involved in the Appalachian & the Community Together (ACT) office. She served for one year on the student leadership team that plans Big Events on campus, such as Dance Marathon and the MLK Challenge. For the past three years she has been a student leader for Alternative Service Experience (ASE), an organization that leads student service programs over university break, and is serving as the Co-chair on the ASE Executive Board this year.







38693326_2120358024675700_2144887035326889984_n.jpgEllie Prim is a Physics - Secondary Education major. Prim has taken advantage of many opportunities to work with faculty and other students outside of the classroom. For example, she has presented at multiple meetings discussing educational tools and experiences. This past semester she presented her poster titled “Behind the Scenes of Physics and Astronomy Education” at the American Association of Physics Teachers - AAPT Winter National Meeting in San Diego, California. She also presented “Integrating High School Physics Laboratory Activities in Rural Schools Using MyTech” at Appalachian's Tech4Teach with Caroline Piephoff. 

Prior to the Great American Eclipse last year, she presented her talk “To Sun? Or Not to Sun?” with Mr. David Sitar at Appalachian's Tech4Teach, Appalachian's Creative Endeavors, and the North Carolina section of AAPT where she was awarded the Best Undergraduate Paper. 

Along with all the eclipse preparation she was the co-author with David Sitar on the paper “Using Stellarium to cyber-observe the Great American Eclipse” published in The Physics Teacher. 

Prim was the recipient of the STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education Scholarship which allowed her the opportunity to fulfill a NASA badge, teach the content she learned from the badge to a classroom, and visit NASA Langley Research Center. Ellie spends her time working in the Rankin Observatory writing new labs for the Introductory Astronomy courses, updating hardware used during observation lab activities, fine tuning computer and telescope interface, and hosting outreach events.