Solis had a booth at the 2023 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at Argonne National Lab! the purpose of this booth was to recruit more women and gender diverse applicants for plasma physics at UW-Madison.  Solis members also participated in panels to give undergraduate students an idea of what graduate school in plasma physics looks like.

Three Solis members stand behind a recruitment booth. On the table are physics-themed party favors and flyers about graduate programs at UW-Madison.
Three Solis members at a CUWiP booth.

APS-DPP Virtual Teachers Day

We held a workshop at the APS-DPP Virtual Teachers Day in June 2022. This workshop has the goal of helping middle and high school teachers integrate plasma science into their classrooms. Our workshop involved teaching them about plasmas and fusion energy and showing them hands-on activities they can do with their students.

Celebrating Women and Gender Diversity in Plasma Physics Seminar

By inviting women and gender minority speakers to on-campus seminars, we are promoting the advancement of  women and gender diversity in plasma physics on campus.  Invited speakers are typically involved in plasma research along with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. It is expected that the audience of these lectures, which is the larger plasma community at UW-Madison, will gain awareness of the work these speakers do to improve culture in the field and learn what they can do to support underrepresented groups.  Further, luncheons after each seminar for Solis members provide opportunities to network and discuss underrepresentation of women and gender minorities in plasma physics.

Expanding Your Horizons

In May 2023, Solis presented at Expanding Your Horizons, which is a day-long conference for female-identifying or nonbinary youth to learn about different careers in STEM.  Solis introduced these students to the ideas of fusion, taught them about plasma, magnetic fields, and spectroscopes.  We even showed them the Pegasus-III Spherical Tokamak!

Tech Savvy

Hosted at UW-Whitewater, Tech Savvy is a one day conference for girls in grades 6-9 to experience various STEM fields.  In Spring 2022 and Spring 2023, Solis has run hour-long workshops called “How to Make a Star in a Jar” to introduce these middle schoolers to fusion and plasma science.  Our workshops consisted of a short presentation about plasma and fusion energy followed by stations where students made their own spectroscopes, built their own electric motors to learn about plasma forces, and experimented with plasma balls and fluorescent tubes.  The 2023 event was a major success!

A Solis member stands in front of three audience members in a physics demonstration.
A Solis member leads a small group in building motors to demonstrate the Lorentz force.


Wisconsin Science Festival and Science on the Square

Solis participated in both the Wisconsin Science Festival and Science on the Square in October 2022. This is a statewide science “celebration” for all ages, and this year’s event reached thousands of people. Our stations consisted of hands-on activities: attendees built their own electric motors to learn about plasma forces, experimented with plasma balls and fluorescent tubes, and were even able to see a plasma being made in a microwave!

A Solis member demonstrates an experiment to two children. The experiment is a microwave with a bright glow inside it.
A Solis member demonstrates making a plasma in a microwave to Science on the Square attendees.


Communication and Negotiation Skills Seminar

To further promote gender diversity on campus and in the plasma science community, Solis is hoping to offer a Communication and Negotiation Skills Seminar for members to participate in.  This will allow women and gender minority members to more easily communicate and negotiate as they begin their careers.