The BEAMS Program at Jefferson Lab

A Model Educational Partnership Between the Thomas Jefferson National
Accelerator Facility and Newport News City Public Schools

The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) is a U.S. Department of Energy basic research laboratory operated to study and understand the detailed structure and behavior of the nucleus of the atom. With the forefront technologies and experiments being conducted by scientific and technical experts, Jefferson Lab is a resource for regional, state, and local educational agencies. In partnership with the local school divisions and the surrounding community, Jefferson Lab is dedicated to:

The BEAMS - Becoming Enthusiastic About Math and Science - program is a vehicle to bring classes of sixth and eighth school students with their teachers to Jefferson Lab for interactions with Jefferson Lab staff via science and math interactive activities. BEAMS targets the middle schools in Newport News with the largest at-risk student populations.

The goals of BEAMS are to:

Jefferson Lab's resources to achieving these goals are the staff scientists and engineers themselves. Since 1991, BEAMS has involved about 20,500 students and 400 teachers.

In the sixth grade, students come to Jefferson Lab with their teachers for a specially modified version of their regular academic curriculum. Throughout four school days over the course of the semester, the children and their teachers are exposed to Jefferson Lab's forefront research environment, where they participate in 8-10 science and math events and activities conducted with scientists, engineers and technicians.

The ongoing interactions in the eighth grade extends the initial positive influence BEAMS has shown at the sixth grade level and, at the same time, facilitates the evaluation process of obtaining students' achievement records (course selections and grades) and anecdotal information over a three year period.

Through the BEAMS program, Jefferson Lab motivates students to continue learning provides teachers with activities based on the science and technology at Jefferson Lab.

For further information, please contact:

BEAMS Program Manager

Jefferson Lab

628 Hofstadter Road, Suite 6

Newport News, Virginia 23606


Phone: (757) 269-7164