Science Education at Jefferson Lab

Education Programs at the United States Department of Energy's
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) is a basic research laboratory, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, in Newport News, Virginia, to study and understand the detailed structure and behavior of the nucleus of the atom. Physics experiments started in 1995. As a world-class research facility, Jefferson Lab is a valued partner to the local, regional and national education community. Jefferson Lab's long-term commitment to science education continues to focus on increasing the number and quality of undergraduate and graduate students who complete degrees in science, increasing the number of teachers with a substantial background in math and science, strengthening the motivation and preparation of all students, especially minorities and females, and addressing the serious under representation of minorities and females in science, math, engineering and technology careers.

In addition, we have been working with public school divisions to enhance the quality of science, math and technology education, and to help effectively address the problem that minorities and females are lost to the science, math and technology career pipeline long before they are of college age. Our unique research environment and use of science, math, and technology skills and knowledge create the baselines for extraordinary educational partnerships that are solidly grounded in the laboratory's scientific programs and expertise, with benefits to both the participants and the laboratory's dedicated staff. Over a third of the laboratory staff and many Jefferson Lab scientific users participate as mentors and career role models, interacting with the students and teachers.

Becoming Enthusiastic About Math and Science (BEAMS)

BEAMS is a week long laboratory immersion experience for middle school students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Many of our favorite BEAMS activities are available on the Student Activities page.

Jefferson Lab Physics Fest

In order to accommodate as many classes as possible, at least one day each month during the school year is set aside for groups of students to attend a presentation in Jefferson Lab's auditorium. This two-hour presentation (10:00 - 12:00) includes a brief interactive summary of the science and technology at Jefferson Lab followed by the Deep Freeze (cryogenics) and Hot Stuff (plasmas) presentations. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please see this page for dates, seating availability and contact information.

Jefferson Lab Science Series

The Jefferson Lab Science Series offers monthly interactive seminars presented by scientists and engineers who are gifted at making science not only informative, but fun! The topics are aimed at sixth through twelfth grade students. Certain presentations are available for on-demand viewing.

Classroom Visits to Jefferson Lab

Over 100 school visits to Jefferson Lab are scheduled each year! We encourage as many teachers as possible to take advantage of the science, math and career activities we have developed with teachers and scientists. Visits typically last 2 hours. Call (757) 269-7560 or e-mail early in the school year to ensure a reservation.

CHROME Club Visits

CHROME - Cooperating Hampton Roads Organizations for Minorities in Engineering - sponsors school-based science and math clubs throughout Southeastern Virginia. Club sponsors can call (757) 269-7567 or e-mail to set up a field trip or arrange for a Jefferson Lab staff member to speak at a club meeting.

Jefferson Lab High School Summer Honors Program

The Jefferson Lab High School Summer Honors Program employs high school students to work in scientific or technical positions for eight weeks. The students chosen for these positions are strong in math, science and/or computer science, and are interested in pursuing scientific and technical careers. An application form can be downloaded from

Undergraduate Physics Researchships

The Department of Energy's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program provides educational training and research experiences at several Department of Energy Labs, including Jefferson Lab. Highly motivated undergraduate students are encouraged to fill out an application form on the SULI web site.

For further information, please contact:

Education Program Manager

Jefferson Lab

628 Hofstadter Road, Suite 6

Newport News, Virginia 23606


Phone: (757) 269-7164