Students studying physics at Carthage have many opportunities to enrich their education.

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, or SURE, offers Carthage students the opportunity to conduct significant research with a faculty mentor during the summer months. Students receive a stipend, room and board on campus, and a small research budget.

Learn more about SURE


Space Science and NASA Research

The space sciences program at Carthage is a nationally recognized undergraduate program that provides students hands-on opportunities in technology development and atmospheric sciences through partnerships with NASA and academic researchers around the world. Participating students regularly travel to and work with researchers at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Students in masks working on the Magneto-Active Slosh Control (MaSC) system. Microgravity Team
Carthage students and faculty regularly conduct research aboard NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft.

Students design research payloads that fly aboard sounding rockets that achieve 75-mile apogees and several minutes in the space environment.

High Altitude Balloon Research
Students build payloads for near-space balloon launches. Payloads are carried to altitudes of 100,000 feet and stay aloft for 2+ hours.

Learn more about space sciences at Carthage


Observatory Research

Carthage has associations with many regional and national observatories, giving Carthage students access to the best astronomical equipment. Students have the opportunity to use telescopes at the nearby Yerkes Observatory, Kitt Peak in Arizona, and the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, among other facilities.


Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Carthage physics and astronomy students are involved in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a cutting-edge program in astrophysics and one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy. An international effort, SDSS has imaged 1 million galaxies and created three-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars. The data is accessible to the public, is 100 percent digital, and can be used by Carthage students and researchers for advanced astrophysics research.



January Term is a month-long period of study in January in which all academic departments offer innovative courses on campus, as well as study tours in other countries. The Physics and Astronomy Department has been extremely active in J-Term, offering courses to both majors and non-majors that display physics in many different, concrete ways.

Recent on-campus offerings include Good Vibrations: The Science of Music, in which students studied the science of music, from acoustics to hearing loss; and Planet Quest, which focused on the search for new planets and extraterrestrial life in the universe. Other courses have focused on climate change, global warming, and making telescopes.

Recent off-campus study tours include Observational Astrophysics, in which students traveled to Arizona to use the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak and the 61-inch telescope at Mt. Lemmon.

Learn more about J-Term


Community Outreach

At Carthage, students are both encouraged and inspired to serve the community. The Carthage chapter of the Society of Physics Students performs outreach for Kenosha schools, teaching elementary, middle and high school students about science and physics.


Student Employment

Students looking for work as lab assistants, supplemental instructors or department fellows should contact the department chair. The department regularly hires supplemental instructors for introductory physics courses and lab assistants.


Mid-States Math and Science Consortium

Carthage is a member of the 11-state Mid-States Science and Math Consortium, giving Carthage students access to facilities at other schools including the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.


The planetarium contains a Spitz SciDome HD dual-projector theater system for high-resolution sci... CARTHAGE DIGITAL PLANETARIUM

The Carthage planetarium contains a Spitz SciDome HD dual-projector theater system for high-resolution scientific visualization. In addition to producing digital simulations of the sky, the SciDome HD system can create virtual trips through space, and allows students in the introductory astronomy class the opportunity to interact directly with the planetarium sky using the SciTouch infrared laser-based remote control. The SciDome HD system can also be used to display immersive and interactive visuals of the earth system. As a theater system, the Carthage planetarium can be used to exhibit specially-formatted films for full-dome screens. This facility features a 24-foot dome and can seat 30 people.