The Sisters Science Club

We are a community based organization that strives to enhance science, math, and health in the schools and community through seven main areas.

CLICK ON ONE OF THE STARS on the image to the right & explore the club's activities.

Founded January 2011, the club is comprised of approximately 350 members - but there is no clubhouse, administration, or required annual dues. Rather, the club works by the community bringing volunteers and financial support to enhance the good ideas of the school's science teachers.

The club enjoys close support from Kiwanis, Rotary, The Roundhouse Foundation, The Sisters Garden Club, Energyneering Solutions, Saint Charles Medical Center, Cascades East Area Health Education Center (CEAHEC) and has been awarded grant support from the Oregon Community Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust.

Most importantly, numerous individuals see value in these programs and have provided significant financial support through the Sisters School Foundation. Sisters Science Club is now an independent 501c3 organization, and you will soon be able to donate directly to our efforts. In the mean time, if you would like to join this effort, click here to reach our president!

The 2019 SciArt Contest top entries are shown in the movie below. As you can tell, we have some very talented students!

And in case you missed our last science talk at the Belfry ... the one on sustainable viticulture by Dr. Matt Shinderman ... the event was captured by one of our members, Don Utzinger, and is presented below.

And if you think that only old folks can find new things, take a look at the video below ... where an exoplanet was discovered by a high school intern at NASA.

The February presentation of the 2019-20 Frontiers in Science Monthly Symposium series in Sisters will be offered by Dr. Larry Price on February 25th at The Belfry ... and will be about dark matter. Why should this matter? Well, read on!

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Although we can't "see" dark matter, we have found ways to demonstrate its existance. The image below shows one of the most complicated and dramatic collisions between galaxy clusters ever seen, captured in this new composite image. This collision site, known officially as Abell 2744, has been dubbed "Pandora's Cluster" because of the wide variety of different structures seen. Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory are colored red, showing gas with temperatures of millions of degrees. In blue is an overlay map showing the total mass concentration (mostly dark matter) based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT), and the Japanese Subaru telescope.

what image shows

The authors of this study retraced the details of the collision, and deduce that at least four different galaxy clusters coming from a variety of directions were involved. To understand this history, it was crucial to map the positions of all three types of matter in Abell 2744. Although the galaxies are bright, they make up less than 5% of the mass in Abell 2744. The rest is hot gas (around 20%) visible only in X-rays, and dark matter (around 75%), which is completely invisible.

what image shows

Not all galaxies have huge amounts of dark matter, like NGC 1052 ... another surprise recently discovered. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound objects in the Universe and have become powerful tools in cosmology studies. Further studies of these distant objects may provide a deeper understanding of the way that these important objects grow and provide new insight into the properties of dark matter.

The idea of "Dark Matter" has been around since 1933 when it emerged as a significant conundrum for astrophysicists and elementary particle physicists.  In the 87 years since then, a lot has been learned about the gravitational nature of dark matter and its central role in shaping stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies and even larger structures in the universe.  But little has been learned about the properties of dark matter particles. It is not even known for sure if dark matter is made of particles like every other physical thing we know of.  In this talk, Dr. Price will lay out what we know and don’t know about this crucial component of the universe and explain how fiercely scientists are working to find out what it is made of.

Dr. Larry Price, our speaker on the 25th, holds degrees in Physics from Pomona College (BA) and Harvard University (MA and PhD). He is retired from a career at Argonne National Laboratory, where he held the rank of senior physicist and was Director of the High Energy Physics Division. He also worked at Columbia University and the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Price’s research has included experiments providing early insight into the structure of neutrons and protons; into properties of quarks; evidence for neutrino oscillations and neutrino mass; and the large international effort culminating in the discovery of the Higgs Boson, while measuring many other aspects of particle physics at super high energies. His research has led to hundreds of publications in professional journals. Dr. Price is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and has served on multiple national and international committees for particle physics and related fields, including the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, and the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee for elementary particle physics. So, if anyone might be able to explain "dark matter," this is the guy.

Although "something" has been known about dark matter for years, we still know very litle, and and so, even though the science is very difficult, it isn't surprising that new discoveries are being made frequently.

Here, for example, we learn of a discovery regarding dark matter that is only a couple of weeks old ... one where researchers measured how the light from powerful quasars is "lensed" or bent by this invisible stuff. Using this technique, they've discovered very small clumps of dark matter, and this was a complete surprise. Before this discovery, it was thought that dark matter could only exist in very large, "slow" masses ... where "slow" means something more like "cooler" ... but still very energetic ... but in a way we don't understand at all. Confusing? Click here to learn more.

Dr. price's presentation is bound to be fascinating, and I suspect we will all, once again,come away knowing a lot more than when we entered The Belfry. General Admission: $5.00. Teachers and Students are free. Social hour begins at 6, and the lecture starts at 7. See you there!