Astrophysics as a Career?

Contact Information:

  • Tamala Sebring. Email:


Some students may wonder: Who becomes an astrophysicist?; What do astrophysicists do on a daily basis?; and How does someone become an astrophysicist?”  These questions were asked of the people who make up the Michigan Tech HAWC research group.  The presentation highlights some of their insights and recommendations to anyone who may be interested in pursuing a career as a research scientist or astrophysicist.  There are also links to resources for students who are interested in astronomy.

Lesson Content Overview:

Explain (45 min): This presentation can be used for a whole class career discussion or as an individual resource.  The presentation addresses the following topics: What do you think of when you hear the word, “Astrophysicist”?, bios of the MTU HAWC project members, Why would someone want to be an astrophysicist?, Why study high-energy gamma-rays?, the individual path to becoming an astrophysicist, What does an astrophysicist do?, recommendations on becoming an astrophysicist, and some ways to explore astrophysics.

Supporting Material:

Astrophysics as a Career? Lesson Plan

Astrophysics as a Career? presentation

About the Team:

Petra Huentemeyer, PhD (, Professor, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI


Henrike Fleischhack, PhD (, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany


Xiaojie Wang, PhD (, Post-Doctorate, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI


Katelyn McCarthy (, Teacher, Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, Kalamazoo, MI


Matt Laird (, Instructor, Gogebic Community College, Houghton, MI


Heather Murphy (, Teacher, Hancock High School, Hancock, MI


Tamala Sebring (, Teacher, Pittsfield High School, Pittsfield, MA

Interested in Joining?

The call for applications to participate in this RET will be posted in the fall.


Check back here or contact Petra Huentemeyer for more information.