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If a synchrotron can make subatomic particles sail around a circular accelerator at nearly the speed of light, then a synchrotron outreach program can make educational equipment spin around the eXploration station at nearly the speed of light! Right? Right! That’s exactly what the Xraise outreach team did, with a little help from the design superhero Ryan McGuire, on the homepage of their new web site launched this January 2016. The dynamic site, appropriate for audiences of all ages, will entice visitors to explore the pages and empower their minds with science!! Take a minute to tour the site at xraise.classe.cornell.edu

Xraise homepage


Working on a new web site gave the Xraise team a chance to focus on the mission and vision of the CHESS outreach program and how those goals can be conveyed to visitors in a meaningful way. Collectively, the team decided how to present their vast array of educational initiatives to the public. Priority was placed on conveying enthusiasm for the work the Xraise team does, peppering the site with photos of staff, students and participants engaged in hands-on investigations. At the same time, the team was committed to providing visitors with a glimpse of the unique research conducted by scientists at the laboratory.

Walt Peck, a seasoned high school science teacher, previewed the site prior to the launch. “I like the setup a lot; it is very user friendly and attractive. The ‘Meet the Team’ pages send a welcoming feel, and the ‘Collaborations’ site is a good way to promote what you do and demonstrates the diversity of your program.” Walt also had some suggestions for improving the pages, including direct links to previous newsletter articles and clear instructions for viewers visiting the “Science Stuff” pages. The Xraise team considers the site to be a work in progress, celebrating the simple editing capabilities of Perch, the site’s content management system. Xraise looks forward to getting feedback from viewers and connecting with the public via online social media links and other communication tools.

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Submitted by: Lora Hine, CHESS, Cornell University
02/11/2016