Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

In order to achieve its academic objectives, the Office of Special Programs-College Prep has developed partnerships with the University of Chicago. The longest-standing partnership began in 1990 with the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP).

OSP-CP students have the opportunity to meet and work with astronomers and physicists, handle high-tech astronomical instruments, and explore our universe through the Space Explorers Program, operated by the University of Chicago’s Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics.

KICP’s Mission

The mission of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics is to deepen our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe and the laws that govern it by bringing together astronomers and physicists within a unique interdisciplinary culture. Members of the institute commit to a multi-year, multi-dimensional engagement with the Space Explorers Program.

Increasing Math and Science Skills and Knowledge

The Space Explorers Program was created to help connect local, under-represented minority students with the university research community to bring them new science experiences and opportunities. Space Explorers immerses these students in the process of doing science with the hope that their interests and abilities in math and science will increase along with their potential to succeed in high school and beyond. Participants are selected based on interest and commitment rather than abilities.

In-depth Laboratory Experience

Students participate in weekly hands-on, in-depth laboratory sessions, residential science institutes at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, visits to research labs, and enrichment field trips. Perhaps more important than the science content that these experiences offer are the relationships with Institute researchers that develop, and the thought processes the students see modeled. Graduates of the Space Explorers matriculate in college as science majors at a rate that is 500% better than is predicted by combined national and Chicago Public Schools statistics.