Now PHYSICS IS PHUN can come to you! Through the use of our PHYSICS IS PHUN van, we have provided hundreds of physics demonstration programs. We have participated in science day programs at area colleges, provided teacher workshops, and presented our programs to a variety of conferences and special events. Each program is customized for the particular group and level to which it is presented, and many different programs involving a variety of physics topics have been developed. The goals of these programs vary widely, from entertainment at a PTA or Science Fair setting, to inspiration at the beginning of a classroom science unit, a detailed lesson using materials not generally available to the teachers, or a summary at the end of a unit with some indication of more advanced extensions of the concepts studied. At any level, the immediate goal is to engage the students using physics experiments, so that their interest in the subject might be developed. Some of these experiments can also serve as models or inspiration for student science projects.
If we are traveling to a school to present a program, the educational benefit will be greater if more students (and teachers) can see the program. School assemblies held in an auditorium are generally best.
Some programs which have been presented recently include:
1. Newton's Laws and Predictions in Science. Making reliable predictions is the hallmark of science. Using Newton's laws as an example, see how we can predict the outcome of numerous demonstrations and understand why things work the way they do.
2. Sound and Light. This program includes simple illusions, mirror tricks, a multiplex hologram, and several experiments involving the nature of sound and light waves. If time allows, a hands-on segment can be incorporated. (See below.)
3. The Physics IQ Test. A collection of counterintuitive physics experiments is presented where the audience members can vote on the outcome before the experiment is performed. Questions are selected on the basis of the level and type of group.
4. Laws of Motion. Starting from the concept of the center of mass and the center of percussion, this program then surveys Newton's three laws of motion. Finally, we cover the concept of energy using experiments which relate mechanical potential energy and kinetic energy.
5. Electricity and Magnetism. This collection of demonstrations includes Van de Graaff experiments, magnets, and a group of demonstrations covering what I call the "great laws of electromagnetism." Topics include the force on a current-carrying wire, ma gnetic induction, eddy currents and Lenz's law, and the magnet levitating over a superconducting disc. The grand climax is the infamous "can crusher," in which a capacitor discharges through a coil holding the can, splitting the can in half and blasting the two parts across the room.
6. States of Matter. After initially describing the states of matter and their properties, a series of demonstrations is employed illustrating changes of state and some of the resulting phenomena.
You can pick the topic, and we can probably accommodate it.
Although there is not a fixed charge for these programs, we encourage a donation to the PHYSICS IS PHUN fund similar to that for other high-quality programs. Money goes to support both our traveling and on-site PHYSICS IS PHUN programs.
For further information, please contact Dr. Matt Bobrowsky at the e-mail address below or at the mailing address or telephone number given on the home page of this WWW document.