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Orange Physics hits the road for World Year of Physics with demonstration at Carousel Center
Orange Physics hits the road for World Year of Physics with demonstration at Carousel CenterNovember 15, 2005Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
As the holiday shopping season approaches, customers at Carousel Center will have the opportunity to get a learning experience on Saturday, Dec. 10, when the Syracuse University physics department takes over the atrium for another installment of Orange Physics, a series of demonstrations intended to educate and excite the community about science.
From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., visitors will be able to conduct tabletop experiments that illustrate major concepts in physics such as energy, electricity and motion, including experiments that illustrate what made Albert Einstein famous in 1905-Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect. A life-size cardboard cutout of Einstein will be on hand for those who wish to be photographed with the famed physicist.
Sam Sampere is a lab manager and the official “demo man” in SU’s physics department. He has organized the demonstrations for 11 years. “Science is incredibly fun, interesting, and important, but too frequently this message gets lost because learning science can be challenging and therefore seems ‘uncool,'” he says. “The purpose of doing these visits is to engage the public, increase their interest, to show them that science is really cool.”
The Orange Physics team will be joined by members of the High School Teacher Workshop-a program established 13 years ago by Allen Miller, an SU physics faculty member; and by John Fitzgibbons and Joe Drenchko, two local high school teachers. The workshops average 25 teachers per meeting and are usually held once a month on Saturday mornings during the academic year. Workshopparticipants do make-and-take workshops, share ideas and discuss teaching strategies. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the teachers. Orange Physics has also invited SU physics majors, faculty and graduate students to attend, along with physics majors from LeMoyne College and SU science education students.
The John Ben Snow Foundation recently awarded $10,000 to the physics department to support the workshop program. The foundation, based in Central New York, awarded the grant for equipment to be used in high school physics classes in the area. This funding will be used for make-and-take workshops for construction of physics demonstrations. In addition, equipment will be procured to build a lending library for use by physics teachers in local schools.
In addition, Orange Physics received a $10,000 grant from the American Physical Society for its continuing community outreach efforts. The grant money will be used to purchase equipment for Orange Physics primarily, and for SU physics classes.
In commemoration of Einstein’s discoveries, 2005 has been designated as the World Year of Physics, the United Nations-endorsed international celebration of physics. Events throughout the year will highlight physics and its importance in the coming millennium. For more information on the World Year of Physics, visit http://www.physics.2005.org.
For more information on this and upcoming Orange Physics events, contactSampere at (315) 443-5999 or visit the Orange Physics Web site.