May the Physics Force Be With You

by john on January 16, 2004

We took the kids to see the Physics Force show at Northrup Auditorium last night. The Physics Force is an outreach program of the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota that is designed to show kids that Physics is interesting, understandable and fun.

The place was packed and everyone really enjoyed the show. This week the Physics Force brought in over 12,000 K-12 age kids during the day to share in the wonder that is Physics. Last night was open to the public.

My favorites were the ping-pong ball cannon that shot a ping-pong ball through two pop cans using nothing but atmospheric pressure – all the air was removed from the cannon and then a hole was punched in one end. It was pretty amazing to see those cans destroyed like that by a light ball. The other crowd favorite was the fire extinguisher powered “rocket ship” that sent Dan screaming across the stage on a 3 wheel bicycle.

Their website isn’t that great but I was able to find a few interesting videos that show some of the things they do.

The Bernoulli Effect [26.8MB] shows two experiments, the second of which is the most interesting – imploding a 55 gallon steel drum.

The Bernoulli Effect [12.5MB] shows a unique way to apply Bernoulli’s Principle using a roll of toilet paper.

A Demonstration of Gravity [35.7MB] is an experiment that of course is a classic in any first year Physics course but instead of using a stuffed monkey they drop a teacher from a 20 foot high platform.

Their schedule for the rest of the year only has them going directly to schools but hopefully next year they will put on some more open to the public show.

The looks on the kids’ faces said it all – Physics is fun!

{ 1 comment }

lucky February 2, 2004 at 6:25 am

You’re right. Very fascinating information!

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