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Physics Fair 2011: April 16

April 8, 2011


To: Education and science reporters, calendar editors, weekend assignment editors

From: Lisa De Nike / 443-287-9960/ LDE@jhu.edu

Re: Physics Fair at The Johns Hopkins University, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University is hosting its 8th Annual Physics Fair from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, coinciding with the annual Spring Fair celebration on the Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. Events will take place in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, located on the north end of the campus near Homewood Field.

Free and open to the public, the fair will feature individual and team competitions for local students, as well as a physics-themed scavenger hunt and demonstrations by Johns Hopkins physicists, graduate students and undergraduates. The idea is to bring physics to the community in a fun, accessible way.

The fair started within a program called QuarkNet, organized by the National Science Foundation to encourage university professors working in elementary particle physics research to incorporate high school teachers into their research programs. The teachers who became involved suggested that a Physics Fair would be a good way to connect with students and the public.

Highlights of the event particularly suited to photographers and camera crew include:

Professor Extraordinaire Shows, 12:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. JHU Professor Peter Armitage and his assistants will give a demonstration that will include fantastic displays, explosions, loud noises and bright lights.

Elementary-Middle School Science Bowl Competitions, 1:30 p.m. Teams of up to four elementary school-age students (grades 1 through 8) will compete to answer a variety of general science-related questions in a quiz show format. This activity will be held in Bloomberg’s Schafler Auditorium, which is equipped with a system allowing contestants to press buttons to select their answers, with the results being displayed in real time. Winning teams receive trophies for their schools.

High School Science Bowl and Physics Bowl Competitions, 2:15 p.m. Teams of up to four high school students will compete in answering physics and science-related questions in a quiz show format. Bloomberg’s Schafler Auditorium is equipped with a system allowing the contestants to press buttons to select their answers. The results will be displayed in real time. Winning teams will receive prizes, such as trophies and books. The bowls are limited to 30 teams. A team can make a reservation by calling 410-516-7346, or can enter at the Fair itself.

Hopkins Construction Contest, 3:45 p.m.: Participants of all ages will have 30 minutes to construct a structure of some kind according to instructions to be given that day. All materials will be provided. Participants will sign up the day of the event.

Throughout the day, other activities – including a physics-themed scavenger hunt, the making of frozen ice cream using liquid nitrogen, a balloon rocket contest and more – will be held. The Morris Offit Telescope, located on the roof of the Bloomberg Center, also will be open, allowing visitors to observe sun spots and the activities of the sun’s corona using a special filter.

Several of the research laboratories in the Bloomberg Center will be open to the public. Lectures and displays about the Hubble Space Telescope program also will be held.


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