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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9898

April 20, 2004
To: Education and science reporters, calendar editors, weekend assignment editors
From: Amy Cowles | 443-287-9960 | amycowles@jhu.edu
Re: Physics Fair at Johns Hopkins University, noon-5 on Saturday, April 24

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University is hosting its first Physics Fair from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, 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 campus near Homewood Field.

Free and open to the public, the fair will feature both individual and team competitions for local high school 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 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 program. Local high school teachers suggested that a physics fair would be a good way to connect with students and the public. Several Baltimore-area teachers have been very active in helping organize the fair.

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

Physics Challenge, 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.: An individual written contest in answering questions about physics phenomena. The top three high school students will win gift certificates to a book store worth $100, $75 and $50.

Physics Bowl, first round from 1:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., final round from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Teams of up to four high school students will compete in a quiz show format. Each chair in Bloomberg's Schafler Auditorium is equipped with a system allowing the contestants to press buttons to choose their answers. The results will be displayed in real time. Winning teams will receive prizes such as trophies and books. Pre-registration is appreciated, but teams may sign up that day.

Hopkins High Rise contest, 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.: Individual participants and teams of up to four people of all ages will have 20 minutes to build the tallest structure they can using 250 round toothpicks and 100 mini marshmallows, which will be provided on-site. Towers must stand on their own for 1 minute. Participants can sign up that day.

The telescope on the roof of Bloomberg will be open, allowing visitors to observe the sun spots and the activity of sun's corona using a special filter.

Several of the research laboratories in the Bloomberg Center will be open to the public. The fair will also include lectures and displays about the Hubble Space Telescope program.

All awards will be distributed at 4 p.m. To speak with Johns Hopkins researchers or to cover the fair, contact Amy Cowles at 443-287-9960 or Pam Carmen at 410-516-7346. For information, visit www.pha.jhu.edu/~fair. QuarkNet is online at quarknet.fnal.gov/.

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