The Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University is hosting its 2nd Annual Physics Fair from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 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 both 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:
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 answering physics-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 Physics Bowl is limited to 30 teams. A team can make a reservation by calling 410-516-7346, or can enter at the Fair itself.
Physics Challenge, 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., is an individual, written competition geared to high school students who have completed a year of physics. The top scorers from K-12 schools are eligible for awards, including book store gift certificates.
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 30 minutes to build the tallest possible structure using materials ranging from toothpicks and mini marshmallows to gumdrops and pasta, which will be provided on-site. Towers must be able to stand on their own for 1 minute. Participants will sign up the day of the event.
The awards for all the contests will be distributed at 4 p.m.
The telescope on the roof of Bloomberg will also be open, allowing visitors to observe sun spots and the activity 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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