Posted by: John Chadwick | April 30, 2011

Is it Magic or Physics? Kids Get Both on Rutgers Day

A physics magic show

Graduate student Johann DTrinh demonstrates a physics-inspired bit of 'magic.

How do you get kids interested in physics?

A group of toga-clad physics education students in the Graduate School of Education have it down to a science.

Every Rutgers Day, they put on a physics magic show.

And kids responded Saturday by crowding around the Voorhees Mall site, paying close attention, and then shouting their approval at the end.

The show included several science-inspired, sleight-of-hand tricks – three bottles of water that seemed to defy audience expectations when they were moved around on a table; a straw that could sound like a kazoo, and a glass of water that, when turned upside down on top of a piece of paper, failed to soak the paper.

“We use different types of physics concepts to show ‘magic’ ’’ said student Dan Sierzega.  “It’s really science, but we make it very magical for the kids.”

To add a bit of drama  to the show, the students impersonated Greek and Roman deities, with each representing a specific physics concept.

 


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