The Physics Club and Shovit Bhari take their dog & pony show to Steve Luther Elementary School in La Palma for Family Science Night.

Shovit suspends a superconducting discShovit suspends a superconducting discThe school had a variety of booths setup for Geology folks displaying cool rocks, Math folks engaging kids with math games, Chemistry types making smells with cool chemical reactions. Due to the poor weather, the activities had to be moved indoors to the auditorium. However, the stubborn CSUF physics folks managed to run demos both indoors and out.

Some 50 to 75 kids accompanied by their parents and families attended. Free hot dogs and popcorn were served, and the kids enjoyed instantly freezing hotdogs in our liguid nitrogen. 

Physics Club members attending were Cinthia Padilla, Gabriela Serna, Jackie Lee, Thomas Abbott, and Danny Orton, along with friends Alex Perez, Anthony Gonzalex, and Sony Bhari (Shovit's wife).

Gabriela pours liquid nitrogenGabriela pours liquid nitrogenInside, a favorite demonstration was our 'howitzer cart' featuring a ball popper mounted to a frictionless cart. The ball fires vertically just as the cart rolls through a tunnel, and the ball lands perfectly in the cart on the other side of the tunnel. The kids also much enjoyed Newton's cradle and the diffraction-grating glasses to view the color spectrum of the fluorescent lights in the room.

We also demonstrated Hero's Engine, which is a coke bottle with small slits cut in it to release vapor when filled with liquid nitrogen. When partially submerged in water, the liquid nitrogen boils and the bottle begins to rotate. The kids also much enjoyed seeing the liquid-nitrogen-cooled, superconducting disc suspended in midair over a magnet.

Jackie demonstrates the howitzer cartJackie demonstrates the howitzer cartOutside, we used our rotating platform to demonstrate angular momentum conservation and moment of inertia. We demonstrated thermal contraction and expansion using rubber balloons dipped in liquid nitrogen, and we froze candies and flowers in liquid nitrogen to crush them like glass. The kids loved the liquid nitrogen effects and wanted to freeze everything.

We launched our Sparklett bottle rocket, but unfortunately the repeat launches were unsuccessful. We couldn't get enough fresh air back into the bottle for the repeats, although one of the parents offered an air compressor from his car to try to improve the situation. Thomas managed to make it work with two-liter coke bottle. 

Thomas fires the bottle rocketThomas fires the bottle rocket





Thank you Physics Club for your outstanding community outreach! Sony, Cinthia, Jackie, and Danny rotate and cheer a willing volunteer!Sony, Cinthia, Jackie, and Danny rotate and cheer a willing volunteer!