Sunday, March 02, 2008
Yesterday I piled the two older kids in the car and we headed out to the 8th Annual Physics Demo Show, Energy All Around Us at UNC. I felt old and a little out-of-place as we hurried through campus, stepping around all the 20-somethings enjoying the spring weather. However, once inside the lecture hall I was back among regular folks, who oohed and aahed as we watched exciting applications involving types and conversion of energy. We watched the Vandergraph machine lift hair on end, make tin plates and Styrofoam peanuts fly through the air, and light up a fluorescent tube bulb so it looked exactly as a light saber in Star Wars. Will got to ride a homemade hovercraft, and we jumped when they lit a container of alcohol and air on fire. I certainly enjoyed and understood more about physics in that one hour than I ever did in my many high school and college science classes. Short events like this one are great opportunities to expose the kids to different interests with little effort or cost.