Physics Fun

The Department of Physics at the University of Miami organized the third edition of Physics Fun. On a nice, sunny morning, about 400 people found their way to the University of Miami campus to enjoy hands-on activities and a show centered on the wonders and fun of physics for elementary school children and their families.

Run by volunteers from UM Physics Department, and lead by Associate Chair of Physics and Miami Scientific Italian Community Board Member Prof. Massimiliano Galeazzi, the event is organized once a year and has become a staple for the local community. It consists of two shows of 45 minutes each that use live demonstrations such as a 5 m pendulum made with a bowling ball, a standing bike to power light bulbs, a rotating table for conservation of angular momentum, to introduce kids to the many wonders of physics. Outside, the square around the Physics Department was transformed into a giant science lab, with more than a dozen hands-on stations, where kids and adults could experiment first hand with a gravitational field simulator, electric circuits, solar powered cars, magnetic forces, balloon rockets, etc.

Physics fun was first organized in 2017, and is growing every year. The event is free to the public and the shows usually fill up more than a week in advance. Prof. Galeazzi was inspired in organizing the event by the feedback he received during presentations at local schools and by the many science inspired games he plays with his two kids. Galeazzi believes that looking at the kids face when they are placed in front of the many wonders of physics is simply priceless. One of the big surprises of the event, however, was the reaction of the parents. They typically approach physics with circumspection, but they leave the event as happy as their kids.

Galeazzi hopes the event can grow in the future, bringing more kids from the local schools, without, however, loosing the relaxed, family feeling, that is a staple of the current event.

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