Outreach

Wonders of Physics Lab Tours

The UW-Madison String Theory group, together with the UW Phenomenology research group, participated in giving Theoretical Physics "Laboratory Tours" at the 2007 Wonders of Physics in February. Shajid Haque, Ryan Gavin, Gabe Shaughnessy, Paul McGuirk, Anupama Avatre, and Bret Underwood explained some ideas of Theoretical Physics to the public through hands-on demonstrations and activities. Click the link above for more information.

The String Theory group participated in giving "Laboratory Tours" at the 2006 Wonders of Physics in February. Steve Kecskemeti, John Maiden, and Bret Underwood explained the basic ideas of String Theory to the public through demonstrations, animations, and posters. Visitors were also encouraged to take home with them handouts that explained some of the basic terms we use in string theory and some reading resources for parents and adults about physics and string theory.

Xperiment TV

Xperiment TV was a cable-access show which I and several other science graduate students were involved with during the period 2004-2006, in which I wrote and produced several episodes. The aim of Xperiment TV was to get middle school viewers interested in the applications of science through episodes on cell-phones, forensics, electricity, and other science topics a viewer may come in contact with on an everyday basis. Viewers learn background about these topics through "On Location" and "History of Science" segments, as well as performing variations of experiments demonstrated on the show at home. Interested students can actively participate by appearing on the show or by competing in the Xperiment Challenge: an at home critical thinking exercise students send in to be eligible for prizes.

PHOTON

PHOTON (Physics Outreach To Our Neighbors) is the outreach wing of the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society at The Ohio State University. In 2003 I helped PHOTON establish itself at the Ohio State Fair and with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio.

State and National Science Olympiads

Designed "Measurement and Estimation" events for State and National (2003) Science Olympiads.

COSI Co-Explorer and Learning Expeditions

COSI Columbus views itself as a modern science museum, where the focus is on the process of science and the exhilaration of discovery. My job as a co-Explorer at COSI was to fulfill this mission by interacting with all guests using the latest inquiry-based methods and encouraging guests to become inquirers, if only for a few minutes. For example, I often encouraged guests to learn about the properties of laminar flow, not by reading a sign or listening to me lecture, but rather by discovering what happens when they disrupt the flow with their hands or a key!

While at COSI, I developed excitement and interest in science by creating an entertaining character who would demonstrate that science is fun because it's everywhere! Demonstrations that I performed ranged from the Science of Water to the Power of Tornadoes, and led to many interesting discussions with childern and adults after the show.

Many science museums today have a strong commitment to formal education, and COSI is no exception. During the summer of 2001 I worked with the Outreach department of COSI in creating the Learning Expeditions Program, a series of inquiry-based classroom lessons that connected COSI's exhibits to the State and National Science Standards, and to applications students might be interested in. For example, my lesson "Lights, Camera, Action (and Reaction)" focuses on discovering Newton's 3rd Law and applying it to a popular whirling ride at COSI.