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Outreach Group: Society of Physics Students UMKC Chapter
Sponsoring Institution: University of Missouri, Kansas City
City: Kansas City
State: MO
Description: We're a college age group, but we do volunteer work with a number of age groups. We'd love to coordinate some activities with homeschoolers or family groups. In the past, we've helped young cub scouts earn their science badges.

We're geared towards physics, fun physics (making quantum and relativity understandable in a fun format for young kids is something I would like to work on). We have an astronomy club starting this year at the UMKC Observatory. We watch a physics movie and then go look at stars through the 16 inch scope! (We call it night with the stars.)  We coordinate "Webloes on Wheels" each year in February for the boyscouts. I lead a group of boyscoutes in a "Water and Air" demonstration, and there were many other demonstrations (optics, holograms, illusions, forces, etc). We showed things like a homemade hover craft, bumper cars, water tricks (turn the full cup covered by a sheet of paper upside down and voila, water stays inside by magic), etc. We would be willing to do something like this for some homeschool groups also. I also talked modern physics with the kids. We got lots of enthusiastic questions and some of the kids wanted to sign up to be engineers/ physicists after they got their badges. I was really happy to see such excitement! One thing that I'd like to see done in physics education is more "shock value". Kids love weird stuff. Even if they don't quite understand what you're saying--or maybe even especially if they don't--, if it sounds cool, they latch onto it and it makes them want to learn more. (I got kids psyched about quantum entanglement with a little demonstration with a red and blue ball.) I remember "weird" science like black holes and entanglement was what got me interested in physics and I think more kids need to be exposed to that stuff. We also can do tours of the geoscience museum at UMKC or the Linda Hall library which is next door.
Target Audience(s): Middle School
College or University
Cost: Depends
Availability: School Year Only
Topical Focus: General Physics
General Astronomy
Light and Optics

Outreach Contact

Primary Contact: Michael Kruger
Primary Contact Phone: (816) 645 9460
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