Fall Physics Day at NSTA Hartford Regional Meeting

This past October

The first session of the day was a thermodynamics demonstration workshop run by David Sturm and Sam Siepere.   It was a great show that started out with Sam taking a FLIR Infrared Camera and filming the audience.   Sam ran a sterling engine, performed lots of great experiments with liquid nitrogen and even made solid nitrogen by lowering the pressure of liquid nitrogen in a bell jar.   I loved how they inflated two balloons inside of each other, and used a Green He-Ne laser to put the red latex balloon which was inside of the transparent whitish balloon.   There were great demonstrations with balloons and oranges frozen in liquid nitrogen.  I loved viewing the liquid nitrogen experiments through the FLIR IR camera.   Of course, there were no shooting projectiles or open flames.  J  Participants left excited for the next show, and many people are signed up for the local NES-AAPT.

Larry Gould next gave an interesting talk on Anthropogenic Global warming.  I think he surprised the audience with his skeptical view of the Anthropogenic connection to global warming.  He had plenty of handouts for the audience.  Most who entered the talk were surprised by his stance, but left having a respect for his point of view.

David and Sam then returned with another great demo workshop.  This time, they used strobe photography to capture amazing things.  Several teacher volunteers found themselves dizzy as they were spun on rotating platforms.  I also loved the CO2 fire extinguisher powered go cart which Sam used to speed across the conference hall.

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Next, Fred Myers gave a great presentation on using photography to capture great moments in physics.  Many of his photos would be sure winners for the AAPT Physics Photo Content if he were a high school student!  Some of my personal favorites include the melting of snow on porch railings and the NO SPARKPLUG car sign outside of the radio telescopes in Green Bank.

Next, Gary Garber discussed his trip on a NASA Reduced Gravity Airplane ride.  On the parabolic flight, he used Vernier Wireless accelerometers to track the motion of a simple pendulum in different levels of simulated gravity including Lunar, Martian, and hyper (2g) gravity. He also discussed opportunities for students with NASA.

The day ended with a standing room only final session with David Sturm and Sam Siepere.   They gave an amazing show which generated a lot of excitement for PIRA.  Our local section collected over 40 names of prospective AAPT members.