With New Demonstrations, Friday Night Science Promises to Deliver a "Physics Phrenzy"

A boneyard of real skeletons, fireworks and more!

Friday Night Science-JorstadAPRIL 10, 2014 -- A boneyard of real skeletons, giant colored shadows, fantastic fireworks, mind-numbing math problems and levitating superconductors are just part of what is in store for children and adults during Friday Night Science.  The annual event will take place on Friday, May 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., starting in and around the science building (building M) on Allan Hancock College’s Santa Maria campus.  The event is free and open to the public.

“Kids will see explosions, fireworks, even a full ostrich skeleton,” said Rob Jorstad, physics instructor and creator of Friday Night Science.  “We have some sensational new demonstrations.  This is going to be an epic night and a physics phrenzy.”

Organizers have added a boneyard this year that will include full human, ostrich and horse skeletons, along with partial skeletons of other creatures.  Experts will be available to discuss anatomy and how muscles work.  There will also be a new math mayhem area where kids can find their center of mass and try to solve deceptively tricky math problems.

“Rather than telling students the answer, they will enjoy hands-on, interactive methods,” added Jorstad.  “Friday Night Science is the most fun and exciting way to learn about science without using math.”

Back by popular demand, geologists will be on hand to help people identify rocks they’ve always wondered about with the “Name that Rock” exhibit.  Nearly 50 hands-on demonstrations of various scientific principles, such as mechanics, electricity, sound and light, will also be available throughout the science building.

“There will be crazy lights, crazy mirrors, crazy sounds, pretty much crazy everything when it comes to our demonstrations,” promised Jorstad.Friday Night Science-Static

There will be multiple locations of some of the most popular demonstrations to eliminate wait times.

Funding for the event and materials comes from the HSI STEM & Articulation Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  The grant aims to attract more children to attend college, as well as encourage more students, especially females, to pursue STEM career fields.

Nearly 100 Hancock students help design, build and test the experiments and demonstrations.  Many of them will attend the event to demonstrate experiments and to act as translators for Spanish speaking guests. 

Students will also host a barbeque fundraiser where visitors can purchase a tri-tip sandwich, drink and bag of chips for $9.  All proceeds will fund scholarships for students in the mathematics, engineering and science programs.

To help K-12 teachers, Jorstad created an extra-credit assignment for them give to their students.  A copy of the assignment is available on the Friday Night Science webpage.  Demonstrators will also hand out proof of attendance tickets to students during the event.

For more information about Friday Night Science go to www.hancockcollege.edu/fridaynightscience, call the Allan Hancock College STEM Center at 922-6966 ext. 3557 or email stem@hancockcollege.edu

- AHC -

Caption, above left: Allan Hancock College physics instructor Rob Jorstad entertains children and their parents during one of the dozens of demonstrations and shows during Friday Night Science.  The annual event is set for Friday, May 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the Santa Maria campus.

Caption, above right: The scores of demonstrations and shows available during Friday Night Science offer hair-raising experiences for the hundreds of children who attend.  The annual event is free and open to the public and scheduled to take place on Friday, May 2, on the Santa Maria campus.

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Last Modified Nov 21, 2014