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K-12 Science 2 Schools Traveling Science Programs: Physics and Chemistry Circus

Program Title:
Physics and Chemistry Circus
Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK, United States
Geographical Area:
Bethany and Oklahoma City (metro area)
General Description:
For years we did a "Physics Circus" for local elementary schools. Sometimes they come to our science auditorium (two schools are within walking distance) and sometimes we take it on the road. More recently it's become a "Physics and Chemistry Circus." It's by request of the teachers, although we let them know that we're available. Sometimes we do astronomy demos too, sunspots in the daytime at the school, or observing with our telescope in the evening when the parents bring the kids back to the school parking lot, or short demos (~30 min) on selected topics with a single class (e.g., showing sound waves on a oscilloscope).

In the last two years the Chemistry dept. has gotton into the act, which we were glad to see, so as I mentioned we now call it now the "Physics-Chemistry Circus." We do the usual kinds of public demo things.

One nice thing is when we ask the kids to submit questions in advance. The second and third graders ask the best question: e.g., "What holds the Moon up when it's on nothing?" "Does space ever end?" "Why are all people different?" ....I have a collection of their questions. But by the 7th grade, sometimes by the 4th, they don't ask the questions much anymore. Too much science from a book perhaps, a list of facts to be memorized, not a world with which to interact.
Area of Science:
physics and chemistry
Target Grade Levels:
usually 2-6 but have done middle and HS too.
Target Group Size:
~ 100

The information contained in this page is accurate as of March, 2003.