Physics Circus Today At Texas State Technical College

May 12, 2000

by LoAna Lopez

The Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER), a joint venture between Texas State Technical College and Baylor University, will join a growing nationwide effort to attract students to science through entertaining, educational demonstrations with a Physics Circus for more than 100 seventh-grade students and their teachers from Tennyson Middle School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 12, on the TSTC campus.

CASPER's Physics Circus, one of many GEAR UP Waco Grant initiatives, will feature a multimedia laser light show combined with vivid production events demonstrating waves, optics, sound, color and electricity. The seventh-graders will enjoy hands-on outdoor events, such as examining sun spots using on-site telescopes, testing their equilibrium in an Orbitron and evaluating their egg drop designs.

Through CASPER, Baylor and TSTC conduct space and dusty plasmas research while sharing knowledge, facilities and expertise. CASPER students recently participated in a National Science Foundation undergraduate research program focusing on how space debris can damage equipment orbiting the earth, such as satellites, the space shuttle or the international space station.

GEAR UP Waco Grant participants include Baylor, TSTC, McLennan Community College, the Waco Independent School District, Communities in Schools/McLennan County Youth Collaboration Inc., the City of Waco and the Waco Foundation. The $6 million grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, focuses on enabling more young Central Texans to stay in school, study hard and take the courses that can open the doors to college. GEAR UP Grant programs strive to assist communities in creating plans that strengthen their schools and provide enrichment opportunities to help all students gain a pathway to a college education.

For more information about the CASPER Physics Circus at TSTC, contact Beverly Clark at (254) 867-3128. For more information about CASPER research projects, contact Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor associate professor of physics and director graduate studies, at (254) 710-6717.

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