Physics Circus Opens To Public At Mayborn Museum

  • News Photo 2714
    A hair-raising experience--the VandeGraaff generator conducts static electricity during the 2003 Physics Circus.
  • News Photo 2715
    A student studies heat energy expanding air and causing ping-pong balls to bounce at the 2003 Physics Circus.
  • News Photo 2713
    Electricity arcs to the metal perimeter of the "Eye of Thor," 2003 Physics Circus.
March 29, 2005

by Judy Long

The 2005 CASPER Physics Circus, called "The Greatest Physics Circus on Earth," has undergone big changes this year, including a change of venue and public availability.

Show times are 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 6-22.

Located for the first time in Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex, the science festival features an Interactive Fun House, comprised of hands-on physics displays, for attendees to enjoy after the performance. The event features intense science explorations, physics demonstrations, interactive displays, theatrical performances and excellent teaching experiences to be enjoyed by students of all ages and their parents and teachers.

Cost of admission is $12 per person for individuals. A family rate of $10 per person (with three or more) and a classroom rate of $8 per person (with five or more) are also available.

Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor vice provost for research and director of CASPER (Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics, and Engineering Research), said this is the last year of the Physics Circus grant, so Baylor and TSTC Waco program designers hope to make the event pay for itself.

"One goal of the grant was to become self-supporting in five years, so this year we opened the event to the public and are charging admission. The response has been great so far. It's filling up fast," he said.

The Interactive Fun House includes nearly 40 physics demonstrations, such as the Vandergraff simulator, which causes an individual's hair to stand on end when touched. The five display themes are sound, waves, light, electricity, black holes and miscellaneous experiments.

Funded by GEAR UP Waco, the Physics Circus is designed to stimulate an early love for science. The event, created during the 2000-2001 school year, is sponsored jointly by Texas State Technical College Waco and Baylor University. GEAR UP Waco, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is subsidized through a U.S. Department of Education grant designed to help disadvantaged children prepare for and gain a pathway to college.

Those interested can register by calling 710-3763 or by visiting the Physics Circus web site. Tickets will not be available at the door.

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