Baylor's CASPER Presents 2011 Physics Circus

Feb. 1, 2011

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Baylor University's Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) will host the 2011 Physics Circus Jan. 31 to Feb. 25 at the Mayborn Museum Complex on the Baylor campus.

The Physics Circus, created by Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor's vice provost for research and CASPER director, promotes science education and science related careers by demonstrating higher level science concepts to local K-12 students.

Performances, which are free and open to the public, will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, and at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10. A special invitation performance will be held at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17.

The theme for this year's event is "nanotechnology." Participants will use math and science skills to solve a mystery about a missing person by using nanotechnology. Professional actors will present the case in a theatrical performance to educate and entertain students and adults.

Following the performance, students will have the chance to act as investigators by taking part in hands-on explorations to solve the case in the Physics Fun House. Physicists will monitor each exhibit of the Fun House and provide students with instructions.

After solving the case, students will be able to use their newly acquired knowledge by playing Jeopardy. Prizes will be awarded to the top winners.

Reservations are required to attend. Admission is free with paid admission to the Mayborn Museum Complex. Members of the Mayborn Museum may attend at no cost.

The event is funded by a six-year, $11.3 million grant awarded to GEAR Up Waco (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), an established partnership between Baylor, Texas State Technical College Waco, Making Connections with Youth Count INC., City of Waco Academy for Educational Development, and the Waco Independent School District.

The goals of GEAR Up Waco are to prepare students for college through academic preparation programs, professional development activities for educators and college access information for students and parents.

GEAR Up Waco will host Physics Circus performances for 10th and 11th grade students of Waco Independent School District and LaVega Independent School District every day at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from Jan.31 to Feb. 25.

CASPER is an official Baylor research center formed by a partnership between Baylor and Texas State Technical College-Waco. Space research within CASPER has a proud heritage dating back to the 1960s, including flight projects from Explorer I forward. Personnel within the Center have been actively involved on a number of NASA and ESA flight missions.

For more information and to make reservations, go to or contact Dr. Cyndi Hernandez at

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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