Christmas Science Show At Rutgers

By on December 6, 2012

If you’ve got a young Einstein or Marie Curie at home, you might want to know about a kids’ science event this weekend.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University will once again present its Faraday Christmas Children’s Lecture. Designed to dazzle and capture the imaginations of young and old alike, the demonstrations feature such spectacles as real flowers frozen to the point where they shatter like glass, exploding hydrogen balloons, a person lying on a bed of nails and a fire extinguisher used to rocket a person across the room.

The shows are based on the tradition of famous British physicist Michael Faraday, whose work in the early 1800s laid the foundation for the electric motor and electrical generation. His Children’s Christmas Lectures at London’s Royal Institution, which continue today, were designed to communicate to youngsters the excitement of scientific discovery during a season of joy and celebration.

Rutgers’ version is produced by Mark Croft, a physics professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, and physics support specialist Dave Maiullo. The demonstrations they will present are routinely used in university physics courses, not just to inform students but also with an eye toward humor, exciting the imagination and emphasizing the fun in science.

The Rutgers shows will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 7 to 9; from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Physics Lecture Hall, 120 Frelinghuysen Road, Busch Campus, Piscataway. It will take you about an hour to get there from Verona.

The shows are open to the public and free of charge. Early arrival is advised to ensure seating. Overflow seating will be available in a nearby classroom with a video link to the show. Further information, including driving directions, see the Physics’ department’s Web site.

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