Starting a Physics Club, need ideas!

  • Thread starter waznboyd
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  • #1
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Haha, I'm thinking about starting a physics club at my high school! :rofl: :!!)

But before I can do so, I want to make a list of activities we can do that is fun, easy, and physics related :rolleyes: So far, I've gotten ideas of catapults and potato guns :biggrin: (Maybe light saber fights with meter sticks lol jk)

I am thinking maybe the club will meet either every two weeks or every month.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated :)

William
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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at my highschool we built a hovercraft (that could carry a person) (gr 11), a radio astronomy antena and receiver (gr 12) and I can't remember what we did in gr 10...

Some friends and I tried to get the physics and chemistry teachers to let us do rocketry but given the highly dangerous characteristics of such a project it was rejected :grumpy:

The hovercraft was the most fun.
 
  • #3
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rocketboy said:
at my highschool we built a hovercraft (that could carry a person) (gr 11), a radio astronomy antena and receiver (gr 12) and I can't remember what we did in gr 10...

Some friends and I tried to get the physics and chemistry teachers to let us do rocketry but given the highly dangerous characteristics of such a project it was rejected :grumpy:

The hovercraft was the most fun.
I found a few hovercraft plans online a while back. They're run from old vacuum cleaner motors and will carry a person as far as the extension cord will reach.
 
  • #4
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zoobyshoe said:
I found a few hovercraft plans online a while back. They're run from old vacuum cleaner motors and will carry a person as far as the extension cord will reach.

That stuff actually exist!??! :bugeye: :surprised :!!)
 
  • #5
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Invite the cheerleading squad to participate. That's my advice to you.
 
  • #6
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waznboyd said:
That stuff actually exist!??! :bugeye: :surprised :!!)
Here's one link:

http://groups.physics.umn.edu/pforce/hovercraft.html [Broken]

All the plans I found were more or less the same as this. Some sites had better pictures of people riding on them.
 
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  • #7
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So hovercrafts will be one of the activities, any other suggestions? :)
 
  • #8
Gokul43201
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waznboyd said:
So hovercrafts will be one of the activities, any other suggestions? :)
I have one.

Building a hovercraft by following a recipe you find somewhere does not make a physics project. For it to be a physics project, you should be able to arrive at the primary design specifications through your own calculations, based on the underlying physical principles.

In my opinion, the design of the thing (including feasibility analysis and whatnot) is 99% of the work.
 
  • #9
All of the things I can think of would be more along the lines of engineering technically (including hovercrafts).

Physics specific, you could each meeting see who can find the most incredibly crackpot material on physics.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=physics+experiments&btnG=Google+Search
There are quite a few sites with basic physics experiments that would be HS appropriate.

It might also go over well to watch and or discuss the physics involved in Mythbusters episodes. Movie physics. Star Trek and Star Wars physics are also usually popular among fans.
 
  • #10
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Make some shirts!
www.cafepress.com

Just how much physics have you had at your high school? Have you had any electricity and magnetism? You could do a few fun projects by building some circuits which do...somethings...
 
  • #11
If you get enough people then start up a yearly competition based on a physics related proposal. Get them to think up experiments that will show proof of theories or laws in physics. The best one gets a prize.

They couldn't go far wrong looking at this site and the internet in general for theoretical or even hypothetical discussions as a source for debate either. At least one interweb link is essential I would think, if you can, organise it in the computer room at your establishment.

Also the occasional practical experiments, not just in the "lab" but also in the field would probably be welcome. Start off with a simple assertion such as the speed of sound and ask how they could prove the law is accurate? Could you acieve this in a lab, if not, it's time for an experiment on the fields. We did this at school and it was alot of fun involving clappers and stop watches. Can lead further also: could you do it with the speed of light and if not why not? How could you create an experiment that tested this constant?

Don't be afraid to involve other sciences in the deal, physics is an understanding of the fundementals and it's applicable to all sciences,so encourage ideas that make it broadly appealing.
 
  • #12
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moose said:
Make some shirts!
www.cafepress.com

Just how much physics have you had at your high school? Have you had any electricity and magnetism? You could do a few fun projects by building some circuits which do...somethings...
Get a "VARISTY PHYSICS" shirt. I recommend it! :biggrin:
 
  • #13
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I like the speed of light experiment done in infinite corridor at MIT....
Wikipedia said:
During the 1960s, a common Technology Day demonstration used the unobstructed length of the corridor to demonstrate the speed of light in a simple, direct way. A strobe light, photocell, and oscilloscope were positioned at one end of the corridor, and a mirror at the other. The round-trip time was about two microseconds. The photocell picked up both the direct and reflected flashes. The flash duration being well under a microsecond, the result was two nicely separated pulses on the oscilloscope screen.
 
  • #14
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Gokul43201 said:
Building a hovercraft by following a recipe you find somewhere does not make a physics project. For it to be a physics project, you should be able to arrive at the primary design specifications through your own calculations, based on the underlying physical principles.
I agree, of course, but I'm thinking the guy might just want to get a bunch of more or less science oriented people together for a little club.
 
  • #15
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zoobyshoe said:
I agree, of course, but I'm thinking the guy might just want to get a bunch of more or less science oriented people together for a little club.

haha just a few nerds..............................:!!) :!!) It's fun when there are people that have the same interests that you do :)
 
  • #16
Gokul43201
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zoobyshoe said:
I agree, of course, but I'm thinking the guy might just want to get a bunch of more or less science oriented people together for a little club.
Well, it ain't a physics club unless it does physics.
 
  • #17
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Gokul43201 said:
Well, it ain't a physics club unless it does physics.
It's all physics.
 
  • #18
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how bout propelling tennis balls using lighter fluid and a pringles can
 
  • #19
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Invite the cheerleading squad to participate. That's my advice to you.
Not sure if that'll work, but yeah go easy on the power-nerd thing. If your school provides funding, order pizzas.

as for more physics-ish ideas

rocket kits
listening to http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast22may_1.htm" [Broken]
launch a http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~cuspaceflight/nova1launch.html" [Broken] to space
 
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