Leilani Delos Santos, 7th grader, ready to launch a water balloon from a giant sling shot. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
Leilani Delos Santos prepares to launch a water balloon from a giant sling shot. Weber State hosted the eighth annual open house for the physics department. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

The eighth annual physics open house drew members of the Ogden community to Weber State University to enjoy all that was offered during the event.

A number of students, volunteers and faculty helped to make this night a huge success for the physics department.

John Armstrong, an assistant professor of the physics department, put on the first open house at Weber State eight years ago. 

“We originally thought we would get about 60 to 70 people that first year. To our surprise we actually got about 1,400 people to attend. It was such a huge success that we decided to continue it each year since. Each year we get about 600 to 700 people that attend this event,” Armstrong said.

 

 

The event featured demonstrations, activities and events outside for the Ogden community to participate in, which has contributed to the success of the open house.

Activity rooms allowed children to learn about air, light, lasers and other aspects of physics in a fun way that was easy for them to understand. 

Two outdoor events were also popular during the open house: an activity that allowed the children to launch rockets outside, and a water balloon ballistics activity. 

Nathaniel Klemm, a physics major, volunteered his time to work at the magnetarium offered during the open house.

“It is my second year volunteering and I have been working up at the magnetarium tonight which has been great,” Klemm said.

Gigantic bubbles fascinated watchers. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
Attendees of the open house watch a demonstration. The open house had several outdoor activities for children. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

Klemm said that the magnetarium was a room full of magnets where the children were allowed to build their own structures using magnets.

“It has been packed up there tonight. It is rewarding to be able to instill a love of science in the children that attend,” Klemm said. “It is great to let them know that they are smart enough to do science.”

In addition to the activity rooms that were open for families to explore, there were also demonstrations going on throughout the night.

Ronald Galli, a professor of the physics department, gave a 45-minute demonstration titled, “Spinning Objects, Electricity and Cats”.

Lisa Finlinson, a physics and applied math major at Weber State, described his demonstration as physics 1010 in 45 minutes.

The demonstration was entertaining and interactive for those in attendance. Galli gave demonstrations about electricity, magnetism and energy, and often invited children down to be a part of the demonstration. The science behind the demonstrations was taught in a way that kept audiences captivated.

Participants explore magnetic properties at the physics open house. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
Participants learn about magnetic properties at the physics open house. The open house was attended by faculty, students and members of the Ogden community.(Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

“It is so fun to hear kids say, ‘Wow, cool!’ while they are here at the event. It is a fun event that lets the community know we are here,” Finlinson said. “It also lets kids know that even though science can be hard it is also a lot of fun!”

Suzanne Hanks, a member of the Ogden community, came out to the event with her family.

“We heard about the event through a friend and decided to come check it out. My children have loved it! They have especially loved the outdoor rocket launch that has been going on tonight,” Hanks said.

The open house drew in members of the Ogden community and got them involved with Weber State University. The night was full of physics and was a great atmosphere for families.

 

 

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