Physics Day draws large crowd

Hundreds of students from area high schools gathered at UND to share their love of physics with members of the UND’s Department of Physics and Astrophysics.

Physics Day, held this Wednesday,  brought students from Grand Forks, East Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Thompson, Larimore, Powers Lake and more.

The students attended a full day of events in the Memorial Union and Witmer Hall. The eight stations included a “Tour of the Universe,” several demonstrations, talks and a tour of the department.

The day started with a welcome from UND professor Ike Schlosser, “I wanted to give them some background,” Schlosser said. “The critical things to be thinking about as they are continuing with their education, the major they select and the university they select.”

After Schlosser, Jordan Anderson, a representative from the UND Admissions Office, encouraged students to apply to UND.

“My first day at UND made all the worries go away,” Anderson said. “There’s always something to do here. There are students from 50 states and people from 84 countries. The more you get involved, the better your college experience.”

The students split up into groups to go through all the stations. The demonstrations included a use of a Tesla coil, an electrostatic generator, flying screwdrivers, jumping coils, a Rubens’ flame tube and many others. The talks were on dark matter and dark energy, scanning tunneling microscopy, the Martens Observatory and new materials for new devices. The students were also treated to a presentation from UND’s Frozen Fury Rocket Club.

“It’s a source of inspiration, and you get to play with the devices yourself,” event coordinator Yen Lee Loh said. “This is the technology of the future, and it’ll get them thinking about taking (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) classes when they get to college.”

Faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students all took part in the various events throughout the day.

Loh said the event has been going on for at least eight years now and has grown in recent years with high school teachers eager to bring their students.

“We’ve gotten more gung-ho about it,” Loh said. “Teachers want to bring their students and we can’t say no.”

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].