Whether the students were walking on water, playing with slime or making ice cream from scratch, the front of the Brower Student Center was accompanied from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with energetic students and faculty as they celebrated “This Week of Science” from April 9 to 13.
Hosted by the School of Science and the Student Government Senators of Science, “This Week of Science” was organized by numerous clubs and organizations that collaborated to promote exposure of the School of Science, and to foster interaction between different departments, including biology, chemistry, statistics, math, physics and computer science.
Each set of groups represented a different department each day, and these groups then pitched in ideas to see which activities would best attract people, while educating them in a specific branch of science. Both “nerdy” and “fun” components were combined to spark an enlightening interest to the fellow students on campus.
Kalvin Foo, junior biology major and the senior senator of science, stated, “Working with my fellow senators of science, the dean and assistant dean of the School of Science and the school of science student advisory board, we believe that this week would both showcase what we do and foster relationships between individuals in different departments. I felt that this week and the events taking place served these roles equally well.”
The events held each day were “Make Your Own Ice Cream,” hosted by the biology honor society Tri-Beta (representing the biology department); “Travel With the Traveling Salesman,” representing math and statistics; “Create Your Own Magnetic Computer Deco,” representing the computer science department; “Catapults,” representing the physics and astronomy department, and finally — “Walk on Water and Slime,” representing the chemistry department.
Essentially, these fun-filled activities go against the typical stereotype of students solving math problems or calculating the distance of traveling objects in the traditional classroom setting.
On Thursday, April 12, the Physics and Astronomy Clubs hosted “Catapults” — launching a ball to demonstrate kinematic and momentum-based factors in projectile motion. They also demonstrated angular momentum by spinning students, and electrical factors by demonstrating voltage on a hand-cranked apparatus.
Students were also seen munching away at their personally-made ice cream at the “Make Your Own Ice Cream” event that educated students about colligative properties.
“I didn’t know you could make your ice cream. This was definitely a fun experience because you could learn about all of the different scientific components while eating as much ice cream you wanted to. Who would say no to that?” junior bio-psychology major Shabani Ahluwalia said.
Foo also commented, “I believe the chemistry event was very popular, as the activity piqued the interests of many passersby.”
As the week came to a finale on Friday with the “Walk on Water and Slime” event, students got to experience making a mixture of water and cornstarch called “ooblek.” The purpose of the activity was to walk on top of finalized properties.
“I was shocked I could walk on them,” said Nick Velmahos, junior English major. “It was weird and cool at the same time. Apparently, I learned that if you quickly apply a lot of pressure, it feels like the components are hardened.”
“A lot of people were pleasantly surprised by how accessible science was. People who were scared of physics could see that through activities, you don’t really have to be scared of any science really because you perform everyday activities without realizing that a lot of science is involved,” Foo said.