Demonstrations: I have been designing outreach demonstrations since I was in graduate school. I have a number of demonstrations/labs developed for a wide variety of topics: fluids, soft matter (slime, gels, silly putty), phone sensors, granular materials, and others. I also maintain a large database of ideas / equipment for classroom demonstrations for mechanics, electromagnetism, and optics. I am always on the lookout for new ideas for demonstrations / labs for statistical mechanics/thermodynamics and advanced classical mechanics. Most of these demonstrations can be designed to be interactive or in front of a classroom. Most of these can also be scaled to ability; they can be adapted for small children, or they can be “scaled up” by transformation into a quantitative laboratory for high school or college students. Please feel free to contact me if you have an idea or need an idea for a demo! I may have one already.

SPS: I have advised Mount Holyoke’s (award winning!) Society of Physics Students for the past three years (on hiatus Fall 2017-Spring 2018), and we have used these demos for several outreach events for local elementary and middle schools, and MHC’s annual Pangy Day. The favorite, of course, is the kiddie pool of oobleck!

Soft Matter Day: I have organized and hosted Soft Matter Day, a one-day symposium for researchers in the New England area for the last two years. Part of this day includes a two-hour block midday which invites children to attend (and interested adults!) and participate in demonstrations / activities related to soft matter physics.

SciTech Cafe: I run SciTech Cafe, a monthly public lecture in the Valley. A working scientist presents their work to the public. My department chair Kathy Aidala founded the cafe in 2012. Here are a few links where I promote the events on the Bill Newman show.

2018-19 season interviews

Past interviews: