Interactive Science Spectacular Attracts Community

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Interactive Science Spectacular Attracts Community

By Claire Jeantheau ’21, Staff Writer

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Carlisle town members and Dickinsonians explored the mysteries of astronomy and physics at the annual Science Spectacular, co-hosted by the physics, earth sciences and astronomy clubs.  

The clubs organized live displays and educational talks to encourage students and the public to explore science. 

Matt Stanger ’19, a physics and educational studies major said “It’s always really great to get the community involved, and this is a great way to get kids really interested in science. I also think it’s wonderful to see how well our three clubs worked together to make the absolute most of it.” 

The clubs ran activity rooms, each highlighting a different topic. Astronomy Club hosted a dark room with fluorescent minerals, and the hosts used colored lamps to demonstrate spectroscopy, or the laws of levels of electromagnetic radiation. People could watch a volcano replica with Geology Club or try their hands at the sand pendulum and handmade hoverboard — built with a leaf-blower — from the Society of Physics Students. 

Attendees viewed planetarium star shows and telescope viewings run by the Astronomy Club and Lars English, professor of physics, gave a talk called “Is Physical Reality Emergent?” 

Phoebe Galione ’21, vice president of the Astronomy Club, said “it was a really nice opportunity to meet people in the community and for them to learn basic science things that we get to learn in class and that they might have forgotten or… that they usually take for granted,” Galione said. 

Aidan Pidgeon ’20, a physics major and president of the Astronomy Club, said “It’s always great to get community members coming in with their kids, but I was really happy to see that we had a few students come in at the end. I was especially happy that it cleared up enough for us to get a good look at the moon.”

Angelo Tarzona ’21, an earth sciences major, said he appreciated the chance to meet students from other science disciplines and explain his own work: “this is my first Science Spectacular…and I was assigned to do water chemistry for Geo Club, so I get to show people what I do in ALLARM [The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring] sometimes for workshops, and it’s just so nice to see the community and Dickinson interact with each other,” Tarzona said. 

Science Spectacular is the product of inter-club collaboration, but it began in 2009 as a branch of a national event called “Astro Fest,” according to Pidgeon. In 2016, Earth Sciences Club and the Society of Physics Students joined the event lineup, resulting in the current Science Spectacular format.

Science Spectacular was held on Saturday, April 13, from 6-10 p.m. in Tome Hall.