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Teens compete in "Physics Olympics" at Daytona State

STEM students, faculty share their enthusiasm, knowledge

(News-Journal story)

On April 5, teams of teenagers rose to the challenge at Daytona State to take their best ‘brain shot’ at five contests in laser zap, paper plane pentathlon, paper tower, Pringle packing and soda-straw strong arm. The “Physics Olympics” competition proved fierce, fun and educational, exemplifying the value and strength of k-12 partnerships. 

Daytona State STEM students and faculty welcomed more than 100 teens from Mainland, Spruce Creek, DeLand, Pine Ridge and University high schools for a day of physics contests at the Lemerand Center, Daytona Beach Campus. 

Scoring for the different contests - which included events named the Doolittle, Lindbergh and Rip Van Winkle - ranged from measuring mass, volume, arm length, “broken” or not and tower heights to comparing distances and aerobatics performed. 

“We were thrilled at the turn-out and with how well our own students pitched in with the teenagers,” said professor Gajendra Tulsian, the master mind behind the event. Explaining the day’s purpose, STEM coordinator Christian Rivera noted, “I believe that you learn by ‘playing.’ The event is designed to strengthen the mind, to demonstrate physics in applied settings, and to have fun. Students had an opportunity to solve puzzles in a creative and inventive way, while applying the principles of physics they learned in the classroom.” 

On a related partnership note, Daytona State biology education majors shared their expertise for a “family science night” at Coronado Beach Elementary on April 4. To the delight of parents and kids, the 20 teachers-in-training led three biology activities: The Egg Citing Egg Speriment, Shiny Penny Stuff, Strawberry DNA or Blubber Experiment.

Arranged by College of Education faculty member Tashana Howse, the volunteer activity ‘edutained’ upwards of several hundred children and parents. 

(April 10, 2013)

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Last updated: 2016-05-23T19:38:38.347Z