Physics for Kids
The Physics for Kids Community Partner is involved in the Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Days. The goal of SciTech Days is to expose students to the growing areas of science in Pittsburgh.
Each of our volunteers designs an interactive experiment for middle school students, accompanied by a handout to teach the physics lesson behind the experiment. We then reserve a booth for the SciTech days, where we show the students our experiments and get them excited about science, while simultaneously teaching them basic physics laws.
"My service learning experience was definitely a good one and I gained a lot from it. Our group did science demonstrations at the Carnegie Science Center. . It helped me grow as a leader because I was responsible for helping these groups of middle school students learn something they didn't know about science. I have also never had the chance to do community service that was science related, and I enjoyed this opportunity very much because of it.
When doing my demonstration, I could see the children's enthusiasm, and understanding of what I was doing, and it helped me realize just how much the community can really benefit from it. I learned leadership and communication skills, and I also found that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.
These kids probably all had different favorite subjects, however most of them seemed interested in my demonstration and seemed to understand how it worked but it was easy to spot the ones who really enjoyed science. These students would stay for extended periods of time, and ask questions to help them really understand how our demonstrations worked. These students seemed to look up to us, and maybe one day they will get involved in their own service based service learning one day."
-Jason Weideman, Physics 2017
"At the beginning of the semester, I thought that the Service Learning course would be a waste of time. For me, I immediately think of required courses for the university as unrewarding and forced upon me. Over the semester I have come to realize that this course is unlike any other required course that the university has to offer. Being a physics major, I decided to partner with the Physics Kids as my community partner. Our task was to prepare a demonstration for middle school students during the Sci-Tech Spectacular at the Carnegie Science Center.
While participating in this event and showing the kids my demonstration, I was able to make connections with the students. The students were also able to connect with me as I showed them my device. In this way, the community was able to impact me, and I was able to impact the community. . I was able to use what we learned in class about being an effective listener as I presented my rubber band car to the students. Secondly, the community was able to influence me. Initially, my presentation was not as effective as it could have been. I was able to make my presentation more effective after receiving feedback from the first wave of students. Their feedback to my questions and comments helped me to change my methods of delivery to make my presentation more accessible to the middle school students.
Through this experience, I believe I can be a more effective leader, learner, and listener. The skills I learned are not only applicable to the classroom but also to the world beyond college. What I learned in this class will allow me to make a positive change within myself and within the community."
-Matthew Hast, Physics 2015
"I received the privilege of working for Physics for Kids as my service learning project. My project involved designing an interactive experiment that accompanied a physics concept to teach students between fifth and eighth grade at the Carnegie Science Center. My designed experiment was entitled "Disappearing Crystals". Middle school science should be fun, and I'm so glad that I can be a part of getting the students interested in science and teach them a lesson at the same time. Maybe the best part of the entire experience was that the students were just as excited about the experiments as I was. On a couple of occasions we had students who came over to our booth and later return with friends who they wanted to show our experiments to. Essentially, it reminded me why I love science. I hope the students learned as much as I did through this experience."
- Brittany Smith, Biochemistry 2014