SLAC Science at Stanford Community Day
By Linda DuShane White
SLAC participated in the third annual Stanford Community Day, an open
house to introduce people from the local area to the University. Combine
this with the Founder’s Celebration, mix in diverse activities such as
science demonstrations, Dickens, the arts, the Stanford Band, food
booths, lectures, a carnival, a petting zoo, Shakespeare and bicycle
races and you have the perfect recipe for fun!
A brave volunteer on the Bed
of Nails. (Photos by Diana Rogers)
Curious visitors steadily streamed by the
SLAC exhibits along the Packard Building patio and arcade. Questions
were answered by a team of volunteers handing out Tour SLAC buttons,
Future of Science mirrors and posters. They also provided information
about tours and public lectures.
The Kavli Institute’s Ask-an-Astronomer team was accompanied by a
special exhibit staff ed by Sonoma State NASA Education and Public
Outreach with special GLAST giveaways. A cosmic ray detector and a cloud
chamber were set up in the darkened arcade where people were given an
explanation of what they were seeing by a team of physicists.
A crowd-pleasing physics lesson was Keith Jobe’s (NLC) chocolate chip
ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, handed out to onlookers as a treat
after each dramatic demonstration.
Our most flamboyant demonstration—the bed of nails—was flanked by crowds
every time guest physicist Michael (MO) Olson (St. Norbert College) took
up his bullhorn to announce another show.
Surprisingly, plenty of volunteers agreed to lie between two beds of
nails with a cement block placed on top (see photo). The block became a
cloud of dust when demolished by a sledge hammer and volunteers arose
unharmed to laughter and “aahhs” from the crowd.
Special thanks go out to the many Ambassadors to the Community who
supported this event from Nina Stolar (PAO) and Barry Webb (ER). The
months of planning and hard work paid off. Stanford Community Day was an
ideal venue to publicize the educational and scientific programs, tours
and talks available at SLAC.
To see more pictures of the event look under Special Events for 2004,