INL News Release
May 17, 2007

News media contact: Teri Ehresman, 208-526-7785

Regional students again having fun with physics

More than 6,500 students from schools in Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming are expected to attend the 18th annual Utah State University Physics Day event May 18 at Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah.

The day long activity is designed to be an educational approach to teaching fundamental physics concepts to middle school and high school students, using an amusement park as a laboratory.

USU Physics Day is an education outreach activity run jointly by the USU Physics Department, Lagoon Amusement Park, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory. Other sponsors include Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, North Wind Environmental, Boeing, Micron, S&S Power, ATK Thiokol, Science Applications International Corporation, the U.S. Navy, USU Physics Department, USU Admissions Office, USU Bookstore, USU College of Science, Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium, Idaho NASA Space Grant Consortium, Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc., IM Flash Technology, Portage Environmental, Moog, Inc. and a private donor in the name of the Literacy Council of Idaho Falls.

Idaho schools are sending over 244 students to this year's event. Participating schools include Bonneville, Century, Highland, West Side, Kuna, Grace, Burley and Rigby high schools. "It is great to see students having fun and becoming attracted to science and engineering," said Ali Siahpush, engineer/scientist and coordinator of the event for INL. "It is a great learning experience for everyone. As Einstein once said, `Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.' That is our goal."

Students will also participate in a Sky Ride contest, Colossal G-Force contest, physics bowl competition, student workbooks, and contests in demonstration design, ride design and logo design. The rides will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Physics Day events are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Contest winners will be announced at an awards ceremony starting at 3 p.m. at the Davis Pavilion inside the amusement park. Last year, an estimated $60,000 in prizes and scholarships were awarded to competition winners.

Physics Day is one of several INL programs that encourages science education for students, thus ensuring a future work force that will further the long-term mission of INL.

INL is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory, dedicated to supporting the DOE's missions in energy, national security, science and environmental research.

For additional information visit the Utah State University Physics Day Web site.

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