More than 30,000 school kids will be on the U of M campus to learn about science

January 8, 2018
  • Physics Force at the University of Minnesota. Cement block being smashed on a man's chest.
  • Energy and U at the University of Minnesota. Shows fire-related experiment.

MEDIA NOTE: If you plan to attend a show, please contact Rhonda Zurn in the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering at rzurn@umn.edu.

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (01/08/2018) — University of Minnesota students may still be on winter break, but campus will be buzzing this week with more than 30,000 school kids learning about how science can be fun and interesting. Faculty from two popular College of Science and Engineering outreach programs are presenting shows for school groups all week.

Energy and U

Explosions, flames, flying pop bottles, screaming gummy bears, and a dance party—they’re all part of a unique and fun University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering outreach program that aims to interest elementary students in science and teach them the many science and technology challenges regarding our energy needs.

More than 5,200 students from 52 schools are expected to attend the “Energy and U” shows at the University of Minnesota in January.

The remaining show schedule is:

  • Monday, Jan. 8—1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 9—10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 10—10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 11—10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 12—10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

All shows are at the University of Minnesota's Rarig Center (West Bank), located at 330 21st Ave. S. in Minneapolis.

Energy and U is made possible by the generous donations of it sponsors, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers at the University of Minnesota, Medtronic Corporation, Schlumberger, the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering, and the University's Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering Material Science.

Physics Force

If you’ve never seen a physicist drop 20 feet through thin air while a friend shoots a ball at him from a cannon or a scientist lying on a bed of nails while his friend uses a sledgehammer to break a cement block on his chest, the University of Minnesota Physics Force has a show for you. The Physics Force show at Northrop is the group’s largest show of the year and includes a unique mix of physics demonstrations and slapstick humor.

More than 25,000 students are expected to attend the Physics Circus shows in January to help elementary school kids see that physics is fun, interesting and understandable.

The remaining show schedule for school groups is:

  • Monday, Jan. 8—12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 9—10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 10—10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 11—10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 12—10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

There are two public shows with limited tickets available on Saturday. 

  • Saturday, Jan. 13—11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

To register to attend the public shows, visit z.umn.edu/physicsforceJan18

All shows are at the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium (East Bank), located at 84 Church St. SE in Minneapolis.

Physics Force is supported by the University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), as well as corporations and other organizations including 3M, Donaldson Corporation, and the American Physical Society.

Media Contacts

U News main line
Unit: 
News Service
Phone: 
(612) 624-5551
Email: 
unews@umn.edu
Rhonda Zurn
Unit: 
College of Science and Engineering
Phone: 
612-626-7959
Email: 
rzurn@umn.edu