Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 17:09:26 -0500

Author: (Karl Trappe)

Subject: AAPT demo show, AAPT lecture demo workshop


Andrew & I will be going down to Trinity on Tuesday to view the sites for
the summer 99 demo show and the lecture demo workshop. Any input you may
have is welcome.

I pushed to have PIRA do the show after observing several that were not too
professional. Trinity accepted, so the ball is in our court to do an
excellent job. Any PIRA members who plan to attend the summer 99 AAPT
meeting in San Antonio, consider presenting your favorite outstanding demo(s).

The most important rule for *this* demo show is that you eliminate nearly
all explanation and set-up in front of the audience. If you can't keep
the audience's attention with the demo, then you should not do it, no
matter how spectacular it may be to PhD physicists. This show will be open
to AAPT members attending the meeting, and to invited guests from the San
Antonio comunity (especially area high school teachers and their students).
It should be fun, fun, fun for those attending. If you think you have
demos to present that fit that criteria, contact me.

During the actual show, I would like for the audience to experience as
little of the fumbling with set-up as can be eliminated. If you have
several demos that require elaborate set-up in order to succeed, let me
know so we can have another presenter perform while you work on your 2nd or
3rd set-up. *MY* principal function for this show will be to coordinate.
Generally, I like to have presentations flow in the order of a
standard text presentation, ie, in PIRA sequence, rather than having one
person do "all they brought". This should allow for plenty of handing off
the ball between presenters, and lots of tweeking time.

There does not exist a better group of humorous and skilled demo presenters
than PIRA possesses as a group. I hope that you will consider what you
have to offer. Many of the standard demos (like crushing the 55 gallon
barrell) are presented by many of us-better by some, than by others. We
all know that they have been seen by much of the AAPT, but I am (and they
are) still impressed by a great presentation. So will the audience be at
meeting. So, there's just one example of a demo that takes practice, and
finesse to make it go *quickly* and on que, but which could turn a show
into a boring disaster if it fails over a period of 15 minutes. So, teams
of PIRA members should help each other, where applicable.

I will have Andrew Yue pull up and post to the UTexas web site (and here on
tap-l) some of the programs from shows that I have done in the past so that
you will get some ideas of what I have in mind. I *do not* mean to suggest
that we present one of *my* old programs. Generally, however, a mixed bag
of demos has worked best for shows in which I have been involved, and the
old programs may spark ideas for vastly better demos than I present.

While at Trinity next week, I will also scout out the possibility of
corridor space at the auditorium for stand alone corridor demos that many
of you have as favorites. This will be the place for those of you who wish
to bring a demonstration which requires lengthy explanation to a more
limited audience. I thought that this worked well at the Montana meeting,
and at the Flagstaff Arizona meeting as supplements to their demo shows.

I'm excited about the show we can produce with our combined talents. Many
of you have outstanding stage presence, and that will be a welcome
addition. Andrew and I will strip the Utexas demo office of most of the
PIRA 200 for the demo workshop on Mon and Tues of the Meeting, and those
demos can be used by interested presenters if you practice them and feel
they will work for you. Check the UT demo pages as those are the only ones
we "officially" offer. In all, I have about 1000 demos in various degrees
of quality. Since Trinity is about 75 to 100 miles away, I will truck in
what I can. However, many of you have single set-ups that are so
consistent that they deserve to be seen in the show.

I await offers of help from each of you. Karl (and Andrew)

Dr. Karl I. Trappe Desk Phone: (512) 471-4152
Physics Dept, Mail Stop C-1600 Demo Office: (512) 471-5411
The University of Texas at Austin Home Phone: (512) 264-1616
Austin, Texas 78712-1081