Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 10:36:06 -0700

Author: Jerry DiMarco

Subject: Re: Demos which make students gasp!


A few years back I was setting up demos for a class and it was close
to starting time. The room was full of students talking loudly. The last
one to set up was Newton's rings. We do this one on a document camera and
project it on the big screen. The instructor was off to the side waiting
to see what it would look like. When I turned on the projector to make
sure everything was working, the room got quiet very suddenly. It was such
a dramatic change you couldn't help but notice. When I looked up almost
everyone was looking at the demo on the screen with mouths agape or making
comments about it. I'd never seen that happen before, and it's never
happened quite like that since because I'm better about being on time. But
whenever someone asks about the role of demos in learning I always think of
that moment. I realize there's more to the debate than that, but it
definitely demonstrates the ability of a good demo to grab your attention
and stir wonder. The soap film interference demo is also in that category...


At 2/5/2002 03:07 PM, you wrote:
>It's not often that I get audible "wow"'s from kids, but today's
>demonstration with Chladni plates (particularly the square one) brought
>such a response - the sand was a big hit, but so was a well placed
>strobe light.
>Any other demos really bring down the house where you live? (Actually,
>Bill Berner's show at AAPT was pretty great. Hope some of you got to
>see it.
>Just looking to start a fun thread....


Jerry DiMarco
Manager of Lecture Demonstrations and Instructional Labs
Physics Dept.
EPS 264
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840
ph: 406-994-6161
fax: 406-994-4452