A student from the Society of Physics Students (SPS) teaches attendees Nov. 9, 2019, about rotational motion using a bike wheel and a stool at the "Clash of Sciences" event. SPS was one of three organizations at the event. Jaden Hasse, DN
Kids learn about science at Ball State's annual 'Clash of the Sciences'
Students from the physics, chemistry and biology majors at Ball State gathered together for an event to decide which of the sciences was the most entertaining.
Clash of the sciences — a free event that invites residents of the Muncie community to come watch presentations on the different sciences — was held Saturday at the Charles W. Brown Planetarium.
Members of three undergraduate student organizations — Society of Physics Students (SPS), Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society and the Wildlife Society — helped organize these presentations.
“Clash is about getting kids from around the community involved in science," said Korrah Gillard, president of SPS. “We want kids to start learning early and seeing all the cool things science has to offer.”
The event was primarily organized by the SPS, Gillard said, with help from Dayna Thompson, director of the planetarium who helped get the word out, and Brenda McCreery, the administrative coordinator who helped with the logistics of hosting the event.
“From the beginning of the semester, I’ve been slowly taking steps to get this together … and just one step at a time, we’ve gotten here today,” she said.
Each of the different science branches prepared their own presentations to show the kids who attended the event. The physics students, for example, showed the concepts of rotational motion using a bike wheel and stool.
“We find that a lot of kids don’t really like physics because physics has a reputation for being very math-heavy,” Gillard said. “Part of the motivation for SPS is to show kids early that physics is really cool so that they can have memories that physics is really cool.”
The chemistry students had a series of experiments showing chemical reactions and chemical composition.
With help from Tim Carter, professor of biology and department chair of environmental geology and natural resources, the Wildlife Society organized its biology presentation. The students from the organization showed how data is collected on animals for research using two live bats — Chocolate and Petunia.
“We’ve always done a bat presentation,” said Kalee Snorden, president of the Wildlife Society. “Usually, we have an activity called ‘How to be a bat biologist,’ but for a 20-minute time slot, it doesn’t work so well. So, we did a more hands-on approach.”
The event concluded with a trip to the planetarium where a presentation disproving common misconceptions about space was shown. To top it off, prizes were distributed by the three organizations to those who could answer their questions.
As for which of the three sciences won the clash, people gathered at the final event decided the chemistry presentation was the most entertaining.