Physics Day 2019
With rockets flying across the full length of the hall, Oobleck oozing out of different pores, Jelly Baby Wave machines oscillating in wonderful stationary waves, it was a very exciting Physics Day which was held on the 9th January 2019.
This year’s Physics Day had the students from Mr. Cosgrave’s 5th Year Physics Class presenting a wide variety of different experiments to all the student year groups in St. Mac Dara’s. These 5th Year students had not only to prepare their projects but then had to present and explain them to all the other students who came to their stands. There was a wide variety of different projects as students were allowed to explore the Physics’ topics which were of interest to them. Projects included demonstrating the properties of Oobleck, a non Newtonian Fluid. This was presented by Luke Manley and Luke Purcell. Luke Daly, Paddy Johansson and Jason Hallinan took apart a computer to show it’s components and demonstrate how they all worked together. They then put these back together and built their own working computer for all the students to use.
Finally, we had Oisin Gray and Adrian Dowling exploring Space Travel. Another very difficult project to demonstrate and explain but they both had the students at their stand deeply interested in possible future developments with some excellent graphics, posters and props.
Most students used our recently purchased Class Sets of iPads to encourage full student interactivity and demonstrate videos of their project at their stands.
We were fortunate, in one sense, that Adrian, Oisin and Chris were even able to make it to our Physics Day as they had entered a project into the Young Scientist Exhibition this year. Unfortunately, it needed a bit more work and they were unable to display it at the actual exhibition in the RDS. Perhaps, they will be able to work on it this year and present it next January.
I would like to congratulate all the students on their great work and presentations on the day. We can be confident in the future as these students will be at the forefront of many new future developments.
Conor Boyle, Jason fung and Deniss Danislovs presented the wonderful and intricate world of Computer Programming, which makes these computers tick over.. They had prepared many challenges for the students at their stand, encouraging them to learn and understand different programming languages. Daniel Laffan had great and lively interest around his stand, as he explained the propulsion of rockets. He had many rockets firing across the length of the hall with different students doing their best to catch them at the other end. Christopher Thomas built a wonderful “Jelly Baby” Wave machine and enthralled the crowds of students around his stand with his energetic and enthusiastic presentations. He even warded off those hungry students who were trying to sneak a jelly baby !!! Mark Butler and Cealan clarke did some very interesting hands-on demonstrations of Density and Flotation. There were coke cans sinking and floating and lots of multi-coloured liquids on display for the students to guess at their different densities. Why does a can of normal coke sink but a can of Diet Coke floats ???? Sean did a brilliant job of holding the fort and demonstrating his project. Unfortunately Jack Crennan, his project partner, was unable to make it, which was a pity as they had done some great work on their project. Niall Begley and Przemyslaw Biejanski demonstrated the Laws of Gravity and investigated centres of Gravity. They had some interesting challenges for the students at their stand, with some students finding it difficult to stay standing or others not able to get out of the chair. Conor Fetherston and Nathan Clynes took on the difficult task of trying to explain Black Holes and other Singularities to their students. They had a fantastic demonstration simulating the bending of the space time continuum around a black hole, using marbles to show the dense gravitational effect. Ellie Fanning and Mona Ohm (what a great Physics surname !!) did a magnificent demonstration of Sound in Vacuums and the lack of Air resistance in vacuums. They had marshmallows expanding and exploding. They were losing the sounds of their speakers in their vacuum and “the Pretenders” were no longer “walking their 500 miles”. It was a lot of hard work creating these vacuums each time.