Magical Physics

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K. Vaha-Heikkila, J. Tuura
University of Turku, Finland
Forum 2014 Helsinki
WG1 : Inspiring the young

Magical physics physics shows in pre- and primary schools For few years in the vicinity of Turku we have made several classroom visits to inspire young people to be interested in science and especially physics. These visits are based on either one specific subject of interest or general presentations of physical phenomena. For pupils point of view the presentation can be considered as magic as the selected demonstrations are usually against their preconception. Not only the pupils are astonished but also teachers usually share the amazement.

Doing magic shows in classroom with less than 20 persons is somewhat time con- suming, if done in larger scale, but it has advantages that are unachievable for show presented for masses. First there is time for any question that will appear during show and second pupils can have that hands-on-experience on most of the “tricks”. The em- phasis is on understanding phenomenon on most cases and pupils can have a try on same experiment by themselves.

With a good show, also the teachers will be fascinated by the physics, which seldom have studied science. This can have an effect on teachers’ personal view on science and so far this effect have been only towards positive view.