SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A group of Wofford College physics majors shared their passion for the subject and their love of superheroes with children in the Spartanburg community.
Under the guidance of Wofford physics instructor Steven Zides, the students spent an hour at the Spartanburg County Headquarters Library. They read two books to children who came for story hour, then surprised the group with physics demonstrations to enrich the stories.
“I enjoy doing outreach activities with my classes, and I think that our students need the connection with the community and as mentors to smaller children,” says Zides.
According to Zides, the Wofford students taught the children about angular momentum by spinning them on a chair. When their arms were out, they spun slower than when their arms were in. The children learned about the light spectrum by looking through spectroscopes, and they launched air pump rockets. They made “nebulas” inside a jar and were able to take the craft home with them as a reminder.
The unexpected lessons regarding the applications of physics and astronomy were all in a days work for Zides, who regularly makes civic engagement a part of his teaching process.
by Kelsey Aylor, Wofford Class of 2018