Department of Physics and Astronomy 13th Annual Physics Fair

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting its 13th annual Physics Fair from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 16. The fair coincides with the Spring Fair celebration on the Homewood campus. Events will take place in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, located on the north end of the campus near Homewood Field.

Free and open to the public, the fair will feature individual and team competitions for local students, as well as a physics-themed scavenger hunt and demonstrations by Johns Hopkins physicists, graduate students, and undergraduates. The idea is to bring physics to the community in a fun, accessible way. Highlights of the event include:

  • Professor Extraordinaire Shows, 12:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. JHU Professor Peter Armitage and his assistants, using physics principles, will give a demonstration that will include fantastic displays, explosions, loud noises, and bright lights.

  • Elementary, Middle, and High School Science Bowl Competitions: 1:30 p.m. for grades 1-4; 2:15 p.m. grades 5-8; 3 p.m. grades 9-12. Teams of up to four school-age students will compete to answer a variety of general science-related questions in a quiz show format. This activity will be held in Bloomberg's Schafler Auditorium. Winning teams receive trophies for their schools and individual prizes.

  • Elementary, Middle, and High School Science Challenge Competitions, 11:30 a.m.
    Individual competitions covering strictly general science. Age groups same as Bowl competitions. Winners receive gift cards and books.

Hopkins Construction Contest, 3:45 p.m.: Participants of all ages will have 30 minutes to construct a structure of some kind according to instructions to be given that day. All materials will be provided. Participants will sign up the day of the event. Prizes awarded to the winners.

Throughout the day, other activities, including a physics-themed scavenger hunt, will guide fair-goers in the direction of over 200 physics demonstrations. New this year is a planetarium demonstration along with past fair favorites: a balloon rocket contest, the making of frozen ice cream using liquid nitrogen, and more. The Morris Offit Telescope, located on the roof of the Bloomberg Center, also will be open, allowing visitors to observe sun spots and the activities of the sun's corona using a special filter.

Several of the research laboratories in the Bloomberg Center will be open to the public. The Hubble Space Telescope program and the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science will also have displays.

More information is on the Physics Fair page of the department's website or contact Pam Carmen at 410-516-7346 or