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Public Outreach

Physics Inside Out

Physics Inside Out (PIO) is a five-day on-campus summer program open to incoming grade 7 and 8 students for the fall 2022 academic year. Going beyond typical classroom curricula, Physics Inside Out engages students with applications and innovations in various areas of physics, related to fundamental principles and current scientific research. Students will learn about and conduct experiments, drawing from the areas of mechanics, biophysics, light and optics, heat and energy, electricity and magnetism, astrophysics, and more.

Physics Inside Out is held on the campus of Purdue and offers students a glimpse into college surroundings and campus life. Students have the opportunity to tour facilities like the France Cordova Recreational Center and are provided lunches in campus dining courts. They may also tour research facilities like the Birck Nanotechnology Center, Bindley Bioscience Center, the PRIME Lab particle accelerator, or Purdue's own PUR1 nuclear reactor.

In the summer of 2022, Soham Mandal led a lesson called Scaling the Solar System, in which students blew up a balloon that became the model sun. They measured the circumference and used an online calculator to obtain the planet diameters and distances between them on the same scale. They made miniature model planets ranging from about 0.8 mm (Mercury) to about 26 mm (Jupiter) and then we took them outside to arrange them by distance, setting the tiny planets on stands with photos to mark the locations. Students paced the distances after having calculated the number of steps they would take, corresponding to the distances. With our suns at the Armstrong Arch, we finally reached Neptune at Memorial Mall in front of Stewart Center.

Junior-high students doing Physics experiments during the Physics Inside Out program on campus.