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Physics and Astronomy
Course requires additional $50 for travel.
Riding the Edge: The Physics of Cedar Point
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is, in a manner of speaking, perhaps the largest physics laboratory in the world. Many physical and mathematical principles, as well as concepts of engineering, are observable in such an environment. This course will focus on the collection of data from the rides and the analysis of the data through graphs and calculations. Time also will be devoted to engineering challenges that will allow the students opportunities to apply the knowledge they obtain by constructing physical models.
This course if very much "hands-on," but also is mathematically rigorous. Time will be spent in the classroom learning the physical principles involved, such as velocity, acceleration, force, energy and momentum. These theoretical aspects will be explored through a format that involves lecture, classroom activities, videotape and discussion Two full days will be spent at Cedar Point riding rides, collecting data, performing calculations and analyzing data.
Astronomy: Campers will be able to use the new ONU Observatory to view the planets, the Moon, the stars, and beyond. The roll-off roof observatory contains three main telescopes mounted on piers. It also has a control room with computers capable of controlling the telescopes and several electronic imaging detectors. Up to two evening sessions and one daytime session are planned, depending on the weather. The crescent Moon, Mercury, Mars and Saturn will all be up in the early evening. For the daytime session, the
students will safely observe sunspots on our Sun, which is currently active.
Dave Lusk has taught chemistry and physics at Ada High School for the past 28 years. Lusk received a BS in chemistry from Ohio Northern University and a masters of education from The University of Findlay. He has done graduate work at Miami University through their Terrific Science and Science with Toys programs. In addition to his many years of teaching science in the public schools, he has served as an adjunct faculty member for Miami, The Ohio State University (Teaching Science with Toys), and Bowling Green State University (The Physics of Cedar Point). For the past 18 years, Lusk has served as lecturer in chemistry for Ohio Northern, where he supervises and instructs labs for the introductory chemistry program and teaches Chemistry 102, a course designed to prepare prospective teachers to teach chemistry in grades K-9. Lusk also has conducted a number of workshops in teaching science and has presented at the Science Education Council of Ohio's annual conference.
What to bring?
There are always questions about what to bring to an overnight or week long activity. Here are some suggestions: You will want to bring a small amount of spending money since the university bookstore is usually open. Also, you can bring along some of your favorite snacks although there are vending machines located on campus, a local grocery store, and a Rite Aid for unplanned essentials.
Bring a cell phone or calling card to make long-distance calls, sometimes Ada has poor reception for cell phones for such carriers as AT&T and Nextel. If you have a camera you may want to bring it. There are always picture perfect events all week long. The dorms are lockable and secure so you should be able to bring normal things such as clock radios, small CD players, or alarm clocks. If medication needs to be dispensed, the SHI director will make appropriate arrangements. We suggest you bring comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.
List of essentials aside from normal everyday apparel:
- Alarm clock
- Scientific calculator
- Soap, comb/brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc.
- Insect repellent – DEET-based works best, Off Brand, pump instead of aerosol.
- Ball cap
- Extra socks
- A pair of long jeans or slacks
- Shorts, shirts or blouses
- One nice outfit (e.g. khaki slacks/dress shirt/blouse) for final presentation
- Sweatshirt/jacket (some classrooms are air conditioned and can be cool)
- Rain gear (coat, umbrella)
- Comfortable shoes, closed toed shoes, shoes to be worn in the gym
- Swimwear, beach towel
- Sandals for the shower
- If you anticipate washing clothes, bring along a small container of clothes detergent and quarters for the washing machines
- Bed sheets for a single, extra long bed, pillows and blanket
What you do NOT have to bring?
Towels are provided. You also do not need to bring food. All meals are provided in the cafeteria. Snacks and bottled water are offered during the day and evening. Do not bring candles or incense, TV, dart board, draperies, drum set, electric guitars, electric blankets, fireworks, fish net wall hangings, flags, firearms, halogen lamps, hot plates, all pets such as snakes, spiders, lizards, cats, dogs, birds and fish, sunlamps, heat lamps and space heaters, toaster ovens, valuables, water beds or weights.