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Community physics event ‘Astropalooza,’ makes science accessible to all ages

 The Society of Physics Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks held the outreach event 'Astropalooza' on Friday night. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)
The Society of Physics Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks held the outreach event 'Astropalooza' on Friday night. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: Feb. 8, 2020 at 1:23 PM AKST
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‘Astropalooza’ is a biannual astronomy and outreach event held by the Society of Physics Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“We invite the public to come out and just have a fun night looking at different science demos. When the weather is clear, we are running telescopes outside looking at different objects in the sky. We have students around that are able to answer questions that people have, explain the physics behind what people are seeing, and just spread science awareness,” said Evans Callis, president of the Society of Physics Students at UAF.

The community is welcome to interact with the physics demos, which Callis says some people, like him, have an easier time understanding when they can see a concept in action and it's hands on.

“We see someone come in, and they see something cool, and they ask ‘how does this work?’ Then as we are explaining it, you see the light bulb come on and their face lights up like ‘oh I get it now, it makes sense.’ That moment of when they make that realization has always been my favorite part,” said Callis.

Callis says he wants the community to take away that, “science doesn’t have to be some mysterious thing that’s done by scientists up in their tower somewhere. This is something that is practical, it's hands on, and it can be a lot of fun.”

Although they do not have a date set yet, Callis says the next ‘Astropalooza’ will likely be in November.

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