CASPER Physics Circus Comes to TOWN!

March 5, 2009

by Jaime Bates, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

The Circus is coming to town! The 2009 CASPER Physics Circus will be open to the public Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 13 at the Mayborn Museum Complex on the Baylor University Campus. There will be a free Spanish performance on Feb. 26 and March 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. The theme for the annual event is "Who Wants to Be a Scientist."

The Mayborn science theater will be transformed into a simulation modeled after the famous game shows Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Price is Right, The Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Students who have their contestant numbers called will be given the chance to participate on stage with Professor Casper and win prizes.

Following the circus, students will have the chance to visit the Physics Fun House, where they will view and participate in demonstrations designed to teach how physics and the universe are connected.

There will be show times each day. The morning show will be held at 9 a.m. followed by the afternoon show at 12:30 p.m.

The event is funded by a six-year, $11.3 million grant awarded to GEAR Up Waco (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), an established partnership between Baylor, Texas State Technical College Waco, Making Connections with Youth Count INC., City of Waco Academy for Educational Development, and the Waco Independent School District that prepares at-risk students academically and socially for college. Baylor was the only university in Texas to receive GEAR UP funding. The $11.3 million grant, or $1.89 million per year, was second largest in the state, behind only the funding received by the Texas Education Agency. The Baylor grant also was the second largest award given to a U.S. university.

"The Physics Circus was started to address a growing concern about the need to preserve the scientific and technological skill sets critical to America's economic leadership," said Dr. Cynthia Hernandez, Assistant Director for Educational Research and Outreach.

"The Physics Circus provides an educational experience that is entertaining," Hernandez added. "It piques curiosity and critical thinking and provides access to scientific principles."

The cost for the circus is $10 per person. Family rates are $8 per person with three or more family members. Classroom rates are also $8 per student with five or more students.

Classrooms reserving 50 or more students should contact Sherri Honza at (254) 710-3763 for special arrangements. Reservations must be made in advance.

Performances for Waco ISD and La Vega ISD only will be held Feb. 16 through March 6 and March 16-20.

Curriculum models will also be available upon request this year to enhance the performance and extend learning.