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Physics & Astronomy Open House

2019 Open House Schedule for Saturday, Nov. 9

Come join us for a day of "Physics Phun" at the Physics & Astronomy Department Biennial Open House! The open house is free and open to anyone. Activities and talks will be geared toward a wide range of ages from elementary grades up through the ever-young and curious at heart.

See the video (above) showing some of the highlights of the 2017 Open House. We look forward to hosting another event in 2019. In the meantime we will leave up the information from 2017 as an example of shows and activities at a typical open house. Check out videos from 2015 and 2011 as well.

Tentative Schedule for 2019

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Clippinger Laboratories at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

Activities and shows for this year are listed below and are subject to revision as we get closer to the day of the event.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact Dr. Mark Lucas if you have additional questions or requests for information.


  • 11 a.m.  Dark Energy – Dr. Doug Clowe
  • Noon  Cosmic Balancing Act: Explore the Ways that Our Universe is in Balance and How this makes Life on Earth Possible. Dr. Ken Hicks
  • 1 p.m. Simulating Reality: The Modern Computer as Toy and Tool of Science – Dr. David Drabold
  • 2 p.m. Dark Matter: Dr. Hee-Jong Seo

Physics Shows

20-25 minutes duration unless otherwise listed. The times listed are tentative.

Fun with Liquid Nitrogen

  • 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
  • Clippinger 194

What NOT to Do with Your Microwave

  • 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
  • Clippinger 194

Levitation: Beating Back Gravity

  • 11 a.m., Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Clippinger 132A

Sharks with Lasers on Their Heads

  • 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Clippinger 205

Power of Air (Ping Pong Ball Cannon)

  • 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., Noon, 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m. 
  • Third Floor Lobby Clippinger

Makers Corner: 3D Printing, Arduinos, Makey Makeys and More

  • 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.
  • Clippinger 215

Making the Invisible Visible Escape Room

  • 10 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. — Two groups of 3-6 people starting on the hour and half hour.
  • Meet at the Women in Physics & Astronomy work table in the lobby.

Hallway Activities and Displays

The hallway activities are scattered throughout the lobby area on the three floors and are available the full day unless otherwise noted.

The Sky is NOT the Limit ... with a Telescope

  • How to choose a telescope. 1st Floor Lobby

Sail down the Hallway on a Cushion of Air 

  • 3rd Floor Hallway

Physics Arcade

  • Games and simulations that involve physics
  • 2nd Floor Hallway

Hallway Slingshot

  • 3rd Floor Hallway

Physics Construction Challenges

  • Air Column Challenge and more
  • 2nd Floor Lobby

Bowling Ball Slalom

  • Getting a feel for inertia
  • 2nd Floor Lobby

Angular Momentum Demos

  • Twist and Spin!
  • 2nd Floor Lobby

Life and Science on the International Space Station

  • 11 a.m. through 2 p.m.
  • Clippinger Lab 131

Fire Tube: Seeing Sound in Flame

  • Periodically throughout the day
  • 1st Floor

Water Rockets (Weather Permitting)

  • Front Courtyard

Solar Viewing (Weather Permitting)

  • 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. 
  • SE corner sidewalk

Physics of the Artificial Brain

Moon Phase Cookies and More

Physics and Toys Corner

  • Variety of Physics-related toys for the younger set and young at heart!
  • 2nd Floor Lobby and Hallway

Cosmic Ray Booth

  • Cosmic Ray Detector and Cloud Chamber

Physics Art Table

Future Scientist Prize

  • Attend shows, participate in activities and you can earn a small prize on the way out. Three levels of prizes depending on the number of shows and activities.

Lab Tours

Tours of various labs. Some tours required reserving a place in the tour by picking up a free ticket at the Welcome Table.

Edwards Accelerator Lab

  • 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
  • Ticket required.
  • Leave from First Floor Lobby.

Single Atom Manipulation Lab — Nanoart

  • 10:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m.
  • Ticket required.
  • Leave from First Floor Lobby.

Spin-polarized Scanning Tunneling Microscope Lab

  • 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. 
  • Age 12 and older
  • Ticket required.
  • Leave from first floor lobby. 

Atmospheric Physics: The Fundamentals of Meteorology and Forecasting

  • 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m.
  • Scalia Laboratory
  • 30-to 45-minute sessions

Scanning Electron Microscope - Clippinger 353

  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m.