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Students blend learning, fun at annual physics day

Published: Friday, May 17 2013 4:34 p.m. MDT

Students drop eggs from the Sky Coaster to see if they survive in a protective shield they've made at USU Physics Day at Lagoon in Farmington on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

FARMINGTON — More than 5,000 middle and high school students visited Lagoon on Friday for a day of physics experiments and demonstrations.

The annual event, which sees the Davis County amusement park transformed into a laboratory to explore concepts like gravity, motion, centrifugal force and energy, drew students from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada.

Arnold Figueroa, a Hill Air Force Base employee who volunteered at a sumo robot competition station, said it was great seeing students excited about learning. The competition involved student-built and student-operated robots competing to push each other out of a ring.

"The kids are learning something about engineering and something about programing," Figueroa said. "I'm going deaf with their yelling and the cheering. They love it."

In another area of the park, students were able to conduct hands-on experiments with items like a Van de Graaff generator.

"It made me feel like I have power, like telekinetic. It's awesome," Kaysville Junior High eighth-grader David Hansen said of the generator, which allowed students to shock themselves and each other. "It's a very fun day. You can learn a lot but still have fun. That's the way science and physics should be."

Spencer Lewis, a sophomore from Herriman High, said the physics day was better than a typical day at Lagoon.

"It's like an awesome, elongated physics class," he said. "I take away more appreciation for electricity."

Contributing: Kristin Murphy

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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