On Saturday, November 15, 2014 Columbia hosted middle school girls from in and around New York City in the annual Girls Science Day. So what happens when you mix 40 middle schoolers, laser pointers, and fluorescent JELL-O?
We had a great plan- 40 minutes, we would explain the basic properties of an atom and how it relates to fluorescence, explain Snell’s law, give them a JELL-O waveguide, and have them find the critical angle of the JELL-O waveguide. But, as we all know…even the best of plans can derail a bit…
Then came the critical question: “Can we touch it?” followed closely by “Can we eat it?!” And while Cathy quickly stopped them from eating the Jell-O, the touching of the waveguides soon turned into a bit of a JELL-O war. Clean up took a while, and while our waveguides may not have stayed intact, the event was fun and informative. And we have learned for next year’s Girls Science Day to tell them not to throw the JELL-O when we instructed them to touch it.
Girls Science Day was hosted by Cathy Chen, Atiyah Ahsan, and Jelena Marasevic. Approximately 40 students attended the event on Columbia University’s campus.
Select pictures can be seen below: