Physics in Advent: 24 Great Experiments…Dozens of Fabulous Prizes!

Studying physics and learning about the laws that define our universe is usually its own reward—but sometimes it’s nice to have other rewards, too. That’s why we’re excited to share the news about Physics in Advent: an opportunity to learn physics via hands-on experiments all throughout the month of December, and also to win books, electronics, science kits—and, for one lucky American student, a trip to Europe!

You might already know this, but PhysicsCentral is part of the outreach arm of APS Physics, the second-largest society of physicists in the world. But who takes the prize for the absolute largest? That would be the organizers of the Physik im Advent project, the German Physical Society (or DPG)! Don’t worry about a language barrier, though—the project is being run simultaneously in both English and German.

Traditional advent calendars are designed to count down the days in December until Christmas, so they often have 24 covered cubbies, each containing a piece of candy, a gift, or another small treat to be revealed on the corresponding day. In this case, though, every “treat” is a short video clip from the good folks at DPG, which contains instructions on a fun physics experiment that can be done with around-the-house materials, on your own or as a classroom! 
Starting December 1st, a new experiment video is posted each day at 5:00AM, and participants have until 11:00PM that night to show that they’ve completed the activity by answering a multiple-choice question on the Physics in Advent website. Every activity successfully completed earns you a point, and students with 24 points at the end of the contest will have a shot at winning books, iPods, experiment kits, and more! The grand prize? European participants have the opportunity to win a trip to the US, and vice versa!

Registration is open now, so sign up and browse around the site to prepare! Participation in the prize raffle is only open to students in grades 5-10, but teachers can register their entire class, which enters them into a different raffle with prizes the whole classroom can enjoy. 
Stephen Skolnick

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