Hello everyone, I am going to do this blog post as a triple weekend post. These past weeks I couldn’t find the time (or the motivation) to update my Cosmo Caixa blog. Excuses aside, now it’s time for business. Sidenote: This is a long post, but trust me, it’s worth it at the end.
The weekend of the 23rd (of February) was my first weekend tackling the physics section of the great Cosmo Caixa. Some background on the section: Physics 1 consists of Basic waves. These include Longitudinal and Transverse waves. An example of a Longitudinal wave would be sound waves. The energy propagates in the same direction of the movement of the particles, which in this case, is longitudinally. In a transverse wave, the direction of the propagation of energy is perpendicular to the movement of the particles. Radio waves are a good example of transverse waves. I also got to handle the handheld Newton’s cradle. Those magnificent balls made things a whole lot easier. They were a great conversation starter. In all seriousness though, having a physical object at the exhibit that coincided with the theme of the exhibit really helped engage the people passing by. I specifically remember one boy who stood staring at Newton’s cradle with moving for at least twenty minutes. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t time for me to leave the exhibit.
The weekend of the 2nd of March I decided to expand my base a little. By that I mean I ventured out on a mission to explain to people how centrifugal force works. The extra explaining came as a bit of a relief, because simple waves were starting to bore me. I had considerable help from my partner in crime, Sofia Scattarreggia (read her blog posts by the way if you guys have a chance). That journey to the other side of the physics realm (that was an inside joke) made me have to think a little more on my feet, as well as put my Spanish speaking skills to the test. By the end of my weekend I was a mean, green, physics machine.
Last weekend (March 9-10) was the emptiest that I had ever seen in all my time at the Cosmo Caixa. I literally had less than 10 explanations that day. It picked up a bit by the afternoon, but I was still only in the double digits for the amount of explanations I gave that weekend. I did have one golden moment though. This lady being pushed in a wheelchair came up to the demonstration of transverse waves, and I started to explain to her and the man pushing her wheelchair about what/how transverse waves work. I soon realized that the lady in the wheelchair suffered from a mental illness. I realized when I heard her severe speech impairment. I then decided to show her Newton’s Cradle. I got down on one knee, held up the cradle, lifted up one of the balls on the end, and let it go. The expression of joy that lit up her face was truly moving. The lady was in complete awe. She thought it was one of the coolest things in the world. From that experience I derived, and I hope you take heed of, this lesson: It’s the simple things in life that can make you smile. Something as simple as Newton’s cradle. So thank you Newton for bringing joy to a lady who deserves her fair share of happiness as well.
Hasta la Proxima (until next time),
Cameron (11th grade)