Biophysics & Soft Condensed Matter

SAIL Physics and Human Physiology Day Camp


Part of the umbrella of SAIL programs in Economics, Psychology & Neuroscience, Biology, Journalism, Physics, and Human Physiology, the SAIL Physics camp is a week-long set of talks, lab tours, and hands-on activities for middle- and high-school students focused on learning both about science and about college in general . The program is free and especially targets students without a family history of higher education, conveying the appeal and accessibility of college both indirectly through its activities and directly through presentations from admissions and financial aid officers.

The inaugural Physics camp was held in August, 2008. Several Physics faculty contributed time and effort to the program, and activities included microscopy of household materials (like toothpaste and mayonnaise), exploring the physics of rock climbing (at the UO gymnasium, with Associate Dean and avid climber Dietrich Belitz), and creating Jackson Pollack-esque "fractal" paintings. Student response was enthusiastically positive.

The second and third camps were held in Summer 2009 and 2010, joint with the Human Physiology department. (Organizers: Raghuveer Parthasarathy, Physics; Paul van Donkelaar, Human Physiology.) We especially explored connections between physics and biology, for example studying the physics of surface tension and its implications for lung function using soap-film activities (R. Parthasarathy, Physics) and lung physiology demonstrations (A. Lovering, Human Phys.). The fourth and fifth camps, again Physics + Human Physiology (w/ Prof. Andy Karduna, H. Phys.) occurred in August, 2011 and 2012. The 2013 camp will be July 30-Aug. 3.

A general description of the SAIL program.

2013 Physics and Human Physiology SAIL Day Camp: Schedule (pdf).

2012 Physics and Human Physiology SAIL Day Camp: Schedule (pdf).

2011 Physics and Human Physiology SAIL Day Camp: Schedule (pdf).

2010 Physics and Human Physiology SAIL Day Camp: Schedule (pdf).

2009 Physics and Human Physiology SAIL Day Camp: Schedule (pdf).

2008 SAIL Physics Day Camp: Schedule (pdf).

A nice article on the SAIL program, from the College of Arts and Sciences Magazine (Sept. 2008)


  Faculty Organizers: R. Parthasarathy (Physics) and Andy Karduna (Human Physiology)

A photo, from a session on microscopy of household materials: