Spencer A. Hill Postdoc UCLA AOS & Caltech GPS

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DIYnamics: https://diynamics.github.io/

Students using the DIYnamics table

Essentially all planetary bodies rotate about their own axis at some rate; in the solar system this ranges from Jupiter (roughly 2.5 times faster than Earth's rate) to Venus (roughtly 240 times slower than Earth's rate). This rotation fundamentally constrains the motions of planetary atmospheres, oceans, and interior fluids, giving rise to the scientific field of "geophysical fluid dynamics", or GFD. The influence of this planetary rotation can be nicely demonstrated by placing a tank of water on a rotating surface and using food coloring to visualize the flows within the tank.

Demonstrations such as these are of value for students even at the elementary school level, but their presence in elementary, middle, and high school curricula is limited by prohibitively expensive materials and insufficient expertise in the relevant science. Outreach events at underserved schools by university groups are useful but cannot scale.

We are developing a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) "kit" comprising affordable, easy-to-find parts that are easily assembled into a functional rotating table apparatus, along with instructional materials for teachers on assembling the table, executing the demonstrations, and conveying the relevant scientific concepts for each demonstration.

Learn more about the project at its website, https://diynamics.github.io/.