Hill’s STEM outreach program volunteers at Physics Day

  • Published
  • By Cynthia Griggs
  • 75th Air Base Public Affairs

Volunteers from Hill Air Force Base’s STEM outreach office spent a day in the sun at Utah’s amusement park Lagoon in Farmington, helping at Utah State University’s Physics Day May 13.

Known as Utah's longest running science, technology, engineering and math event for Intermountain teens, the event brought around 10,000 high school and middle school students and their teachers from Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona for a day of physics-based contests and activities at all levels centered around amusement park physics.

Alison Sturgeon, Hill AFB STEM program manager, said Hill sends around 20 engineers and scientists as volunteers to judge the various Physics Day competitions. Several of the volunteers also mentor the robotic teams throughout the school year leading up to this event.

“Physics Day, and the learning that leads up to it, puts excitement into learning physics principles, mixing thrills and science,” said Sturgeon. “The study of physics is foundational to understanding engineering, so any event that can draw students to physics and STEM is worth Hill AFB support.”

This year’s event is the first one since being held in a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus.

“This has been a favorite event for volunteers for many years and we are very happy it’s back in person,” said Sturgeon.

Hill’s volunteers judged activities such as an egg drop from the Sky Coaster, amusement park ride designs, a Physics Bowl, and robot sumo wrestling. Each year thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarships are awarded to top students and teachers.