Department of Physics Service Learning

The tenets of a Rockhurst education are learning, leadership and service.  In order to develop these very important qualities in our physics students, our courses often incorporate a service learning component.  The result of this course component is increased physics learning for both our student and those they help!

Haunted Physics Lab
Students in Dr. Nancy Donaldson’s physics classes transform an ordinary classroom lab into a Haunted Physics Laboratory through the presentation and physics explanation of several Halloween-related physics experiments!  The inquiry-based pedagogy used to teach the accompanying physics course for the  Haunted Physics Lab gives students the opportunity to learn physics in an interactive and creative manner. Exhibits in the Haunted Physics Lab include encasing a person in a “bewitched brew “soap bubble, a spooky invisibility machine, haunted boom whackers, and more than 40 other fun and educational exhibits. The annual Haunted Physics Lab has drawn hundreds of students and visitors from all over the Kansas City area to the Rockhurst University event. All ages are encouraged to attend!

Wacky Science Night at Children's Mercy Hospital
Students from Rockhurst's Physics of Medicine and introductory physics classes visit Children's Mercy Hospital to conduct a fun-filled , hands-on "Wacky Science Night" for patients ranging in age from 4-16. Hands-on activities include fun waves and sound demonstrations, optics activities, a volcano, magnifying glasses, space phones, a "mystery" box, buoyancy tests and X-ray identification. Physics students share the fun physics activities with the patients and then write reflection papers covering the physics behind the fun as well as their service reflection on working with the patients.