Chemistry and Physics to Battle it Out at Friday Night Science

Event is set for May 3.

FridayNightScienceMay2013APRIL 24, 2013 -- At this year’s Friday Night Science, the experiments are so big and exciting; they had to move the show outdoors!

“The live show is going to be epic!” said Rob Jorstad, physics instructor and creator of Friday Night Science. “It’ll be a battle between the chemists and physicists to see who can come up with the best and most exciting demonstrations of amazing science.”

Friday Night Science will be held Friday, May 3, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in and around the M building on the Santa Maria campus. At this free event, attendees watch a demonstration of scientific principles before taking part in dozens of hands-on experiments. In a departure from previous events, there will be no tickets or waiting in line for the live show. Instead, Jorstad and chemistry instructor Dustin Nouri will wow the crowds on a large outdoor stage.

“The chemists have prepared a lot of whooshes and booms to compete with the physics demonstrations and we’re excited to get this competition started,” Nouri said.  

“Those chemists better watch out, because we have big plans,” Jorstad said. “It’s going to be an unforgettable show!”

Jorstad and Nouri will put on multiple shows throughout the evening, giving attendees plenty of time to take part in dozens of hands-on experiments set up throughout the science building. New this year, attendees are invited to bring in their favorite rock and have it identified by Hancock geologists. Just tell the geologists where the rock was found and they’ll tell you what it is.

“Identifying rocks is something that’s been popular at other science events I’ve been to and we wanted to try it out here at Hancock,” Jorstad said. “We’re always open to new ideas and we try to mix it up so that no two events are ever the same.”

Funding for Friday Night Science comes from a federal Title V grant designed to entice more kids to attend college. The funding has provided the materials; Allan Hancock College students provide the hands-on support, with more than 100 Hancock students helping to design, build and test all of the experiments and demonstrations. Those same students are on hand during the event to help guide attendees, explain experiments and to translate for Spanish speakers.

Students will also be bringing back the barbeque fundraiser benefitting the Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) clubs. From 6-8 p.m. students will sell tri-tip sandwiches, drinks and a bag of chips for $8, with all proceeds going toward scholarships for MESA and AIAS students.

For more information about Friday Night Science, go to, call the Allan Hancock College STEM Center at 922-6966 ext. 3557 or email

 - AHC -

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Last Modified Jun 30, 2017