Science and Technology

About 2,200 students set out to discover physics week

Through the Circus of Physics, lectures, workshops and an experience in the inflatable planetarium, The NFIST arouses the curiosity of the youngest throughout the week.

The 25th Edition of Physics Week, organized by the Physics Students Group (NFIST), began on May 9. Laughs and comments from curious students invaded the Central Building Atrium. In addition to the background buzz, so characteristic of the events in Técnico, people could hear sighs and exclamations, as balloons burst and static electricity is tested on a metal globe.

There are several experiences going on, students in the corridors and more classes who look forward to their turn to begin their journey through the world of physics. The activities can be experienced by all students of the enrolled schools, from the various experiences taking place in the Circus of Physics in the Central Building, the lectures taking place in Auditorium Abreu Faro, the Speaker Workshops, the visits to the laboratory of the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering – Microsystems and Nanotechnologies (INESC-MN), the Planetarium in the Noble Hall, visits to the Advanced WAKEfield Experiment (AWAKE) and the Faraday Museum.

After Covid, “we wanted to do something big. We have new experiences we didn’t have last year. We made some innovations”, says Rodrigo Simões, president of NFIST. This year “we offer computational physics workshops. We ask students to bring their personal computer. We go to a room and teach the basics of Python (a programming language), and with this basic language that they learn in this half hour, they can develop some mechanical problems. They are always amazed by this experiment, as they seem to be programming, and they feel like university students,” he says.

But Physics Week also welcomes younger students and, according to NFIST, the feedback has been very positive. “We have students ranging from pre-primary to primary education. For these, we have a bit simpler workshops. We built a small hydraulic machine with the help of syringes. And we were also able to build fountains and thermometers,” he adds.

The event ends on Friday, May 13th, and has the organization and collaboration of almost the entire physical and technological engineering course, with undergraduate students, some master’s students and the support of the teachers.