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The Outreach Department manages several programs that increase the general public’s engagement with physics and support similar efforts by APS members. The department’s primary projects include the PhysicsCentral website, the PhysicsQuest comic book kit program for middle school classrooms, and the Outreach Mini-Grant program for APS members. The Outreach Department also develops and coordinates a variety of other outreach materials and events.
The PhysicsCentral outreach website includes blog posts, podcasts, feature articles, news articles, videos, pictures, and information about all of our other programs. PhysicsCentral reaches millions of visitors annually, and the website’s Facebook page has over 400,000 “likes.” The articles and multimedia on PhysicsCentral target a wide audience with an emphasis on middle school students, high school students, and young adults.
The program features a new comic book and associated experiment kit for middle school students every year. Students conduct physics experiments and demonstrations that align with the comic book’s story, fostering a more engaging learning environment for young physics learners. The PhysicsQuest program’s physics kits, started in 2005, reach hundreds of thousands of students annually, and the individual comic books reach many more readers of all ages.
With the support of both APS and an NSF grant, the Outreach Department also provides support to APS members conducting their own physics outreach through the mini-grants program. Mini-grants of up to $10,000 support outreach projects ranging from traveling physics shows to a Stephen Colbert-styled cosmic nightly news program. All APS members can apply for outreach mini-grants.