Resources Needed

Human Resources
  • Lead demonstrator, which will most likely be you
  • People to help you:
    • Students at your university. Will they be volunteers, will they need to be paid, or can they do it for class credit? For any of these scenarios, the issue needs to be worked out in advance and the appropriate financial resources or university permission should be arranged in advance. Will you need to solicit for the students, or do you already have some to help you?
    • Retired professors or tech professionals
    • The Physics “Demo God” in your department
  • How much time will you have to:
    • Prepare
    • Set up – overestimate this
    • Do the show
    • Tear down
    • Pack up
  • Time out of your schedule – when can YOU do it? Is your team available at that time?
  • Transportation
  • Organization of equipment: storage bins, cart with wheels, old luggage. The key to organizing the equipment is to keep it safe while transporting it and minimize set up time. Find matching containers that stack on each other and hold all of the demos. Many items such as Tesla coil, vacuum pump may need separate containers
  • Safety Equipment
  • Costumes, props, if it is a themed show
  • Consumables: identify all of the extraneous items that you will need to execute your show. For example, cups, plates, tin foil, pickles, nails, pins, slabs of wood, tape, bananas, etc. And of course if you are doing liquid nitrogen demos, you will need to get a dewar of the stuff. How will you procure these items? Where and when and with what funds will you buy these items? Do you have a dewar to transport the Liquid Nitrogen safely? Tip: If you are doing many of these shows, make a list of these consumables so you can use it next time.
  • Demos – For a list of potential demos, see Demos List.
  • Equipment - For every demo, you will need the proper equipment which you can get from your Physics Support Specialist, aka “Demo God”. Don’t forget the consumables (see above).


To pay for any of your human resource, transportation, and/or equipment costs, where will the funds come from?
  • Will your department pay for it?
  • Can you get a sponsor? Large local corporations, PTA, universities
  • Is the venue paying you (some festivals do)
  • Will your grant cover the expenses? Can you write in the cost of the show into a NSF grant’s Broader Impact Statement Section?
  • Will you charge for tickets to a show? Most demos shows are free at public institutions, however some private venues may require a fee.

Note: for festivals or conferences, do you need to rent the space/table(s)/booth at the event to do your show? This is another potential cost you should be aware of.