Loyola Student Chooses Unique Approach to Expand Physics Programs in NOLA Schools

Photo from nolaphysics.org

Loyola University New Orleans student Douglas Alexander has created a 100% student-run project that aims to raise money to purchase and distribute packages of physics demonstrations to 27 schools across three parishes. The project gained momentum and is now a nonprofit, “Climbing Kilimanjaro for the Physics of Tomorrow.” Alexander realized his plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in July would certainly put a positive impact on the city of New Orleans and raise awareness for the importance of high school physics.

“We were talking about gravitational forces and how people weigh slightly less when they are at very high altitudes,” Alexander said, “I thought about how one day, when I get to the summit of Kilimanjaro, I’m going to weigh slightly less than I do now in physics class. I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head after that.”

Money raised will provide schools with physics equipment like force tables, resonance tubes, electronic balances, and ballistic pendulums. The goal is to raise a minimum of $8100, which would get the equipment into every single public and charter high school in Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard parishes.

“Hopefully these classroom enhancements will make the subject of physics slightly less intimidating and more interesting to the students. The next Nikola Tesla or Albert Einstein may be right here in New Orleans,” Alexander said.

Donations can be made at any level to Alexander’s fundraiser at www.nolaphysics.org. People can also choose to sponsor a school for $350, which covers the cost of three pieces of physics equipment.