Jefferson Lab Offers Additional Summer Physics Fest

  • Steve Gagnon holds a ball in a ladle filled with liquid nitrogen

Science Education Administrator, Steve Gagnon, experiments with liquid nitrogen in a recent Physics Fest.

Stop the summer science brain drain in your kids: Register for an exploration of the science of hot and cold on July 12!

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – The Science Education department at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility invites young STEM enthusiasts to a free event to explore the science of the very hot and the very cold.

On July 12, Jefferson Lab will offer a summer edition of its popular Physics Fest program. The part-experiment, part-demonstration program features entertaining and educational displays of cryogenics and plasmas. This program also helps students learn a little about the types of experiments conducted at the lab and about some of the technologies used to carry out these experiments.

“Of course, attendees will learn a little about Jefferson Lab science,” says Science Education Administrator, Steve Gagnon. “But, the real draw is typically the fun we have demonstrating the properties of liquid nitrogen and learning about the physics of it. And we never lack for volunteers from the audience to help carry out the demonstrations!”

The program’s array of demonstrations is designed to help kids better understand scientific methodology and principles. They will learn about the phases of matter – starting with demonstrations using liquid nitrogen at a frigid -321 degrees Fahrenheit, and ending with plasmas.

The July 12 Physics Fest will take place 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Seating is limited. Reservations are required, and reservations must be confirmed. To register for the program, visit the website:

This free program is offered to families, groups and classes. Individual students and groups must be accompanied for the duration of the event by teachers, parents or authorized adult escorts. Physics Fests take place in the CEBAF Center auditorium, located at 12000 Jefferson Ave.

Those planning to attend may also download the Physics Fest Classroom Activity Pack, which contains general information about Jefferson Lab, the anatomy of the atom, a vocabulary list with related games and puzzles, and data sheets and activities that may be used before, during and after the program. The materials are written at the 6th-grade reading level.

For security purposes, everyone over 16 is asked to carry a photo I.D. Security guards may inspect vehicles, book bags, backpacks, etc. A map and directions utility is also available on the reservations page.

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7263,


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit