About Us

About Us

The Physics Factory brings physics demonstrations to schools and events throughout Arizona and North America. Inspired by the successful Physics Phun Nights at the University of Arizona, the Physics Factory has grown to include outreach programs, student mentoring, resources for science teachers, and many other programs.

Raising kids' interest in science can be a challenge, especially if they've only experienced "science" as textbook drudgery. Our traveling Physics Bus shows get their attention with huge sparks, invisible forces, smoke, lasers, and other amazing phenomena.

But science becomes meaningful when it applies to our daily lives. To that end, we use everyday objects in our hands-on learning stations and mentoring environments, to demystify science and to help students appreciate their amazing world.


The Physics Factory is approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are supported through our sponsors and tax deductible donations from individuals, companies and organizations.

Information about the Physics Factory organization is also available by searching for us on the GuideStar nonprofit directory.

The Physics Factory provides many opportunities for teachers and students to learn more about the physical sciences. Physics Factory instructors lead a team of mentors; these mentors work with students, and students present concepts to their peers through dramatic demonstrations.


Our mentors develop the tools they need to understand and demonstrate physical concepts effectively and safely. Workshops, networking, and information services help teachers expand their knowledge as they prepare to bring new concepts and methods to their classrooms.

Students Working


Physics Factory mentors work with high school and college students to develop our compelling demonstrations. Through this process students become familiar with both physics concepts and the practical skills needed to build these unique displays.

This hands-on approach has proven highly successful, particularly for students who have found it difficult to excel in a regular classroom setting. Students can even earn college credit for their efforts at the Factory.


Student-built exhibits become part of The Physics Bus, our science museum on wheels. The eye-catching, vegetable-oil-powered bus makes frequent appearances at schools, fairs and other functions, helping make science accessible and unforgettable for area students. Staffed by student presenters and Physics Factory instructors, each Physics Bus show features electrifying exhibits that fire up even the most hard-to-please audiences.

Physics Factory instructors love science. They've been taking apart appliances, playing with liquid nitrogen, musing about how to collect lightning and causing other mayhem since they were kids--all in the name of science. They provide the "spark" that drives the Physics Factory, and they transmit their enthusiasm to students and teachers at every event.

Erik Herman, MEd., Science Education

Kip Perkins, MEd., Science Education

Bruce Bayly, Ph.D., Mathematics

Chris Discenza, Mathematics Education

The Physics Factory Board of Directors

  • Kip Perkins, President
  • Bruce Bayly, Vice President
  • Rosemary Badian
  • Carly Jones
  • Amy Utzinger
  • Mike Zecchino

The non-profit Physics Factory relies upon the generosity of individual donations and sponsorships from institutions and companies. We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support:

  • University of Arizona, College of Science and Departments of Mathematics and Physics

  • Pima Community College, Department of Physics
  • Aztlan Academy
  • Tucson Electric Power
  • Raytheon Company
  • LabSmith, Jet Blue, Cingular, DeWalt, Denny's, Subway, FedEx Kinko's, Accor, Sierra Wireless, Cracker Barrel, Miller Electric, Alcoa, RTI, Ferguson Plumbing, WWWilliams Diesel, Poore Brothers and Shearer's for their generous donations to our cross-country outreach trip, 2006.

The Physics Factory is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to learn more about physics and science. We offer many ways to take advantage of, and participate in, this unique venture:

The team here at the Physics Factory can always use an extra hand in creating new and exciting demonstrations. There are also many things to do behind that scenes that make the Physics Factory possible. Your time and efforts are always appreciated and we love to meet new people! Please contact us if you have some time to give.

And lastly, we thrive on new ideas (and even "new to us" ideas). We welcome all your suggestions, big and small, to improve our current projects and to create new ones.