Brian Welsch smashes a block with a sledgehammer on a student lying on a bed of nails.

Striking a Blow for Physics

When UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. Brian Welsch wants to make a point in his Fundamentals of Physics class regarding Isaac Newton’s second law of physics, he makes quite an impact—with a sledgehammer, to be exact.

UW-Green Bay has not had a physics major in more than 20 years, but still offers a physics minor. This particular class generates interest from students in science and engineering, including premed and even future physical therapists.

It’s the type of class where according to Welsch, “you can do a lot of hands-on laboratory-type things.” Which, in this case, entails smashing a cinder block on the chest of Lab Manager Joe Schoenebeck, as he lays sandwiched between a bed of nails and a “chest of death” (also composed of a board of nails).

For those taking notes, the demonstration expresses Newton’s Second Law in terms of change of momentum, impulse and impact. It seems there are examples of the law all around—many with rather painful results. Take the typical falling mountain climber Welsch explains. “The falling climber picks up momentum, but if the change of momentum (as in hitting the rocks) is too short the net result is broken bones.”

The same principle is at work when demonstrating how an airbag absorbs the impact of a collision. But in this demonstration, the “airbag” is more “Flintstonian” in nature; using a cinder block as the airbag, and the sledgehammer representing the speeding object.

And the reason for a bed of nails on bottom, plus a “chest plate of death” (more nails) on top?

“Dramatic effect” explains Welsch. (Actually, the crumbling of block will also dissipate the impact of Schoenebeck’s body against the nails to the point that he won’t become a human pin cushion).

As Schoenebeck settles on to his bed, Welsch continues the lecture, “If I don’t do a good job crushing the airbag, not only will I crush Joe’s sternum, he’ll be impaled by 1,000 nails.”

“2,000” corrects Schoenebeck. (He should know, being the person who nailed them.)

“I just have to not miss,” Welsch assures the classroom. Not breaking the block means the full force of the sledge will be transferred to the “victim.” And if that happens, the concept momentum and impact will still be illustrated, but in a perhaps more painful way.

As for the results of the demonstration? Spoiler alert: the professor nailed it. Plus, as a bonus, a student worker also volunteered to get hammered.

Story by Michael Shaw, video by Sue Pischke

Student Art Exhibition

Photo gallery: 47th annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

The 47th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at the Lawton Gallery runs through Dec. 12, 2019. This exhibition features artwork submitted by UW-Green Bay enrolled students and is juried by Professor Emeritus Carol Emmons. For the 47th year, the Lawton Gallery is showcasing the talented art and design students of UW-Green Bay and will provide $1,000 in awards. All Lawton Gallery events are free and open to the public.

Congratulations to these students on their awards:
Savannah Mikle, Kress Award for Excellence in 2D
Tommy Mlodzik, Kress Award for Excellence in 3D and Contemporary Ceramic’s Award
Libby Gill, Lawton Award for Excellence in 2D and Northeast Wisconsin Watercolor Society Award
Lindsey Beseler, Lawton Award for Excellence in 3D and The Provost’s Award
Katie Bauer, Chancellor’s Award, the Contemporary Painting Award, and the Business Entrepreneurship Award
Kassie Corroy, College of Science, Technology and Engineering Purchase Award, Excellence in Printmaking Award
Brittany Meyer, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Purchase Award
Andrea Cornett, College of Education, Health, and Social Welfare Purchase Award and Contemporary Textiles Award
Beth Schauffner, Business Entrepreneurship Award
Lydia Delikat Mitchell, Business Entrepreneurship Award
Asavir Nadeem, Contemporary Drawing Award and Union Purchase Award
Zeyu Yan, Contemporary Craft Award
Charity Meier, Northeast Wisconsin Watercolor Society Award
Molly Gwitt, Northeast Wisconsin Watercolor Society Award and Contemporary Woodworking Award
Ya-Ching Kuo, Art and Visual Design Purchase Award and Design Award for Excellence
Logan Maedke, Design Award for Excellence

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47th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

Photos by Sue Pischke, Marketing and University Communication

Snow at University Union

Photos: Wintry mix leaves campus gorgeous, again

It’s not great for travelers, and the UW-Green Bay community had to negotiate slippery sidewalks and parking lots, but the brutal wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow, once again left UW-Green Bay campuses in a wintry splendor. Photographer Dan Moore snapped a few photos…

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Green Bay Campus Snowfall 12-02-2019

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

All aboard the Phoenix Express: UW-Green Bay holiday parade float is a winner for the fifth time

The UW-Green Bay Holiday Parade float won an award for the fifth time at the 36th Annual Prevea Green Bay Holiday Parade. This year’s award recognition was the Grand Marshal’s Award for most original float.

While the theme for this year’s parade was Holiday Magic, UW-Green Bay’s parade float committee took inspiration from the popular book and movie, “Polar Express,” and named the float, “The Phoenix Express: Powered by Higher Education.” The concept of the forward moving train represents the forward momentum UW-Green Bay has been experiencing. Staff members spent many hours over their lunch breaks working on the float to represent UW-Green Bay in the parade.

This was the eighth time UW-Green Bay has participated in the Prevea Green Bay Holiday Parade. Staff and members of their families, students, student athletes, alumni, dance team members and the Hip Hop team participated. The UW-Green Bay team handed out 500 pounds of candy to parade watchers. UW Credit Union and the Weidner Center are the sponsors.

See NBC26 television footage of the parade and watch for the UW-Green Bay float at the 1:05:00 timestamp.

Holiday Light Collection

Holiday Lights RecyclingIn addition to the float, UW-Green Bay incorporates a service project in their parade activities. This year’s project is collecting old holiday lights for Habitat for Humanity Restore. Don’t forget to donate old holiday lights at the designated boxes around campus. These are the locations you can drop your lights off in the designated bins:

  • Cofrin Library second floor plaza level
  • Cofrin Library first floor alcove level
  • Laboratory Sciences lounge area
  • Outside the GAC Lab
  • Rosewood Cafe
  • Office of Student Life
  • Near the Ticketing and Information Desk, University Union
  • Hendrickson Community Center, Residence Life

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Downtown Green Bay Holiday Parade 2019

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Saluting the flag at the UW-Green Bay Veterans Day Reception

Photo gallery: Saluting UW-Green Bay veterans, families and active military

Typically a combination of both somber and celebratory, the annual UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Veteran Reception, held Monday, November 11, 2019, was no exception. The Phoenix Room was packed, as members of the campus and community gathered to honor vets and active military members.

As Chancellor Van Gruensven welcomed guests, she shared her personal story and pride in those who sacrifice and serve. Van Gruensven’s father, Robert Starck, Sr. is an 87-year old Marine and Korean War veteran, who still wears his scars, and, she shared, “has a purple heart in his memory chest.” Van Gruensven shared the pain of the tremendous loss suffered by her family, when a nephew, a former member of the 82nd Airborne Unit in the Army, passed from complications brought on by PTSD following multiple tours in the Middle East.

Jones, a UW-Green Bay Police officer, is a member of the 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota, Air National Guard, and returned recently from active duty. But while he and his fellow soldiers have returned without casualty, he has witnessed plenty of it… especially in the States. Jones was an innocent bystander and concert goer at what has been labeled the “Las Vegas Massacre,” where 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in October of 2017 at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Jones, a decorated officer, was able to use his instincts as a police officer and trained military to usher his friends and other concert goer to safety during the horrific few moments when a gunman sprayed the crowd with bullets from a nearby hotel room and then committed suicide.

Jones spoke to the packed room about life lessons in resiliency.

UW-Green Bay Music, once again honored the vets with an “Armed Forces Salute.”

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Chancellors Veterans Reception-1

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Artist Reni Gower visits UW-Green Bay art students

Visiting artist Reni Gower presented a slide lecture, “Sacred Geometry: The Perfect Proof,” to UW-Green Bay art students during her visit from Oct. 29-31, 2019. In addition, she hosted a paper cutting workshop for the students. See the original event posting for Gower’s artist biography.

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Visiting Artist Reni Gower - Oct. 29-31, 2019

– Photos by Professor Kristy Deetz (Art), originally shared to the UW-Green Bay Art Program Facebook group.

Lindsey Beseler ’21 receives Chancellor’s Holiday Art Scholarship

UW-Green Bay student Lindsey Beseler ’21 is the Chancellor’s Holiday Art Scholarship recipient. Along with the scholarship, her ceramic vessels (“Untitled” porcelain with precious metals) were selected to be featured on the Chancellor’s annual holiday card.

Artist’s Statement

“I wanted to create a ceramic vessel that is both functional yet has an interesting feel to it.

So in turn, I created a simple geometrical design composed of triangles. The triangles create space depth that can be seen from all viewpoints of the piece, inside and out. The bold colors of red and black create a marble pattern on two of the three pieces. Along with that, gold can be seen accentuating the features of this design.

Art Card Student-1
Lindsey Beseler ’21

These ceramic pieces were created as a part of my project in my Intermediate Ceramics class where I was learning the technique of slip casting. Slip casting is a way to create efficient and quality replicas of the same piece. I started by creating my prototype out of stoneware clay, which I then used to create a plaster mold. I poured porcelain slip into the mold, allowed it to sit, and poured the rest out leaving me with this vessel shape. I tried experimenting with using different colored slip to create the marble design. The white one has the clean look of porcelain. I then used gold precious metals to add more detail which completes the look of the piece.

This piece is uncomplicatedly abstract, which I feel brings out the beauty within that minimalism. I look forward to experimenting with new and fun colors to use in my future slip casts.”

Phuture Phoenix

Photos: Phuture Phoenix inspire, energize the Green Bay Campus

They came, they toured, they played, they ate, and they energized UW-Green Bay. Nearly 1,600 fifth-graders spend much of their day at UW-Green Bay, Oct. 16-17. It was the 15th annual Phuture Phoenix Phuture Phoenix Campus Visit. Students from 26 Northeast Wisconsin Schools were inspired to “dare to dream about going to college.”

UW-Green Bay’s signature Phuture Phoenix program partners with schools that have high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education.

The program has hosted nearly 22,000 fifth-grade students during the annual campus visits every October since it began in 2003. More than 300 UW-Green Bay students volunteered to serve as role models and group leaders for the day and 107 faculty members participated in various activities and sharing their classrooms on campus.

See the press release.

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Phuture Phoenix 2019

Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communications

Brown County STEM Center Virtual Tour

The Brown County STEM Innovation Center makes its debut to the public today, Thursday, Oct. 10. Join for an Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring tours, hands-on projects with the Einstein Project, demonstrations from Engineering faculty and more. For a sneak peek, watch Dean John Katers (College of Science Engineering and Technology) lead a virtual tour of the space highlighting common spaces, classrooms, labs and more.

History buffs and others enjoy ‘Viking of All Ages’ festival at Green Bay and Manitowoc Campuses

The Viking House on UW-Green Bay, Green Bay Campus and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences teamed up to provide fun for “Vikings of All Ages” last week, Thursday, Oct. 3. The free Viking Festival event featured three performances by Viking storyteller Adrian Spendlow (United Kingdom) and the Viking wrestling troupe Telge Glima (Sweden.)

“I just really love it when I see students who are really excited about the old traditions and learning how to do things with their hands and to problem-solve…,” Prof. Heidi Sherman (Humanities) shared with Fox 11. More from the Manitowoc Campus on Facebook.

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Viking House Storytelling and Games

Photos by Dan Moore, Office of Marketing and University Communication