Public Outreach at SPINLab

Spinlabbers share their research with the general public every Fall during Exploring Your Universe, a day-long event on UCLA’s campus where science enthusiasts of all ages can participate in hands-on science activities.  Last year, the UCLA SPINLab hosted a “Build Your Own Hurricane Exhibit” where kids could observe fluid dynamics in action.

Check out a series of outreach films created by the UCLA SPINLab that beautifully demonstrate various phenomena in fluid dynamics.





THE DIYNAMICS PROJECT (2018): Here, we have developed a $50 – $100 rotary table for carrying out basic geophysical fluids demonstrations and experiments. This system is fully DIY (do it yourself), and fun for all ages. For detailed information, please see and our youtube page. This work is also published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Association.

For some classic TURNTABLE RECIPES, see Aurnou, J.M., Turntable GFD Experiments (informal write up), 2011.


The DIYnamics Table: A Lego motor drive system connected to an OXO lazy susan.










Rapidly rotating flow on the DIYnamics Table.

Large-scale baroclinic instabilities (big blue spiral arms) on the DIYnamics Table.











Gary Glesener’s 1-meter diameter “White Whale” rotary table in action (EYU 2015):

Sam May showing off Gary Glesener's 50" turntable at Explore Your Universe (11/8/2015).

Sam May (UCLA Physics 2015) showing off Gary Glesener’s 50″ turntable at Explore Your Universe 2015.


EPSS Ph.D. student Emily Hawkins working the wheels of steel (11/8/15).

EPSS Ph.D. student Emily Hawkins working the wheels of steel at EYU2015.