What is Science on Ice?
Science on Ice is a GREAT field trip opportunity for schools and community groups that combines science lessons, physical education and ice skating fun. Students in 5th or 6th grades have the chance to learn science concepts in the new Palouse Ice Rink’s Brian P. Dyre Science on Ice Classroom.
- Properties of Water: molecules in motion, phase changes, how a Zamboni makes the ice smooth.
- Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion: force, mass & acceleration, hockey puck slingshots.
- Rotational Motion in Action: distribution of mass, how do ice skaters twirl?
Dr. Brian P. Dyre
Dr. Brian P. Dyre earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkston University and a Ph.D. in Engineering Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign. He conducted research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base prior to accepting a tenure-track faculty position at the University of Idaho in the Psychology Department’s Human Factors Program. He was faculty at the University of Idaho from 1995 until he passed away in 2019.
Dr. Dyre had a passion for science. His research focused on self-motion perception. He examined how visual cues such as “optic flow” provide information regarding our speed and direction of movement (i.e., self-motion) when navigating through the environment. (Note: Without visual cues of optic flow, we would not be able to effortlessly calculate our speed and direction of motion when we skate across the ice!). The aim of Dr. Dyre’s research was to improve human vehicular control of airplanes, helicopters, and automobiles by determining what types of vehicular, informational displays (machine interfaces) can improve self-motion perception—particularly when navigating in environments where optic flow is obscured or absent due to poor visibility (e.g., at night or under bad weather conditions).
Dr. Dyre (Brian) also had a passion for hockey. He was involved with PYHA as an assistant coach for the mites, squirts, and bantams. While coaching, he played on two different hockey teams each season as a forward and a goalie, and he participated in several Puck a Palousa Tournaments. He also created a “hockey family” by inspiring his children and wife to play hockey too!
Brian was much loved by many youth and adult hockey players for his support, guidance, kindness, humor, sportsmanship, love of hockey, ability to laugh a lot, and drive to have fun. He positively impacted many youth hockey players over the years and made many close friends at the rink. One of his most memorable moments was singing the Canadian National Anthem at the 2015 Squirt Winter Freeze in Moscow, Idaho—what an applause!
Of special note, Brian enjoyed coaching and playing hockey while also teaching and conducting research at the university, playing saxophone, flute, and keyboard in several different local bands, learning how to sail his sailboat on Lake Coeur de Alene, and spending quality time with his family. He was a truly amazing person. He is greatly missed and will live in many hearts forever.