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ASU Physics Group Taking Annual ‘Road Trip’

May 05, 2011

The Angelo State University Society of Physics Students’ (SPS) Peer Pressure Team will hit the road for its sixth annual “West Texas Road Trip” on Monday, May 9, to perform physics demonstrations at elementary, middle and high schools in communities throughout the region.

This year’s travel group includes 11 ASU students and SPS faculty advisors Dr. Toni Sauncy and Dr. Hardin Dunham. The team will trek more than 800 miles through West-Central Texas and present its program to more than 1,000 students, teachers, administrators and parents. The tour will run May 9-14 and include visits to schools in the Santa Anna, Brownwood, Goldthwaite, Marlin, Centerville, Willis, Somerville and Austin school districts.

The West Texas Road Trip program is a public service designed by Angelo State SPS members to generate enthusiasm for the study of science and spur interested students toward paths that lead to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The SPS team presents a variety of physics demonstrations focused on educating students about scientific principles, while at the same time generating excitement and providing an informal and entertaining venue for them to enjoy.

ASU students participating in this year’s program are Martin Diaz, Kaleb Gilbert, Ethan Gully, Emily Hendryx, Stephen Parker, Jordan Sefcik, Shivakumar Surendranath, Jeremy Johnson, Blake McCracken, Dustin Thivierge and Ben Huffman.

In the spring of 2007, the program received a Marsh White Award from the national SPS and a corresponding grant to help pay for demonstration materials. It also received Blake Lilly Awards from the national SPS in 2007 and 2009 for outstanding physics outreach. Most recently, the program was recognized with a 2010 LaserFest Outreach Award and corresponding $7,500 grant by the American Physical Society. This spring, Angelo State’s SPS chapter was designated an “Outstanding Chapter” by the national SPS for the ninth straight year.

For more information, contact Sauncy at (325) 942-2577, ext. 292.