Physics Student Group Wins National Award
February 11, 2016
The Outstanding Chapter Award is the highest possible honor an SPS chapter can achieve, and only about 50-70 chapters out of more than 760 worldwide receive the award each year. Criteria for the award include a chapter’s involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings, outreach efforts to grades K-12 and the public, community service, contributions to student recruitment and retention, social events and interactions with alumni.
The ASU chapter’s activities are spearheaded by its Peer Pressure Team and include the annual “Physics Road Tour” conducted every summer since 2005. The program features fun and educational physics demonstrations at public schools throughout the region and has won multiple grants and awards from the SPS National Council and American Physical Society. In 2015, the program was presented to more than 1,750 students, teachers and parents in eight school districts in West Texas and New Mexico.
ASU chapter members also participate in ASU Science Days and summer orientation programs, march in the Homecoming parade and conduct numerous public outreach and community service activities.
Each of the ASU chapter officers for 2014-15 has graduated and gone on to graduate school. They are James Bufkin of Seabrook, Chris Madrid of San Antonio, Connor Hoelscher of Wall and Stephen Seibel of Kerrville. The SPS faculty advisor is Dr. Juan Blandon, assistant professor of physics.
Formed in 1968, the national SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics, which also oversees the Sigma Pi Sigma national physics honor society. The SPS exists to help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional physics community. The national office is located in College Park, Md.