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Physics Student Group Wins National Award

December 06, 2017

For the 16th straight year, Angelo State University’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has received an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Council for the chapter’s activities during the 2016-17 academic year.

The SPS Peer Pressure Team takes a break during the 2017 Physics Road Tour.The SPS Peer Pressure Team takes a break during the 2017 Physics Road Tour.The Outstanding Chapter Award is the highest possible honor an SPS chapter can achieve, and only 72 chapters out of more than 800 nationwide received the award this 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 2017, the program was presented to more than 1,100 students, teachers and parents at multiple 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, host a food drive every November, and conduct numerous other public outreach and community service activities. Students also present professional papers at regional and national conferences each fall and spring semester. 

Dr. Brad Conrad, national SPS director, said, “We at the SPS National Office want to take this opportunity to commend and applaud you for your tireless efforts to enrich the SPS community. It is because of your dedication and commitment to the SPS mission and vision that we are able to foster such a strong SPS community.” 

The student president of Angelo State’s SPS chapter is Derik Bullard of Amarillo. The SPS faculty advisor is Dr. Trey Holik, 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.

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