Bookmark and Share 2008 Congress

Congress Reports & Photos Posted
Art Contest Results
Poster Abstracts
Registration Numbers & Institutions Represented
Special Feature
Congress Then & Now: Highlights from Sigma Pi Sigma Congresses
Get Involved!
View and Upload Photos
Read about Scientific Citizenship
Support Sigma Pi Sigma with a Gift
Search the site

Art & Science

The Fermilab grounds boast unique architecture and art. Founding director Robert R. Wilson, a renowned physicist and an accomplished artist and sculptor, believed that a research laboratory should be a cultural center for the community and the nation.

In celebration of Wilson’s vision, Congress participants created more than 30 works of art for display and/or judging at the Congress. See abstracts for all art entries here.

Art Contest Rules

Submissions of any type of visual art, such as paintings, photographs, holograms, and sculptures are invited from any Congress attendee. Collaborative projects, particularly those by SPS or Sigma Pi Sigma Chapters, are also invited.

Art and photography must be original and submitted by the artist(s), and must be accompanied by a summary of up to 200 words (more details below).


     • General Science

     • The Citizen Scientist

     • Future Faces of Physics

     • Open (non-themed)


Prizes are co-sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and Sigma Pi Sigma.

     • Best in Show
       $100 cash prize and a free trip to a AAPT meeting, where the winning art piece will be displayed.

     • Category Winner
$50 cash prize.

Winners will also be highlighted in a future edition of Radiations, the official publication of Sigma Pi Sigma.

Artwork Specifications

2D artwork must be mounted on a stiff backing (e.g., cardboard, poster board or foam board) to which strips of Velcro will be adhered for hanging. Artwork must be able to hang as described without damage to the work, and protrusions can extend no more than 4" from the backing. The total wall size of 2D artwork, including the backing, can be no larger than 11 x 14,” unless advance arrangements are made (for advance arrangements, email

3D artwork should weigh no more than 50 lbs and should fit on a 2 x 2’ table top, unless advance arrangements are made (for advance arrangements, email

Summaries must be mounted separately on a stiff backing (e.g., cardboard, poster board, foam board, or some like material), and should fit onto a 4 x 6” index card

Rules for Submissions


Entrants may submit multiple works of art, either individual or as part of group submissions. Work may be designated as “display only” if the artist prefers that it not be considered for prizes.


Artwork must meet the specifications described below.


Artwork must be entered by the artist into one of following categories: 

     • General Science

     • The Citizen Scientist

     • Future Faces of Physics

     • Open (non-themed)

If we receive fewer than five submissions for a particular theme, the theme may be dissolved in the General Science category.


Each submission must be accompanied by a summary of no more than 200-words, explaining how the pieces exemplifies the theme for which it is submitted (in the case of the open category, a description of the work is sufficient). Each summary should be mounted onto a 4 x 6” index card and will be hung next to the entry.


Artists must fill out the on-line entry form on the Congress website by OCTOBER 19, 2008.


Artists are responsible for transporting their artwork to the Congress. They may ship the artwork in advance or bring it with them to the Congress. Artists bringing their own work should bring it to the registration desk Thursday evening or by 8 AM Friday, November 7, 2008. Artists shipping their artwork will receive shipping information from the Sigma Pi Sigma national office upon submission of their contest entry form.

Compliance with these rules will be determined by the organizing committee, but exceptions may be made with advance arrangement, subject to approval by the organizing committee and our Fermilab hosts. If you have questions about the eligibility of your submission or want to request an exception, please contact Dr. DJ Wagner ( ahead of time to check.