Science Outreach Catalyst Kits (SOCKs)

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Science Outreach Catalyst Kits, or SOCKs, contain an exploratory physics and science activity that is specifically designed for SPS chapters to use in outreach presentations to elementary, middle and high school students. Each SOCK comes with the basic materials to conduct a set of demonstrations, a comprehensive manual, and instructions on how to expand the demonstration to become a tried-and-true outreach activity. SOCKs are designed and implemented annually by the SPS national interns and national office staff.

Are you ready to SOCK?!

The 2017 SOCK explores gravity and astronomy concepts.

Help students of all ages explore gravity and astronomy concepts with the latest SPS SOCK. The 2017-18 SOCK explores the physics of gravity through several engaging activities that can be used in a variety of settings. SOCK users will be able to work with students from elementary school age (5-10) up through high school, using two different sets of activities and learning goals:

Fabric of the Universe Part 1

Fabric of the Universe Part 2

Topics include forces, orbits, introductory astronomy, tidal forces, formation of the solar system, and even the comparison of orbits with different apparent force relationships.

This SOCK was tested in partnerships with NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Technology.

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Explore other inexpensive outreach demonstrations. 

Explore previous SOCKs here


Request an SPS SOCK for Your Chapter

SPS SOCK requests are accepted through an online application form. Please note that you will need to provide:

  • Contact information and the SPS membership number for the student project leader.
  • Your school and SPS chapter information.
  • Responses to the following three prompts:
  1. Please describe why your group is interested in using the SPS SOCK for outreach.
  2. Please describe the experience your SPS chapter has with outreach activities.
  3. Approximately how many national SPS members will be involved in the SOCK outreach event?
  • The intended audience, type of event, and anticipated date for which you are considering using the SPS SOCK (if there is more than one, just choose one).
  • Your SPS advisor’s name and email address. Your advisor will be asked to confirm his/her support of your proposed SOCK activity.

SPS SOCKs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis among the eligible requests. Approximately 100 are available each year.


Explore SOCK kits from previous years here.