Food For Thought...and Travel!

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Summer

2013

Special Feature

Food For Thought...and Travel!

SPS Chapter Invests in a Vending Machine

By:

Richard Cody Prince, SPS Executive Committee student representative

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Our chapter at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, (UT) is trying out a new and tasty way to raise funds. We will soon install a vending machine in the physics department. This hands-off fundraising requires minimal effort to sustain and, we hope, will earn a good profit after a modest initial investment.

I came up with the idea one afternoon talking to Dr. Jim Parks, the former SPS advisor of our chapter. During the late 1980s, Dr. Parks served as the advisor of Western Kentucky University’s SPS chapter. At the time, the only soda vending machine in the department was in a faculty lounge. Students who wanted a drink had to face scolding from indignant professors. After one particularly intense incident, Dr. Parks agreed to rent a soda vending machine for his students. Profits from the sales, he said, paid for the chapter’s entire yearly budget! Trips, banquets, and social events were all funded by the highly successful machine.

Our department already has a drink machine. What it lacks are snacks. The nearest place to buy chips, candy, and other snacks is in the University Center building, a long hike up “the Hill” for busy students. I searched the Internet and found a small snack machine for less than $500, and we are now waiting for permission from our department head to move forward with the plan. We hope to put the profit toward outreach activities such as trebuchet competitions and a science café program in Knoxville starting in the fall. Part of the proceeds will be saved for the 2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress of Sigma Pi Sigma in Silicon Valley, California. //

More Fundraising Stories

Sean Bentley

For the past three years, our chapter has rented out a local laser tag arcade for a night, and sold tickets to students campuswide as a fundraiser.

Ed Greco

My SPS chapter recently received the green light to solicit funds through our university's kickstarter site (https://starter.gatech.edu/). We are raising money to complete construction of a spark chamber. The spark chamber will be on display to the public for the 2014 Atlanta Science Festival.

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