Zone 12 Meeting

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In The Zone - Regional SPS Highlights

Zone 12 Meeting

Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri


Maranda Clymer and Elizabeth Apala

East Central University

Attendees at the zone 12 meeting gather for a group photo.

The zone 12 meeting kicked off this year with a tour of General Aviation Modifications, Inc. We were taken to a hangar and shown different jet models from the last four decades. We were also shown a workshop where the company improves plane engines by making fuel injectors that then go to labs to be tested.

Then we traveled to the x-ray diffraction lab of cement manufacturer Holcim and learned how to check for the perfect cement using x-ray diffraction. Diffraction lets you know whether rocks gathered from dig sites have too little or too much of a certain material, such as calcium, helping cement makers to add in other materials to get the proportions right.

It was a great privilege to host this event in October. Students from across Oklahoma (East Central University and Mid-America Christian University), Missouri (William Jewell College), and Kansas (Pittsburg University) came for a weekend of physics fun. 

Once the tours were done, we met for pizza and learned about each other’s goals after graduation. Dr. Rahmat Rahmat told us about his path working for Apple and being part of CERN’s team that discovered the Higgs boson. Josh Fausset, manager of renewable energy at Oklahoma Gas & Electric, talked about wind turbines and a newly opened solar farm that should withstand the tennis ball-sized hail that Oklahoma gets. They tested the solar panels by firing baseballs at them at 55 mph.

Other fun activities included games of laser tag and a discussion about the upcoming Sigma Pi Sigma Congress. Students presented their research and competed for the prize of best YouTube demo and best live demo. The winners received $25. The zone meeting ended with a ceremony inducting new Sigma Pi Sigma members. It felt great being there to share in the accomplishments of fellow SPS members. //

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In The Zone - Regional SPS Highlights