Zone 13 Meeting

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SPS Zone Meeting

March 22, 2018 to March 24, 2018

Tarleton State university

Meeting host:

Society of Physics Students


Dr. Mike Hibbs

Conference Overview

The Zone 13 SPS Meeting was held in conjunction with the Texas Chapters of APS and AAPT, Spring 2018 conference (March 22 – 24).  Over 220 attended the conference including approximately 65 undergraduate, graduate and faculty members of SPS. They came from 18 universities and community colleges including: Stephen F. Austin, Weatherford College, University of Texas at Arlington, Tarleton State, Texas Lutheran, Southwestern Oklahoma, Midwestern State, McMurray, University of Houston, Angelo State, Texas Tech, University of Saint Thomas, Texas State, Baylor, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Christian University, Tarrant Community College, and Texas A&M.

SPS Started the Conference with Fun, Games, Food and Time to Talk and Meet Each Other 

On Thursday night a social was held featuring a LAN party, games, and food.  Over 40 students and sponsors, 15 different universities and colleges gather at the Math Multipurpose Room.  Several played board games, some competed in computer games while other just laid back and watched basketball.  All had a great time sharing their physics stories and learning about each other’s programs.  Tarleton’s SPS president Kassie Marble had obtained some discount deals from local food providers, pizza from CiCIs Pizza and chicken, sides and drinks from Chicken Express.  There was enough left over chicken that the students were able to feasted again for breakfast!

SPS Social on Thursday Night

Physics Demonstrations and Public Outreach

On Friday, all SPS Chapters within Zone 13 were asked to bring their favorite demonstrations and present them in a two-hour outdoor session to area K-12 public school children and the public.  Both events were a huge success.  At least six chapters brought their favorite demonstrations.  In total, over a dozen different demonstrations were given, including to name a few:  Hover Craft, Chinese Singing Bowl, Jacobs Ladder, Smoke Cannon, Reuben’s Tube and the crowd favorite, the Texas A&M’s exploding LN2 Trash Can barrel of water! Though several area public schools were invited only a few were actually able to attend, because of time restraint and transportation costs. However, some students and teachers from the nearby elementary school were able to walk over and participate.  Also, besides the ASP, AAPT conference attendees, several Tarleton students and faculty/staff strolled by and enjoyed watching and participated in the demonstrations.  The SPS members got a chance to share their demonstrations with each other and bring home new ideas for the own outreach programs.

SPS Members Setting up for the Demonstration/Outreach

During the science sessions, SPS students presented six papers and twenty-six posters at the conference.  SPS students also attended many of the APS and AAPT sessions covering: Astrophysics, High Energy Physics, Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics and Condensed Matter and Nano Science; Plenary speeches by well know scientist from field ranging from Neutrinos to Physics Education Research; and APS and AAPT Workshops on Physics Demonstrations & Labs, Teaching and the SPS Career Toolbox.  There were tours of Tarleton’s 0.81-meter telescope Observatory, Accelerator Lab, and a special Planetarium show, "Humanity Needs Dreamers: A Visit with Marie Curie.” Tarleton SPS members were an integral part of the organization, logistics, manual labor and more that made this conference a success!  

00 am, the morning after a late night at the social!  Within a few mnutes, the room was full with over 200 people, most with COFFEE in hand!


Areas of Alignment:

Conference Banquet Friday night at the City Limits Banquet Hall.  ( left) Julie Webster, Program Operations Manager of the Cassini Mission Spacecraft from JPL discuses Cassini’s Grand Finale, (right) Karen Jo Matsler presenting the Mary Beth Todd Monroe award to Toni Sauncy

Tarleton’s SPS group