doingscience

For the second straight year, the SPS has received a Marsh White Outreach Award from the American Institute of Physics.

Somehow, IWU’s Chapter of Society of Physics Students got into the habit of winning awards. Now they just can’t seem to stop.

For the second straight year, the SPS has received a Marsh White Outreach Award from the American Institute of Physics.

This brings the group, which was founded a little over 12 months ago, to a total of four national awards since its inception.

It’s really starting to seem like a trend.

The Marsh W. White is designed to go to chapters of the Society of Physics Students “to support projects designed to promote interest in physics among students and the general public.” This year, the SPS received the award for a physics outreach proposal entitled “Physics Outreach using Modern Medical Physics.”

The proposal was written by students Robert Burchell and Josh Ostrander, with SPS advisor Dr. Roberto Ramos. It came with an award of $300 to purchase physics demos and an opportunity to be featured on the national SPS website.

The SPS regularly holds educational events for students in the Marion/Grant County Community. This April, SPS will present “Physics in the Medical Field” on April 8, 2013, 6-7:30 pm at the Commons of the Barnes Student Center.

The event will feature hands-on demonstrations with fiber optics, ultrasound, light, microwaves, liquid nitrogen, superconductivity and electricity. Students from middle schools, high schools and universities (including IWU), and their families are invited to come. Last year, SPS did a similar outreach with more than 150 participants.

SPS also received the Blake Lilly Prize for physics outreach in June 2012, and a Future Faces of Physics Award in December 2012 for their proposal to work with the Boys & Girls Club of Marion to promote physics through high-impact demonstrations and hands-on experiences to middle school and grade school minorities.

Dr. Ramos is also working with a group of female IWU students to create  a three-day Physics Spring Day Camp called Science Girls Rule! for middle school students in the Grant Country area, March 25-27, 2013  on the IWU Marion campus.

Science Girls Rule! is part of the broader impact of the $230,000 superconductivity research grant Dr. Ramos recently received from the National Science Foundation. The physics outreach camp aims to sustain interest of middle school girls in science through hands-on physics demonstrations, physics-based games, and career talks.

Twelve eighth-graders will participate, having been recommended by their science teachers and selected on the basis of science grades and a submitted essay. Topics will include the physics behind microwave ovens, making lightning in the lab, manipulating light and sound and making liquid nitrogen ice cream. The activity’s capstone activity will be a physics show given by the participants to friends and family on the last day.