Snow no match for students at the APS/AAPT Joint Meeting
The record snowfall in the mid-Atlantic region earlier this month did not deter hundreds of enthusiastic undergraduate physics students from descending on Washington, DC, for the 2010 APS/AAPT Joint Meeting. Many students arrived in time to enjoy a physics careers panel discussion on opening day. Four SPS reporters listened intently to the sessions, and interviewed speakers, attendees, and Member Society leaders throughout the six-day event. Read about their compelling experiences here:
Leigha Dickens | Katie Foote | Erin Lease | David Neto
During the awards ceremony, SPS president Toni Sauncy presented the annual Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award to professor Diane Jacobs, SPS Advisor at Eastern Michigan University for the past 25 years. The award honors one advisor among the 742 chapters nationwide for exemplary leadership, development of student leaders, and contributions to the program.
SPS, APS, and AAPT held a joint outreach event for local elementary students, which was very well received. One teacher remarked, "The hands-on outreach events were so eye-catching and engaging. Our students were captivated."
SPS had six dedicated oral sessions and a poster session, in which 75 (!) SPS members presented their research. Many more undergraduates participated in the specialized research sessions.
During the SPS student awards reception, 21 presenters were honored with "Outstanding Paper" certificates and books donated by APS and AAPT. Reception attendees enjoyed a spirited game of "Physics Jeopardy" and a riveting talk by astrophysicist Vera Rubin about her life, career, and research on the surprisingly fast velocities of stars in the outer reaches of galaxies. In recognition of her work, the Sigma Pi Sigma honor society received Rubin as an honorary member.
When you join SPS national as an undergraduate, you get free one-year membership in one of ten other physics societies, including the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).
SPS national sends student reporters to most major AIP Member Society meetings, where they are treated like other members of the press. Many ambitious student reporters succeed in securing interviews with society leadership and prominent invited speakers on such occasions.
A limited number of grants, on the order of $200 each, are offered to help fund SPS members' travel to national meetings of AIP Member Societies holding a "SPS Session" co-organized by SPS and the Member Society.