Programs & Awards  
2011 Blake Lilly Prize Recipients
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Recognizing SPS chapters and individuals who make a genuine effort to positively influence the attitudes of school children and the general public about physics. Established by the parents of the late Blake Lilly and given in his memory.

Previous Recipients & Award Information

  Idaho State University
   
Idaho State University

The Idaho State University Society of Physics Students Chapter has a long and distinguished history of K-12 and community outreach.  Over the last ten years, ISU SPS members have visited over 350 schools across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon, and presented over 520 science demonstration shows, presentations, and hands-on activities, servicing over 62,500 students and teachers.  During this time we have also presented 37 demonstration shows and other exhibitions to the general public throughout the intermountain west to over 50,000 people of all ages.  We have presented at state and local fairs, in shopping malls, museums, in parking lots, and nursing homes. This last year was no exception.

  Henderson State
  Rhodes SPS Treasurer Stephanie Milazzo (left) and Rhodes SPS Outreach Officer Evan Nelsen (right) prepare to show students a demonstration during Zone 10's Physics Outreach Week (POW).
Rhodes College

SPS at Rhodes College has had tremendous success with our outreach programs this year. Our chapter has participated in Zone 10's Physics Outreach Week (POW), particpated in outreach with a number of local high school and middle schools, received the Marsh White Award for use at the spring "Rites to Play" event at Rhodes College, hosted several Observatory Open Houses, assisted with a Rhodes Alumni Office Family Night, and held the annual Rhodes Pumpkin Drop. The quality and quantity of outreach conducted by the Rhodes SPS is enhanced by having a dedicated student Outreach Officer, whose primary responsibilities are finding, organizing, and implementing SPS's outreach efforts. The Department of Physics also offers an educational outreach course, MemPhysics, which offers academic credit for SPS members involved in educational outreach. This dual approach to outreach has been critical to making Rhodes outreach so prolific and successful.

  Penn State University
  From Penn State Society of Physics Student's Annual Magic Show
Penn State University

Penn State University has several annual events that we feel greatly benefit our community and increase interest in science among people of all ages. These annual events include our 'Magic Show,' held during Parents and Families Weekend every fall semester; the Bellefonte Family Science Night where we take several demos to the local middle school; an SPS Art Show where students are encouraged to submit art centered around this year's theme: "Dimensions in Art and Science"; the largest event we participate in is the Eberly College of Science's Exploration Day, where local families come and learn about science in general. In addition to the annual events, Penn State also held a workshop for teachers so they can better educate young children in the community. We also had the opportunity to go the Quaker Friend School in Centre County PA, and do an event similar to Science Saturday.

  School
  A Drexel SPS volunteer at Highland Park School explaining the physics of the movie 'Up'
Drexel University

The Drexel University Chapter of the Society of Physics Students has been committed to science outreach ever since our revival five years ago. In this time, we have established communications and ties with several schools in the Philadelphia area and have developed many outreach activities to help make learning about physics and science fun and entertaining. For the third year, our SPS chapter has maintained an after-school mentorship program with a local Phialdelphia middle school. For the second year, SPS volunteers have also presented our newly-developed "Hollywood Physics" event at a New Jersey high school. In addition to these, we participated as an exhibitor at the Philadelphia Science Carnival, as well a holding a Kaczmaczik Lecture and a demonstration station on campus to illustrate the fun, as well as utility, of physics and to explain the importance of science outreach.

Henderson State University

SPS at Henderson State University and all its dedicated members think Physics Outreach is fun, important, and a great learning experience! We believe that it is fun because of all the Physics involved, it is important because students and other members of our community benefit from it, and it is also a learning experience because as we teach others how things work, while we are constantly learning about them as well. One of the most popular outreach events we do is our Star Party. We also do regularly planned Demo Displays where students from local schools come to our universities in addition to us traveling to science fairs. We get the most attention at the annual Henderson Halloween, when we set up our spooky demos. A recent addition to our arsenal of physics demos is a new Rubens' Tube! We recently attended a Family Science Night in Bismark, and later that week had a joint Science Night with the other Henderson science departments.

We are also designing a Physics Olympics for fall 2011. We plan to invite High School students that could attend for this competition.One major contest we are considering having is a grapefruit catapult contest. We are aiming to engage this age group to become excited about learning and use their imaginations to understand during this outreach event.

 
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