Zone 12 Spring Meeting

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SPS Zone Meeting

March 31, 2017 to April 1, 2017

Liberty, MO

Meeting host:

Society of Physics Students


Macy Tush

SPS Chapter:

The 2017 Society of Physics Students SPS Zone 12 Meeting was held on the campus of William Jewell College on March 31-April 1, 2017. During the two-day meeting, approximately 30 students and faculty from William Jewell College, Benedictine College, Pittsburg State University, and Truman State University attended. The event was promoted on Facebook with invitations going to all institutions within our zone. Several schools contacted us saying they would not be able to attend this year, but they appreciated the invitation. We also worked with the National Office to advertise and coordinate the meeting.

            The SPS Meeting began on Friday afternoon with laboratory tours, a demonstration show, and snacks. One of the highlights of the demonstration show was observing illumination of fluorescent lights when they are held about 10 cm away from our homebuilt Tesla coil. This particular Tesla coil was constructed over sixty years ago by students here at the college. One of those students, C.D. Geilker, later became a long-time faculty member in our department.

            Later in the evening, following a time of greeting and introductions, everyone enjoyed pizza in our Physics Commons. Two students then led the group in some “ideation” exercises to help us brainstorm how we can be more active within our departments and on our campuses. Students developed pitches around one of their ideas and shared with the group. After these exercises, we gathered around fire-pits outside, roasted marshmallows, and enjoyed conversation. We had intended to use one of our portable telescopes to do stargazing, but the weather was too cloudy.   

            On Saturday morning we gathered at 8:30 AM for a light breakfast of fruit and pastries, followed by student presentations. Altogether, we had four student talks and two poster presentations. Dr. Patrick Bunt, Professor of Physics at William Jewell College, also gave an invited talk on fluids imaging. To conclude the meeting, we enjoyed a box lunch before departing.

The budget for the meeting was as follows:

$ 150               Pizza     

$   22               Wood for fire pits

$   90               Snacks (smores, chips, candy, fruit, and plates and silverware)

$ 100               Donuts and bagels

$ 200               Box lunches

The William Jewell College Physics Department covered all costs initially.

SPS students present their posters during the 2017 SPS Zone 12. Meeting held March 31-April 1 on the campus of William Jewell College.

Attendees of the 2017 SPS Zone 12 Meeting gather around firepit to roast marshmallows.

Dr. Patrick Bunton, Professor of Physics at William Jewell College, delivering invited talk on fluids imaging. The table in the front of the room is a demonstration he brought to share with the group.