SPS Zone Meeting
April 14, 2018
Grand Mesa Hall on the Colorado Mesa University campusMeeting host: By:
Brian D. HostermanSPS Chapter:
Although the meeting was scheduled for Saturday, April 14th, as most visitors arrived Friday evening, all were invited to accompany Colorado Mesa University students in exploring downtown Grand Junction and visiting local restaurants and bars. While no formal zone business occured, it was a nice social event for those attending the meeting.
On Saturday, April 14th the Colorado Mesa University chapter of Society of Physics Students hosted the annual zone meeting for SPS Zone 14. Three other schools conrmed prior to this date to be attending: University of Wyoming, United States Air Force Academy, and Metro State University with 4, 6, and 5 students/faculty attending respectively for a total of 15 attendees. Of these, University of Wyoming brought all 4, the Air Force Academy brought 3, and Metro State did not attend. Thirteen Colorado Mesa University students and faculty attended.
We began the meeting by convening in Grand Mesa Hall on the Colorado Mesa University campus at approximately 8:30 am. From there, the students and faculty were invited to attend either a hike in the Colorado National Monument or a tour of the Colterris Winery in Palisade, CO. One of the CMU SPS students, Nickalaus Clemmer, has friends and contacts at the Colterris winery, and thus these tours were provided at no charge to the group. The Colorado National Monument is a beautiful area with near unlimited amount of hiking and scenery and is a big attraction of the Grand Junction area. Another CMU SPS member, Scott Jackson, led the hikes around a trail known as the Independence Monument trail, one of the more popular hikes in the park. University vans, driven by CMU SPS members, were used to shuttle the guests to these areas, where approximately half of the total people that attended went on each event.
After the tours, attendees reconvened at Grand Mesa Hall at approximately 1:00 pm where lunch was catered by Subway. During lunch, we held our ocial business meeting where we led an open discussion on how to increase attendance at future Zone 14 meetings. Even with the low attendance at our meeting, there are typically only ve to seven schools that regularly attend these meetings when held in the Denver area. Some suggestions included having more events that were meant to be fun, such as mini competitions or demonstration booths. It was also suggested that we discuss the general timeframe for hosting the meeting. Our motivation for hosting the meeting in April was because most schools would be forced to travel across the Colorado Mountains, we wanted the meeting later, so as to have the least chance of an impassible Interstate 80 due to weather. It was pointed out that the meeting was previously held towards the beginning of the semester. The end of the semester is often very busy for students, and may be a reason that students do not attend. However, the end of the semester does provide a perfect opportunity for seniors to present their research results from the academic year.
From this point forward, the meeting deviated from the original schedule slightly. As Jaimie Stephens was the only original speaker to attend (the other two speakers had legitimate reasons to cancel on short notice), we chose to have her present rst. Jaimie Stephens is a Colorado Mesa University Alumni and former CMU SPS president. She is now a graduate student at the University of New Mexico where is pursuing a Ph.D. Her research area is quantum information. Ms. Stephens presented on the transition from undergraduate to graduate student, what factors are important when applying, and what life is like as a graduate student.
Afterwards, Bret Brouse (Colorado Mesas SPS President) presented his senior research on the Fluid Regime of D-Dimensional FRW Cosmology. Because of the late cancellation of keynote Speaker, Dr. Nick Featherstone, we decided that this presentation was appropriate for the meeting and provide some physics to the attendees.
A poster session was then held where students from each school were given the opportunity to present their research and answer questions. Five students from CMU presented their work and one student from the Air Force Academy presented his. At the same time, students from the University of Wyoming presented a great, inexpensive demonstration using a plasma ball to light various uorescent bulbs. Colorado Mesa University denitely intends to adopt this when providing demonstrations to young children.
The meeting was then concluded at approximately 4:00pm.Areas of Alignment: