Zone 4 Meeting

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SPS Zone Meeting

April 21, 2018 to April 22, 2018

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Meeting host:

Society of Physics Students


Donna Hammer

SPS Chapter:

The Zone meeting brought together students from SPS chapters within zone 4. The meeting was a fun and effective way for undergraduates to meet other students, participate in workshops, meet speakers from the physics community, present their research, and interact with practicing scientists and peers. 

The Zone 4 Meeting took place from April 21-22 on the University of Maryland campus and was themed, Celebration of Sustainability. Activities included: workshops hosted by the UMD Physics Makerspace, Lab Tours focused on green energy and sustainability projects, a Student Poster Session, an Outreach Session from Towson SPS, a genuine Farm to Table Dinner, and an On-Campus Sleep-In! See below for the program of activities. Attending schools included Radford University, Randolph College, the College of William and Mary, George Washington University, Towson University, and University of Maryland SPS members.


SPS was thrilled to welcome Dr. Ellen Williams and Dr. Ross Salawitch to the 2018 Zone 4Meeting.

Distinguished University Professor, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park

Professor Williams, the former Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, former Chief Scientist of BP will discuss the pathways of career development with illustrations from her own experience.

Ellen Williams, Speaker

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Salawitch will highlight outstanding issues in ozone layer depletion and recovery, air quality, and climate change, with an emphasis on the role of physics and outstanding issues that could be pursued in graduate school.



Workshop Leads: Orlando Romeo (VP of UMD SPS) and Brady Easterday (Treasurer of UMD SPS) from the UMD Physics Makerspace

The UMD Coding Workshop for the 2018 Zone 4 Meeting will combine the ideas of environmental sustainability with the boundless implementation of technology. We will be utilizing the arduino nano to monitor plant growth based on local environmental characteristics. Temperature, air and soil moisture, and sunlight exposure will be measured for plants subjected to various conditions. Students will be able to learn how to use arduino technology, extract and visualize data, and determine the best settings for plant sustainability.

Coding Workshop

Coding Workshop


Workshop Lead: John Evans and Stephanie Williams, President of The Society of Physics Students at UMD

An important part of being is good physicist is being in touch with the universe. In this workshop, we will build planter boxes to grow flowers, herbs, or vegetables. We will individualize them with designs that represent our unique chapters. You will be able to take your planter back to your department and use it as a discussion piece to talk about the environment, energy use, conservation, natural resources, food physics, and your own carbon footprint!

Community Sustainability Workshop

Community Sustainability Workshop


Workshop Lead: Kerry Kidwell-Slak, Assistant Director, Education Programs, National Society of Physics Students

A physics degree is one of the most versatile credentials you can have when entering the job market. In this workshop, we’ll explore the many opportunities that are available to you and how you can make a difference through your career.

Kerry Kidwell-Slak and Donna Hammer

 Sustainable Dessert Workshop


Workshop Lead: Sarah Monk, Associate Zone Councilor, Zone 4, Society of Physics Students

Make sure your SPS chapter is sustainable for years to come by sharing ideas and experiences with other members from around the Zone. In this workshop we will work on realistic goal-setting and implementation ideas to keep your SPS Chapter thriving for years to come.


Workshop Lead: Tori Palmaccio, Brady Easterday (UMD SPS Treasurer)

We will be making dessert for our Farm-to-Table dinner using the apples from a nearby orchard. We will focus on eating in ways that are sustainable for the local environment and planet.

Areas of Alignment: