Get Ready—The Physics Congress is Coming!

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Get Ready—The Physics Congress is Coming!


Blane Baker and Samantha Pedek, 2022 Physics Congress Co-Chairs

Dear SPS Students and Mentors:

So what is the Physics Congress and why is it important? The Physics Congress (PhysCon) is the largest gathering of undergraduate physics students in the nation. Students from across the US and beyond meet at PhysCon, which takes place every few years, to enjoy outstanding tours, hear from physics luminaries, participate in hands-on workshops, learn about graduate school opportunities, meet potential employers, and make lasting connections with other physics-minded people.

In 2021–22, Sigma Pi Sigma—the physics honor society that resides within SPS—is commemorating its 100th anniversary. This will culminate in a special centennial celebration: The 2022 Physics Congress – 100 Years of Momentum. This event will take place October 6–8, 2022, in Washington, DC, and we want you there! PhysCon is open to all undergraduate students interested in physics and their mentors.

In addition to outstanding tours and workshops, you’ll enjoy talks by world-renowned scientists like Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and former congressman Rush Holt. You’ll have opportunities to present your research, outreach, and science-themed artwork at poster sessions and art exhibits. You’ll also enjoy special events from our local hosts, the George Washington University and University of Maryland - College Park. And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll experience the energy and potential that comes with an auditorium packed full of physics students. You’ll make potentially lifelong friends and connect with people who might someday become your grad school peers, employers, future collaborators, and mentors.

In anticipation of your attendance, we encourage your SPS chapters and departments to begin fundraising efforts now. Many college and university deans and department chairs will support student travel if it’s requested early enough. In addition, many SPS groups raise funds by selling coffee and donuts, doing yard work and other chores for local residents, and accepting donations for tutoring. More fundraising ideas are available on the PhysCon 2022 website. 


BLANE BAKERAs an undergraduate student in the 1980s I made one of the most impactful decisions of my life. At the encouragement of my academic advisor, I joined the Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter at my undergraduate institution, William Jewell College. For nearly 40 years now, I have been an active member of SPS National and my local SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma chapters—as an undergraduate, graduate student, and faculty member.


SAMANTHA PEDEKI joined my local SPS chapter when I was a student at University of Wisconsin - River Falls. I attended my first PhysCon in 2016 and was introduced to all the opportunities that SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma have to offer undergraduate students. I then served as an SPS intern and as the SPS Zone 9 associate zone councilor for the 2017–18 academic year. Even after receiving my bachelors in physics, I have stayed involved with SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma.

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