Danger Zone

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Special Feature

Danger Zone

Tornado No Match for SPS Zone 12 Meeting


Karen Williams of East Central University, zone councilor of zone 12

East Central University

A zone meeting can give your chapter a boost of energy like you have never seen. Especially when you have to outrun a tornado to get there, as you may have to in Zone 12.

At last year's spring meeting in Oklahoma, my chapter was heading west, coming up I-35 from Chickasha when I saw a wall cloud. I turned on the radio, which confirmed it. We stopped at a Love's Country Store in McCloud and were told to leave. They were locking up and leaving. So we decided to run back east. Guided by an iPhone weather map, we got far enough away to head north on a flooded road. The tornado hit at the spot where we turned north, behind us. Pittsburg State was coming down I-44 and hit the same tornado and had to miss the Friday afternoon events due to the delay.

In the middle of the storm, we had a great indoor picnic at the University of Central Oklahoma, which was hosting the meeting. Once the weather had passed, we borrowed some rental bikes and took a ride around the lake.

I think what makes a zone meeting successful is students talking with students from other universities and realizing we are all the same and face the same challenges. Some classes are just hard. Every student that has attended a zone meeting has come back enthused and energized about physics. //

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