Start with a BANG!

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Start with a BANG!

Ideas for Making the Most out of SPS

SPS Meetings

•Skype with the SPS National Office (see page 15 for details).
•Feature student speakers, for example, those practicing their talks before going to zone meetings, or those who recently completed a summer research project. Make a schedule for the semester and post abstracts in advance, but also be flexible as new opportunities arise.
•Take on a physics research project as a chapter. Give updates at meetings throughout the semester.
•Eat lunch together while a speaker describes a project or recent trip to a conference.
•Discuss resume writing, job interviewing, and the job market. Invite someone from the career services office on campus to come for a discussion about physics-related career options.
•Discuss a recent physics discovery or journal article, or current issues related to physics.
•Invite the department chairperson and have an informal discussion about what the department is doing and what goals the department has for recruitment and retention.
•Invite recent alumni to talk about their graduate school or employment experiences.

Outreach Activities

•Take the activities from an SPS Science Outreach Catalyst Kit (SOCK) into local classrooms.
•Participate in a science festival or host a science café.
•Hold a pumpkin launch, egg launch, or rocket launch contest for area children or community groups.
•Hold a demo show at a local school or community center, or hold one on campus and invite local groups. (Be sure to practice first!)
•Arrange for public viewing of astronomical objects through the department’s telescopes.
•Work with other campus departments to arrange for tours of your campus laboratories for high school students.
•Hold “haunted” lab tours around Halloween.
•Volunteer to judge science fairs in your local schools.

Photo courtesy of the Galileoscope Task Group.

Social Activities

•Hold a student–faculty picnic at the beginning of the academic year, and another at the end of the year. Be sure to include an icebreaker-type game to get faculty and students talking to and interacting with each other!
•Go on a chapter camping trip, hike, or other outdoor bonding event.
•Have parties at holiday times (don’t forget Pi Day!).
•After a big exam, have a “decompression party” at a faculty member’s house.
•Host a cheesy science movie night and serve liquid nitrogen ice cream.
•Challenge other groups on campus to bowling, ultimate Frisbee, or trivia games.
•Build a float for the homecoming parade.

Photo by Kristi McMurray.

Service to the Physics Department

•Conduct problem-solving sessions or tutoring sessions for students in introductory physics courses.
•Prepare bulletin boards and window displays for your department, illustrating physical phenomena, historical personalities, the influence of physics in society, or the department’s programs and personnel.
•Host or attend an SPS zone meeting.
•Publish a departmental newsletter for alumni, prospective students, donors, university administrators, students, colleagues, and other friends of the department.
•Help organize physics department colloquia.
•Collect information about graduate schools and summer research opportunities (your department receives stacks of this stuff in the mail), and then organize and post this on bulletin boards in your department.
•Help organize a Sigma Pi Sigma induction ceremony.

Photo courtesy of AIP.

Recruiting Members

•Place prospective majors on your e-mail list during new
student recruitment.
•Participate in freshman orientation and other programs that acquaint students with campus organizations.
•Visit introductory physics classes and invite the students to SPS events.
•Invite interested freshmen to all SPS activities.
•Encourage nonphysics majors with an interest in physics to join SPS.
•If your department has them, invite graduate students to SPS functions. //

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