Students from all majors invited
to gravitate toward physics club
Hydrogen bonds aren’t the only connections discussed by the Texas State Society of Physics Students. The club is making a new push to include students from all majors on campus.
“Having an interest in physics and being a Texas State student are the only requirements for membership,” says Madelyn Carr, the SPS treasurer and a senior majoring in chemistry and physics.
Designed as a national professional organization for students, SPS seeks to include students of all disciplines, not just physics majors. In order to draw more students into the group, Texas State’s SPS officers have recently launched a new Facebook page to provide interesting information about physics to a wider audience.
“We just want people to like the page,” says Carr. “I will be putting up articles and cool science- and physics-related links from time to time. Of course, we will also put up notice of meetings and events for people who want to get involved.”
Carr, who plans to focus on a career in scientific research, says the group offers great community without requiring a big time commitment. “I haven’t been involved with the group very long, but so far I am just enjoying sharing ideas with other students who are fascinated by physics,” she says.
She goes on to explain why she values belonging to such a peer group: “Involvement with this group is a great way to get experience collaborating with other like-minded people. Science is a largely collaborative field, and people interested in related careers will find that sharing ideas and collaborating with other scientists is crucial to the advancement of the field. Not only does involvement with a society look good on your résumé, but it opens up new ideas and opportunities that you wouldn’t find on your own.”
In addition to providing opportunities for discussion and food for thought, SPS coordinates a number of events that allow students to gain hands-on experience in physics and physics-related professions.
In September, several SPS members attended a series of physics lectures at Texas A&M University in Commerce. Carr says the group is investigating the possibility of hosting physics lectures on campus. “Currently, we are working on a proposal for entry into a reduced-gravity experiment competition with NASA,” she adds.
SPS also organizes an annual summer Physics Camp, offered free to San Marcos elementary-school students, for which the group received a 2011 Marsh W. White Outreach Award. The goal of the camp is “to provide fun and informative physics demonstrations for the purpose of getting the kids excited about physics and science in general,” Carr says.
With that comparison in mind, SPS serves a similar purpose for Texas State students: to get them excited about sharing ideas and exploring opportunities in the field of physics.
“Anyone who has an interest in the field and who wants to meet other students with similar interests could benefit by passing around ideas,” Carr says. “Also, anyone who is considering majoring in physics but wants to know more about the department could definitely benefit by coming to a meeting and asking questions.”
In addition to Carr, SPS officers for the 2011-12 school year include president Tommy Charles, vice president Cathy Schiber, secretary Kevin Kendall and webmaster Rudy Holz. The club’s faculty advisor is Dr. David Donnelly, chair of the Department of Physics.
The group plans to create a TRACS page. Those interested in being added to the TRACS page when it is complete should e-mail Carr at email@example.com.
The next SPS meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m. in the Roy F. Mitte Building (the Engineering Building), Room 4202. Announcements about future meeting times will be made through the SPS Facebook page.