Programs & Awards  

2004-05 Marsh W. White Awards
Award Info & Previous Recipients | Marsh White Legacy Presentation

University of Louisville

  SPS member Blakesley Burkhart at the Academy for Girls in downtown Louisville.

Catch a Wave, Any Wave

Final Report

We propose to expand upon a component of our previous outreach efforts to help local pre-college students understand the similarities and differences of various wave phenomena. "Catch a wave, any wave" will help visualize similarities between infrared, visible, and sound waves through the use of concave mirrors and refractive media. We will also discuss questions of propagation media and the concept of the ether addressed by Einstein 100 years ago. Through these school visits and a series of public lectures sponsored in conjunction with our Physics Department, we hope to bring the World Year of Physics to life for the members of our community.

Advisor: Dr. David N. Brown

University of California at Santa Barbara

  See more online images here.

Shadow a Mad Scientist

Final Report

Small-scale pilot program inviting 40 students from the local high school to shadow college physics students for a day to expose them to the reality of studying science at a university level, including lab tours, department events, and attending classes. Partially funded through a grant from the Student Initiated Outreach Program at UCSB.

University of Wisconsin, Platteville


"Physics is Phantastic Phunshop" -- A Workshop for Students

Final Report

Every November, the University of Wisconsin Platteville SPS Chapter holds the Physics is Phantastic Phunshop. This is a free workshop held for local area sixth grade students. OUr goal is to help students understand the world around them and how physics applies to everyday life. Most importantly we strive to make this workshop an enjoyable, positive experience for the participants in order to help them develop interests in science, physics, and engineering.

Throughout the day the participants will attend two exciting demonstrations that are thematically connected. The demonstrations cover kinematics, wave mechanics, and electricity by using visual demonstrations with popular apparatus such as the Van de Graaff Generator and the bed of nails. Most importantly, we allow the students to learn about physics by spending part of the day in hands-on workshops.

Advisor: J.J. Wilson

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  Left to right: Mrs. Renee Naphas (SPS Chapter President, Sept. 2003-Jan. 2005), Mr. Paul Cummings (SPS Chapter President, Jan. 2005-date), and Miss Amber O'Dell (SPS Chapter Treasurer, April 2005-date).

The Albert Einstein Science Olympics

Final Report

The Albert Einstein Science Olympics is a community service project intended to develop interest in science in local middle-school students. The project consists of several competitive events related to various fields of science including but not limited to physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and cartography. Teams of students from several local middle schools will compete against each other in all of the events, and the winners will earn prizes.

Advisor: Dr. Phillip Anz-Meador

Eastern Michigan University


Zap It!

Final Report

We propose to collaborate with nearby Estabrook Elementary School through a series of three hands-on activities involving electricity. The three activities will be: building basic circuits, discovering how switches work, and presenting biographical "Who's Who in the History skits will be given to the school for permanent display at the conclusion of the program.

Advisor: Dr. Diane Jacobs

University of Central Florida Chapter

  Left to right: Casey Schwarz, Erin Riley, Jasen Enz, Sohang Ghandi.

Reel Physics

Final Report

We propose an outreach program aimed at exciting high school and middle school students about physics. The program will use clips from popular movies to explain physical concepts and determine the validity of the "science" presented by the entertainment industry. This investigation will be supplemented with demonstrations.

Advisor: Dr. Costas Efthimiou

University of North Alabama


Circus of Little Experiments

Final Report

We will visit fourth-grade classes in local elementary schools, teaching physics experiments using common, safe household items. Afterwards the fourth-graders will not only be able to perform the experiments at home, but they will also be able to teach their parents how to perform them.

Advisor: Dr. Brian Thompson

California State University Sacramento


Bringing Physics to the Homeless and Less Fortunate

Final Report

We request funding to bring physics knowledge and excitement to a local K-12 school called Skylab. This small school targets homeless and formerly homeless and will be engaged in physics demonstrations and activities by the volunteers of the active SPS.

Advisor: Dr. William DeGraffenreid

University of Florida

  Top row (left to right): Douglas Sparks-Propagandist, Christopher Cook-Historian. Middle Row (left to right): Layla Booshehri-President, Dr. Yoonseok Lee-Advisor, Catherine Yeh-Vice President, David Mahfood-Webmaster, Jacob Tosado-Treasurer. Bottom Row (left to right): Simcha Korenblit-Propagandist, Linda Watson-Secretary.

Rockets in honor of Columbia and with hope for Discovery

Final Report

For Discovery, we propose building two model rockets and investigation the physics behind space shuttle launches. We will develop a presentation explaining the history and physics of the space shuttle, emphasizing the launch. Finally, we will take our presentation, with an exciting rocket launch finale, to local schools.

Advisor: Dr. Yoonseok Lee

Austin Peay State University

  From left to right) Front row: Billy Teets, Nathan Campbell; Middle row: Rachel Castleberry, Lori Schultz, Morgan Halfhill, and Anita Le Roy; Back row: Albert Eistein (cardboard stand-in), Michael Gaither, and Dr. Spencer Buckner (Advisor).

Physics in Focus

Final Report

We plan to include liquid nitrogen in our outreach programs Physics in Focus. We believe that the inclusion of liquid nitrogen demos such as superconductor, balloon shrink, liquid nitrogen ice cream, etc., will make our demo shows not only more effective but also more interesting.

Advisor: Dr. Spencer Buckner

Northwest State University

Launch Technology Prior to the Space Age

Final Report

Members of the Northwestern State University chapter of SPS wish to construct a functional trebuchet as a demonstration of an application of physics. This project is intended to supplement current programs aimed at introducing concepts in physics to local elementary and secondary school students.

Advisor: Dr. David Mitchell

California State University, Chico

  Left to right: Joel Amato and Justin Stimatze.

World Year of Physics Oriented Pumpkin-Drop Activity

Final Report

In 2005, the CSU Chico chapter of the Society of Physics Students would like to enhance our annual "Pumpkin Drop" outreach event. We propose the inclusion of "World Year of Physics" content and banners in the public demonstration, as well as the addition of an Einstein character to the scripted performance that will introduce concepts of relativistic gravitation. We believe this will increase local interest in the "World Year of Physics" and will be a tribute to Einstein's "miraculous year."

Advisor: Dr. David Kagan

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