Programs & Awards  
2009 Blake Lilly Prize Recipients
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Recognizing SPS chapters and individuals who make a genuine effort to positively influence the attitudes of school children and the general public about physics. Established by the parents of the late Blake Lilly and given in his memory.

Previous Recipients & Award Information

  Students enjoy the grain elevator explosion at Santa Rita Family Science night.
Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX

Outreach has played an important role in the lives of many physics students at Angelo State University. The last four years, Angelo State SPS chapter's Peer Pressure Team has taken physics on the road in a unique week-long adventure in hopes of inspiring students and teachers alike. We have invited those we have come across to join with us for an hour or so in diving headfirst into science and all its mysteries, mysteries we try to reveal in our interactive demonstrations. The response we have seen is overwhelmingly positive which means that we will continue to make outreach a major priority in our chapter.

Brigham Young University - Idaho, Rexburg, ID

This year's outreach program has been an exhilarating learning experience for all that have been involved. We have developed and presented two shows this year, "What Not To Do With Your Mother's Microwave" and "Thrilling Thermodynamics and Eye-Popping Pressure." The Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYUI) SPS chapter has reached audiences from kindergarten to adult community members. We have hosted events on campus for the University and the community, traveled to elementary and secondary schools, and visited local Cub Scout and church youth groups. Our audience has been wide and diversified. We have also presented on our outreach programs and activities at the American Association of Physics Teachers National Winter Meeting in Chicago, IL, and the BYUI Undergraduate Research Conference.

  Juniata College's annual Mall Physics event coincided with mall visits by Curious George, the Easter Bunny, and McGruff – the crime dog (“Rrrrr…take a bite outta crime!”). Above, McGruff has an ear-raising experience an a Van de Graaff generator.
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Juniata College highlighted three outreach events as their submission for a Blake Lilly Prize: Mall Physics, After School Science programs, and Physics Phun Night.

Mall Physics: For this event we travel to a local mall on a Saturday and conduct interactive physics demonstrations, with liquid nitrogen (LN2) as the central focus.  This year we did this as part of a larger mall-sponsored event, Kid’s Fun Fair. 
After School Science: Our College is located in a rural area, and many community events are organized by volunteers who serve as pillars of the community.  They organize after school activities for kids, and asked us to come and present physics demonstrations for these youths. ... This event reached about 30 children, aged 6-16.
Physics Phun Night: This is an event we conduct annually for the college and community which involves the entire chapter, about 30 members, and our advisor Dr. Borgardt. Some of the demonstrations we did included a 55-gallon barrel crush, methane bubbles, Jacob’s Ladder, ping pong cannon, and the infamous bed of nails (with the football team’s strength conditioning coach as this year’s victim – a draw that brought in the entire football team!), among many others.

  Rob Anthony (far right) invites more of Mr. Greschuk's students to experience the illusion.
Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
Photo Album

Over the past three years, our SPS chapter has been very active in the K-12 system in the greater Columbus, Ohio area. Each spring, we have traveled to a public school in the area have performed interactive classroom demonstrations as part of an event that we like to call the "Ph3) (Physics, Phood, and Phun) Demonstration Day." The impetus for these events has been the desire of our chapter to share the "phun" and enthusiasm that we have for physics with a younger, impressionable audience. These events have also been funded completely by the Marsh White Awards from the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years, and are documented on the OWS web page.

  Michaela Kandel (left) of Walnut Creek watches the methane gas in soap bubbles in her hands ignite as her friend Madeline Kauffman, also of Walnut Creek, looks on. Helping is Roger Klein and Chris Nau, both biochemistry majors at The College of Wooster. Photo By Joel Troyer
The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH
Read Science Day article in The Daily Record

"I want to be an astrophysicist!" exclaimed a seven-year old girl talking to one of our graduate-school-bound physics club members at this spring's first annual Community Science Day. "It's magic!" said a fourth-grade boy in response to a bike wheel gyroscope during an outreach excursion. The overwhelming positive feedback that the Physics Club receives provides the continual drive for our members to keep expanding and improving upon the current forms of outreach. Our goal is to share the joy of scientific inquiry with those on campus and in the surrounding community.

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