Physics Students Receive National Recognition for Outstanding Outreach Programs

The Rhodes College Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter has received the Marsh W. White Award “to support projects designed to promote interest in physics among students and the general public.” The award, presented by the national office of the Society of Physics Students, is bestowed upon select colleges and universities nationwide for their student-created science outreach program proposals.

The Rhodes chapter of SPS will use the cash prize from the award to bolster its already strong presence at the Spring 2013 Rites to Play carnival. This is the fourth time SPS has received this award in the past six years and represents an ongoing dedication to Rhodes’ commitment to service.

The Society of Physics Students also has been recognized as an outstanding chapter for the 12th consecutive year for its involvement and participation in regional and national SPS programs, outreach to K-12 students and the public, community service and student recruitment. In addition to Rites to Play, SPS performs physics demonstrations for hundreds of Memphis elementary, middle, and high school students throughout the academic year in an effort to promote awareness and interest in physics.

“The physics education outreach programs have been very successful. We’ve gone to schools like Kingsbury, Snowden, Idlewild, Springdale, and Winbridge and work with kids from every grade level,” says Dr. Shubho Banerjee, who teaches the “Memphysics” outreach class at Rhodes. “The students and teachers love the demonstrations and more and more teachers are demanding that Rhodes physics students come to their schools to do these programs.”

SPS also boasts robust and active membership hosting events such as Pumpkin Drop each October, participating in NASA’s “Great Moon Buggy Race” and even going “physics caroling” each December. For 2012, Rhodes joins ranks with other institutions like Cornell University, Virginia Tech, and Morehouse College as being outstanding chapters.

“It’s really cool to see SPS do so many different things so well! I’m really glad I get to be a part of the action!” says sophomore physics major Mark Sellers, the communications officer for SPS.