1) The science olympiad is this saturday. If anyone is interested please contact Dr. Gelderman ASAP at richard [dot] gelderman [at] WKU [dot] edu. We are still in need of assistance for some of the classes, so if you are free please come help out.

2) Ballots are open for the SPS officer election. Please stop by the SPS sometime this week to cast your votes.

3) The SPS Banquet is scheduled for Friday May 9 at 6:00 pm and it will be at Cambridge Market.

4) The SPS will be conducting and outreach program at Lincoln Elementary School. Anyone interested in assisting at Lincoln Elementary should contact Dr. Gibson or one of the SPS officers ASAP.

5) The SPS is considering converting the Randall Harper Award for research in physics and astronomy to an academic scholarship for students that are Physics majors. Scholarship would be $1,000/yr. We will inform all students once we have finalized the conversion so they may begin applying for the scholarship.

April 9, 2014 Posted Under: Minutes   Read More

Outreach at Lincoln Elementary

My neighbor is a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Franklin, KY. Last year two SPS members visited her school to talk about physics to a very enthusiastic group of 3rd and 4th grade students. She is asking if a return visit is possible this spring. They are having break next week (March 31 – Apr 4), but any day afterward is fine. Preferred times for the visit are 1:00-2:45pm any day, but times are more flexible on Fridays. This is an excellent activity for the club, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s a good resume-builder to boot. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested and available, or if you have any questions.

UPDATE: Good visit times have been refined to 1:15-1:55pm on Mon, Tue, Wed, or Thu, or 3:15-4:30 on Mon, Tue, or Thu. Available dates are April 7-10, 14-17, 28-30, May 1, and May 5-8.

Steven Gibson

March 26, 2014 Posted Under: Announcement   Read More


1) We will be holding officer elections soon. Please cast your votes in the SPS room. Please nominate yourself or someone you would like to see as an officer for each officer position. The positions are president elect, Treasurer, and Secretary.

2) The SPS spring picnic is April 5 at Covington Woods park starting at noon. A signup sheet will be available in the physics and astronomy Department office.

3) Any physics or astronomy students doing research should submit an application for the Harper Award.

4) We are planing a Physics Fun Night in the next few weeks. This will be either a game night or movie night, and if anyone has any suggestion

5) This years SPS banquet will be at Cambridge Market at 6:00pm.

March 26, 2014 Posted Under: Minutes   Read More

Zone 8 Meeting

The WKU SPS chapter has not attended an SPS Zone meeting recently, but we have a nearby opportunity next month that sounds very attractive.  The SPS at UT-Knoxville is hosting the Spring Zone 8 meeting on April 11-13.  Planned activities include:

  • talks by UT scientists
  • a Zone-wide Sigma Pi Sigma induction
  • a talk by Daniel Golembek from SPS National, and formerly the Space Telescope Science Institute
  • a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Our own Dr. Edward Kintzel is planning to be at Oak Ridge at this time and has offered to take some students to the meeting.  For more details on the program, see sps.phys.utk.edu.  Please contact Dr. Kintzel if you wish to coordinate travel with him.

March 17, 2014 Posted Under: Announcement   Read More

Apply for the 2014 Randal Harper Research Award

The WKU Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to announce the Randall Harper Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate students who have been involved in research projects, either on the WKU campus or through summer research experiences elsewhere, may apply for this award. Successful applicants will receive a certificate and $100 at the annual University Awards Ceremony.

The deadline for the 2014 competition is Monday, March 31, 2014 at noon. For further information please read the Award Announcement. To apply please download and complete the online application form using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PC) or Preview (Mac).

March 7, 2014 Posted Under: Announcement, Research   Read More


Initial semester meeting.

  • Discussions included an introduction of the current officers and the announcement of Stacy Hicks running for the office of president elect. Anyone interested in the spring break trip needs to let us know by our next club meeting.
  • We would also like to know if anyone is interested in devoting time to elementary, middle, and high school out reach.
  • We are going to be taking an email survey to see how everyone feels about having bi monthly meetings instead of just one meeting a month. When you receive the email please select an option and submit it as soon as you can.
  • The Physics Olympics is Saturday the 22nd of February. We need student volunteers to assist with the event. Anyone interested in helping out with the physics olympics please contact Dr. Gelderman in the Physics Department at richard.gelderman at wku.edu.
  • The engineering club will be playing paintball on March 1st. Anyone interested in spending a Saturday being tagged with paintballs should contact Tim Bucklew at timothy.bucklew122 at topper.wku.edu.
January 29, 2014 Posted Under: Minutes   Read More


Officers meeting:

SPS meetings for this semester will be held on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 3:00 pm. This is with a few exceptions. February’s meetings will be switched the second and forth Wednesday of the month, and the March 5th meeting will be at 2:00 pm instead of the usual 3:00 pm meeting.

We have discussed taking a spring break trip with the chemistry club this semester. Possible options for the trip maybe Fermi, Oak Ridge, and Huntsville. Any suggestions for the trip will be considered, so please let us know.  Email the secretary of the SPS Josh Williams joshua.williams209@topper.wku.edu

We will also be holding elections for the position of president elect.  Stacy Hicks is running for president elect, there will be a space for write ins if anyone else wants to run.

We also have again discussed doing outreach to the local elementary, middle, and high schools. Anyone that wishes to help may contact any of the SPS officers.

We will be having a spring picnic this semester on April 5th. (location and time still pending)

The SPS banquet will be held May 9th at Cambridge Market.

Physics Fun Night:

We will be having physics fun nights again this semester, so stay tuned for info on when they will be held.

We have discussed having bi monthly SPS meeting this semester and will definitely be having 2 meetings in February.

January 25, 2014 Posted Under: Minutes   Read More


This month’s SPS meeting consisted of discussions regarding a thanksgiving potluck, a reexamination of the possibility of having a new SPS shirt designed, whether or not we will have a December meeting, the possibility of public outreach, registrations for the University Physics Competition, as well as reminders regarding The SESAPS conference and this years Christmas dinner.

  1. The potluck for Thanksgiving will be a small gathering after classes. The event will be held at 2:00 pm 11/26/2013.
  1. We really need to make a decision soon regarding the t-shirt design.
  1. We will not be having an SPS meeting in December due to the increase in student workload leading into finals.
  1. We have decided to address public outreach in January.
  1. The University physics competition starts on the 15th. If you are interested you need to sign up ASAP. The competition will consist of 3 person teams. For more information on registrations visit http://uphysicsc.com
  1. Don’t forget about the Christmas dinner 12/11/ 2013 at 2:00pm.
  1. SESAP on 11/23/2013
November 11, 2013 Posted Under: Minutes   Read More


At this months SPS meeting, we re-examined the possibility of a field trip, club outreach, and a new club t-shirt design. We also set the date for the SPS picnic and the next physics fun night.

Field Trip:
During the meeting, a field trip to Oak Ridge was proposed. This trip would include the accompaniment of the WKU Chemistry Club. There has been no date set at this time.

Club Outreach:
We again discussed the possible interest in a public outreach to high schools, middle schools, and elementary school. We are encouraging all club members who may have ties to any of the public schools to open up a dialog between the schools and the club.

New T-shirts:
A new t-shirt design was proposed at this months meeting. It was suggested we design a shirt displaying an image with the caption “Teach Me How To, Dougie”.

SPS Picnic:
A date has been set for this semester’s SPS picnic. The picnic will be held on October 12 and will be at Lampkin Park. The picnic will begin at 10:00am and will wrap up around 2:00pm.

Physics Fun Night:
This month’s physics fun night will be a night of games. We have had suggestions for board games as well as video games. The game night will be on September 28, and we will again be meeting in the SPS room at 6:37pm.

The next SPS meeting is scheduled for October 7 and will begin at 5:15pm. This is 15 minutes earlier then the previous meetings but will allow others to be there that otherwise could not.

September 17, 2013 Posted Under: Minutes   Read More

Duke Medical Physics Open House

Duke University’s Medical Physics Graduate Program has announced its annual open house for prospective graduate students. Interested individuals are invited to visit Duke University, tour labs, and interact with faculty and students. This event provides an opportunity for prospective applicants to learn about careers in medical physics and about the graduate training program. Duke offers both MS and PhD degrees to prepare students for a variety of career paths, including research, clinical work, government service, and industry.  This year’s open house will be on Friday, October 18, 2013. For more information, including how to register, please see http://www.medicalphysics.duke.edu/opene/.

September 17, 2013 Posted Under: Announcement   Read More