Augustana Physics Society Earns National Recognition

Augustana chapter earns national Society of Physics Students distinction.

Augustana's Society of Physics Students has earned a Distinguished Chapter designation from the SPS National Council. 

The distinction is based on the chapter's involvement in local, regional and national SPS meetings, events and community outreach. 

"We ... are amazed at how much effort, time and energy that faculty and students all over the country manage," the SPS award letter said. "Congratulations to you and your chapter for your hard work!"

Over the last year, Augustana's SPS chapter took outreach to a new level beginning with an idea to engage middle school students in computer programming through projects involving robots and drones. 

From there, Augustana's Dr. Drew Alton, associate professor of physics, in partnership with Nancy Weidenbach, Julie Alton, and Leah Howes from Harrisburg North Middle School, earned a grant from the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium to provide resources and support for Harrisburg North Middle School teachers to develop a curriculum around the idea. Last fall, the project took flight, resulting in local eighth graders earning invaluable hands-on experience.   

About the Society of Physics Students

The mission of SPS is to advance and diffuse knowledge of physics, encourage interest in physics throughout the academic and local communities, and introduce students to the professional community. The national SPS organization provides scholarships, research and travel grants, and outreach awards for both individuals and chapters. SPS awards are generously funded by donations from Sigma Pi Sigma members, and friends and alumni of SPS.

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Media Relations