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March 21, 2013

Society of Physics students awarded

By Christina Sanders

Cleveland State University’s Chapter of the Society of Physics Students was awarded the 2013 Marsh W. White Outreach Award from the American Institute of Physics.
The Chapter was honored with the award for the third year in a row, in recognition of their outreach activities at the Campus International School, an elementary school affiliated with the university.

Recipients of the award are granted funds to help fund their outreach programs for the upcoming academic year.

It is an annual award of up to $300, based strictly on proposals from chapters within the Society of Physics Students. Each chapter is eligible for the award.
Students from the Society of Physics Chapter visit with the Campus International School students one Friday out of the month from January until June.

Members of the organization spend an hour or two teaching the elementary children about physics.

They perform physics tricks and engage the children in different games and experiments in hopes of sparking an early interest in physics or science that would continue into their adult life.

“The students may remember those physics tricks when they grow up in high school and say to themselves ‘I like that’,” said, Kiril Streletzsky, Cleveland State physics professor and advisor of the Society of Physics Students.

Activities that the students involved in the organization engage in with the elementary students also help the students better understand their college coursework.

“I learn more and more every time I teach a lecture, when they’re working with the students and doing the physics tricks they’re learning right along with them,” Streletzsky said.

Streletzsky also has noticed that the students learn about what they enjoy and don’t enjoy by engaging with the children. He feels that it helps them narrow down a career path.

“Because you’re working withkids,” Streletzsky said, “a lot of the students who are physics and engineering majors who have a minor in education, either learn that they enjoy working with children or they do not.”

In addition to the Outreach award, Cleveland State’s SPS chapter was also the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Chapter award.

It is the third consecutive year that the chapter has been honored with the award.

“Less than 10 percent of SPS chapters are honored nationally with this recognition,” Streletzsky said. “This is our third Outstanding Chapter recognition in a row.”
Cleveland State’s chapter has been recognized with this award dating back to the 2010-11 academic year.