Congratulations to the CSU Sigma Pi Sigma/Society of Physics Students (SPS) outreach team for their program, “Sounds and the Sources Around,” which was selected as a 2016-17 Marsh White Award winner by the American Institute of Physics (AIP). The Marsh White Award supports projects designed to promote interest in physics among students and the general public. AIP will promote the project as an idea builder for other chapters via the SPS website and publications.
The CSU SPS outreach team will use the funds to develop new interactive lessons and physics demonstrations for Campus International School (CIS). Once a month, the team visits the CIS afterschool program for 40-60 children from kindergarten to 8th grade. These Physics Fridays are followed by visits to the 3rd grade classrooms which total about 80 students. Monthly programs culminate in May with a field trip to CSU’s Physics Department for A Day of Physics Sound.
SPS members developed the program to teach children about the relationship between sound and energy while connecting back to the physics and/or mathematics. The team involves children in identifying how and why sounds are produced, and directs them through age-appropriate questions such as why does the house go bump in the night, why do violins only produce certain sounds, and how are sounds stored on physical media and as digital files? By answering the children’s questions, SPS members demonstrate the value of understanding the fields of science.
The program will be led by CSU SPS officers and SPS Outreach Coordinator, Samantha Tietjen. Dr. Kiril Streletzky has served as the Faculty Advisor to the CSU chapter of SPS since 2005. Members of the outreach include about 10 current physics, engineering and mathematics students as well as CSU alumni who provide valuable insight and experience to the current group.
The Marsh White Awards are possible thanks to the generous support of Sigma Pi Sigma members. This award was first given in 1975, and holds a special significance, since is named in honor of one of the most influential founders of Sigma Pi Sigma, Dr. Marsh W. White.