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Physics Students Receive National Recognition For Community Outreach

The TLU chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. This is the seventh consecutive year the chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization, a designation given to fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally.

SPS is a professional association designed for students and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies. TLU SPS is led by Physics Department Chair Dr. Toni Sauncy and student officers:

  • Alexander Pantoja (Seguin) President
  • Caleb Robinson (Katy) Vice President
  • Sophia Sauceda (Seguin) Secretary & ACE Liaison
  • Addison Hild (Seguin) Treasurer
  • Max Schaar (San Antonio) Fundraising & Outreach Chair

A primary focus for TLU SPS is community outreach, including their annual Family Physics Night, and access to STEM education. In 2022, the chapter will team up with Seguin Independent School District in a unique program called After School Centers on Education (ACE) where students will interact with underrepresented populations, primarily from the Latinx community.

TLU SPS members will spend their time mentoring elementary school children and presenting exciting labs to the ACE students during our monthly programs. The goal of the program is to introduce elementary and middle school students to physics ideas that they may not encounter in their regular curriculum, and to reenforce concepts through fun activities. A secondary goal is to build relationships between the SPS members and the ACE students through regular meetings and authentic mentoring. Ultimately, the group hopes to get younger students interested in learning physics through lab-related activities and encouragement from SPS volunteers.

More About SPS

SPS is a chapter-based society that exists to help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community. Traditional coursework develops only one range of skills. Other skills needed to flourish professionally include effective communication and personal interactions, leadership experience, establishing a personal network of contacts, presenting scholarly work in professional meetings and journals, research experiences, and outreach services to the campus and local communities. Through its members, advisers, chapters, and leadership, SPS enables national initiatives and local impacts within the community. SPS supports students, advisers, and departments to improve the overall community.