ASU Physics “Road Tour”
The Angelo State University Society of Physics Students’ (SPS) Peer Pressure Team recently completed its ninth annual “Physics Road Tour” after spending six days performing physics demonstrations at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state.
This year’s travel group included 10 ASU students – James Anderson, Clayton Binns, James Bufkin, Jordan Butler, Conner Hoelscher, Chris Madrid, Rich Moore, Walter Reed, Stephen Seibel and Douglas To – and Drs. Juan Blandon and Heather Lehto of the ASU physics and geosciences faculty. The team trekked more than 800 miles through West-Central and East Texas to present its program to more than 3,800 students, teachers, administrators and parents. This year’s tour ran May 12-17 and included visits to schools in the San Angelo, Junction, Kerrville, San Marcos, Bastrop, Cedar Creek and Seabrook school districts.
“Our Road Tour culminated with a visit and VIP tour of NASA Johnson Space Center in Seabrook,” Blandon said. “The tour was arranged by NASA veteran engineer Ann L. Bufkin, whose son is one of our current physics students, for which we are enormously grateful. We would also like to thank Dr. Brian May for his generous monetary support of the SPS Physics Road Tour.”
The Physics Road Tour program is a public service designed by Angelo State SPS members to generate enthusiasm for the study of science and spur interested students toward paths that lead to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The SPS team presents a variety of physics demonstrations focused on educating students about scientific principles, while at the same time generating excitement and providing an informal and entertaining venue for them to enjoy.
Several videos of 2014 Physics Road Tour demonstrations can be found online at www.youtube.com/channel/UCNn9kbBJukC3QswaATDVPtg.
In the spring of 2007, the program received a Marsh White Award from the national SPS and a corresponding grant to help pay for demonstration materials. It also received Blake Lilly Awards from the national SPS in 2007 and 2009 for outstanding physics outreach. Most recently, the program was recognized with a 2010 LaserFest Outreach Award and corresponding $7,500 grant by the American Physical Society. This spring, Angelo State’s SPS chapter was designated an “Outstanding Chapter” by the national SPS for the 12th straight year.