Marie Sykes (email@example.com)
Whether they’re hosting star parties, launching items from a trebuchet, or hosting study sessions in Pfahler, the Society of Physics Students (SPS) is making its comeback this year with one goal in mind: forming a community on campus around physics. Members, along with SPS President Liam Powers ’23, have big goals for this year.
SPS has certainly wasted no time in planning events this semester, whether it is the upperrclassmen’s Physics Q&A for underclassmen and prospective majors or the weekly study sessions meant to bring together the community. One series of events just on the horizon (or above it): star parties. Over the summer, Brian Barker d’22 renovated the Marsteller Observatory. SPS plans on taking full advantage of the space by opening it up with events dedicated to observing the stars.
Students are looking forward to activities, star parties and trebuchet launches, David Vasquez ‘23 tells us. Tyler Ways ‘24 can’t wait to learn “how to calculate how much torque I need to apply to a fake hand to get it to cook a chicken.” Sam Grubbs ’24 says the best part of physics is the “satisfaction you get when finally solving a really tough problem. It’s super cool to realize you have the power to predict really intricate things about the universe.”
Physics can be an intimidating field to enter, but SPS is seeking to make it accessible both to people who may want to major and those who want to learn in general by creating a close-knit community and hosting events. Alan Okinaka ’24 says what made physics easier for him, ironically, is “getting used to not knowing anything” — now his curiosity drives him to learn more and more about physics. Powers added that “it’s the only way you find the path forward.” Bella Orsini ‘23 advises that “there really is something different for everyone” and “be confident in yourself,and not doubt the capabilities of your intelligence.” Physics is often seen to be much more intimidating from the outside than it truly is, which is why the club tries to make their events accessible to anyone. Powers wants to encourage everyone, “regardless of their involvement in physics [and STEM],” to come to their events. Each event is designed for anyone to enjoy and learn how the physics behind it applies. “Anyone can look through a telescope,” he says, “but when we look at it through the lens of physics… it adds a nice little perspective to the everyday.”
Like many other clubs on campus, SPS took a break during COVID but is excited to return to campus as an active club this year. “Physics is not something you’re supposed to do alone,” Powers added. He also wishes to work together with the math and computer science students as they along with physics are “to use an overused analogy, three parts of the same whole,” he concluded. Physics is meant to be a community, and SPS is fighting to make that a reality at Ursinus. If you want to learn more about the Physics department or get involved with SPS, follow SPS’ instagram @UC.SPS or Liam Powers firstname.lastname@example.org.