Davidson College SPS Chapter: 2010-2011 Activities

SPS Officers for 2010-2011 Academic Year

Ryan Crum (President), Mark Crowley (Vice President), Dan Hampton (Treasurer), and Melissa Guzman (Secretary).

SPS Events from the 2010-2011 Academic Year

September 2: "What I did on My Summer Vacation Seminars.  Summer research talks by Davidson undergraduates: Leah Ruckle, Ryan Crum, and Mark Crowley.

September 9: "What I did on My Summer Vacation Seminars.  Summer research talks by Davidson undergraduates: Wade Morgan, Melissa Guzman, and Lindsey Martin.

September 9: Pizza Party Informational and Planning Session.

September 23: Observing at the Lake Campus.  Despite a bad night of seeing, clouds, and a full Moon, we were still able to see Jupiter, three of its moons, Uranus, Moon, and M37, the Ring Nebula.

October 1: Created SPS Chapter Web page.

October 22: Hosting Zone 5 SPS Meeting.  Over 15 students from around NC attended this meeting which was held in conjunction with the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers.  Events included: a screening of Star Wars Uncut, an SPS student research poster session, talks by Roger Hunter of NASA and Edward Prather of the University of Arizona, and a Saturday Afternoon Zone Business Meeting led by Davidson Chapter President Ryan Crum and Assistant Director of SPS Dr. Thomas Olsen,  followed by a lively video conference with Dr. David Saltzberg, of UCLA, and Science Advisor to the TV show, "The Big Bang Theory."  The full schedule can be found here.

November 1: Stargazing on Chambers Lawn for Davidson College's Environmental Action Committee (EAC) program called: "Do It In The Dark."  We had over 40 students attend the 2-hour event in which we used three telescopes, one of which was set up to be similar to Galileo's telescope.  We observed Jupiter and 4 of its moons, Uranus, the Ring (M57) and Dumbbell (M27) nebulae, the Andromeda galaxy (M31) and its companion (M32), and the Pleiades (M45).

November 9: SPS Meeting to discuss Marsh White Award proposal. Proposal submitted: Nov. 15.

November 17: Dr. G. organized SPS attending the opening night of Davidson College Theatre Department's production of Bertolt Brecht's Galileo, a play inspired by the life and scientific accompilshments of Galileo Galilei.

December 6: Stargazing on Chambers Lawn for Cub Scout Pack 58, Den 4's "Astronomy Belt Loop." We had over 30 scouts and parents attend the 90-minute event in which we used three telescopes, one of which was set up to be similar to Galileo's telescope.    We observed Jupiter and its moons, the globular cluster M2, the Andromeda galaxy (M31) and its companion (M32), and the Pleiades (M45).

January 10: Ryan Crum and Mark Crowley presented their summer research with Dr. Tim Gfroerer at an SPS-sponsored session at the Winter 2011 AAPT Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. All three also attended the SPS Awards Session and helped SPS Director Dr. Gary White "play with Spandex."

January 18: Welcome Back SPS Meeting at 7pm in the seminar room in Dana.  Our meeting will discuss our various outreach programs this semester, where we are as a student organization, and hopefully plan a fun SPS trip or two.  

January 22: Constellation Ray Tracing at the Davidson Farmer's Market, Davidson Lands Conservancy World of Wonder Event.  

February15: SPS Meeting at 7pm in the seminar room in Dana.  Our meeting will discuss our various outreach programs and our new status as an official club at Davidson College.  

March 10: Stargazing on Chambers Lawn for Davidson Elementary School 3rd grade classes.  We had a two-hour event in which we used four telescopes, one of which was set up to be similar to Galileo's telescope.    We observed the Moon, the Pleiades (M45), the Orion nebula (M42), and several other star clusters.

March 25: Stargazing at Fisher Farms as part of the Davidson Lands Conservancy World of Wonder Event.  We set up 5 telescopes, one of which will be set up to be similar to Galileo's telescope.  Due to the cloudy weather we were only able to observe the Great Orion nebula (M42 and 43), the Pleiades (M45), and several other star clusters and galaxies. Met at 7:15 pm at Fisher Farms and the event started at 8:00 pm.

March 30: Chapter Meeting with Pizza. Evan Welchman was elected President.  Leah Ruckle was elected Vice President.  Anna Smith was elected Treasurer.  Matt Dix was elected Secretary.  We also voted in the National SPS election.

April 1: Leah Ruckle is running for Associate Zone Councilor.

April 29: Stargazing on Chambers Lawn for Davidson Elementary School 2nd grade classes.  We had a one-hour event in which we used four telescopes, one of which was set up to be similar to Galileo's telescope.    We observed Saturn and its moon Titan, and the globular cluster M3.

May 3: Research Talks and Annual Physics Picnic.  Dan Hampton and Ree Lightsey will be presenting the results of their spring semester research.  Following the talks we will head to Dr. Christian's farm for the Annual Physics Picnic.