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In the beginning...
Shakeel Dalal
6 Posts

So, I'm the president of the SPS Purdue Chapter. From what I hear, we're one of the largest chapters in the country, with 90 dues paying members this year (50 of them freshmen!), a yearly budget of $24,000 and I have 9 officers that I manage to keep it all functioning smoothly. We have game nights, movie nights, group trips to thrift stores etc once every other week and once a semester we take over the physics building for a night and have our yearly Scavenger Hunt and in the spring the Easter Egg Hunt.

We're spending around $2000 in the next month to build and expand on our outreach offerings which up until now have included Mojo the Couch ( and our trebuchet that has a 750 pound counterweight with a 100 kilovolt singing tesla coil, a thompson coil, a coil gun, a theremin, a reubens tube and probably more random stuff that is going to come out of our workroom in the basement of the physics building. We're also working on a competive demo show with the Purdue American Chemical Society - Student Affiliates to finally answer the chemistry vs physics duel that'll be on display at Purdue's annual Spring Fest, which typically has attendance of around 40,000. Because of the size of our demos, we're going to need to rent a temporary crowd fence to be errected around the staging area to make sure no one gets hurt.

From what I understand, like much of Purdue, we're bigger than your average chapter. But probably, none of you know about this and it'll probably never get any major attention. Why? Because our chapter is very insular. Its not that we're antisocial, we have members that aren't even physics majors (one of them is my Activities Director, in charge of planning all SPS social activities). We just don't interact with nationals very often. We havn't filed a chapter report in who knows how many years and despite everything we do, we havn't won an Outstanding Chapter Award since the '89-'90 school year (probably relating to our inability to file chapter reports).

Is your chapter as insular as ours? What do you do that never gets much attention because you just don't tell anyone?

Replies to In the beginning...

Re: In the beginning... -
1 Posts

yes i am sure your chapter is not the only one, I am the president of sps at TCU, and well we do activites that catter to high school students as well as parties on the physics floor.  

In my opinion I dont think it really matters to be recognized but rather that kids are having fun and learning physics at the same time, if we sent in chapter reports we would be just as likely to recieve an award, but our neglegence to do so probably hurts SPS rather than helps it in the end so maybe Im wrong here.


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