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SPS News - Community Building Events with SPS
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SPS News Issue 185: October 13, 2020


SPS Fall Virtual Colloquium Series

SPS National is offering some FUN resources for schools to help build community during these virtual times.

SPS Virtual Colloquium Series: Join SPS for our Fall Virtual Colloquium Series with topics ranging from research, outreach, physics education research and so much more! Past talks are available on our YouTube Channel and can be utilized for chapter meetings or events.

Upcoming talks:

  • Nicole Gugliucci, Ana Morrison, and Nate Letteri, Saint Anselm College, "Radios for Jupiter: Learning to Teach while Building a Radio Telescope", Thursday, October 22 at 3 PM EST. Register here!


  • Mohammad Soltanieh-ha, Boston University, “Data Science Career for Physics Graduates”, Friday, November 13, 2020 at 3 PM ET. Register here!

In addition to our Fall Virtual Colloquium series, join Millikin University and SPS for a live viewing of Mars at Opposition and chat tonight on YouTube:!

  • 3 first grade classes will be doing a live Q and A starting at 6:30 Central.
  • At 8:00 Central, Dr. Robert Arn will be joining to talk about astrophotography (

Pumpkin Carving Competition

Happy October! We hope that you all are having a SPOOKY start to your Halloween season. We are excited to announce that SPS will be holding a pumpkin carving competition for the month of October.

Carve a spooky science pumpkin and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #SPSPumpkinPi. Photos must be submitted by October 19, 2020 to be considered.

The TOP 5 photos with the most number of likes on the @SPSNational Instagram page will win a physics book! Be sure to visit our Instagram page on October 20 when voting opens to check out the competition!


  • One submission per person (account must be public to participate).
  • Must tag your photo with #SPSPumpkinPi .
  • Voting opens October 20 and closes October 30, 2020 at 5 PM EST on the @SPSNational Instagram page.
  • Winners will be determined by total number of likes on their photo on the @SPSNational Instagram page and will be announced October 31, 2020.
  • Contest in no way affiliated with Instagram.

Careers Toolbox

SPS provides free career resources including webinars, advice articles, and resources to help you prepare for interviews and land the job.

The Careers Toolbox is a free online tool that provides self-guided support for undergraduates seeking to enter the workforce. The Careers Toolbox features statistics for physics degree holders, sample resumes, job search information, and more! Download the book for free or purchase a hard copy to be sent you!


Nobel Prize in Physics Winners

Congratulations to Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford, Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany and Andrea Ghez of UCLA (and Sigma Pi Sigma Member) for being awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their work on black holes! Read more about the work that awarded them the prize in Physics Today.


 Upcoming Zone Meetings

Zone meetings bring together students from SPS chapters within geographical zones. They are a fun and effective way for undergraduates to meet other students, present their research, and interact with practicing scientists. Zone meetings in 2020 may look a little different, but they are more convenient to attend and will be just as effective!

Scheduled Zone Meetings:

  • Zone 1: 10/24/2020 (pre-meeting movie night 10/23)
  • Zone 2: Spring 2021
  • Zone 4: 10/24/2020
  • Zone 5: 10/24/2020
  • Zone 7: 10/17/2020
  • Zone 8: 11/07/2020
  • Zone 10: 11/11/2020 and 11/12/2020
  • Zone 11: TBD, likely Spring 2021
  • Zone 13: 11/12/2020 and 11/13/2020
  • Zone 14,15,16: Joint meeting 10/31/2020
  • Zone 17: 11/13/2020
  • Zone 18: Spring 2021

As more zone meetings are scheduled, they will be posted on the SPS website here , as well as on the online calendar . Please contact your ZC and AZC for more information.      

Most graduate programs will require recommendation letters with your application. Make sure you reach out to those you ask for letters well in advance of the deadline (ideally many weeks). You may need to follow up to make sure the letters have been submitted successfully. Check out admissions deadlines and other department information at today!


Upcoming Scientific Meetings - Students Welcome

AVS 67 Virtual Showcase, October 27-29: VIRTUAL

FREE live sessions with invited speakers and award talks. Find meeting information here.     

NSBP Conference, November 5-8: VIRTUAL

Abstract submission open until October 16, 2020. Find registration information here.

AAPT Winter 2021 Meeting, January 9-12: VIRTUAL

Abstract submission extended until October 16, 2020, Find meeting information here .

237 AAS Winter Meeting, January 11-15: VIRTUAL

Register by January 6 to reserve your spot. Find registration information here.


SPS offers Travel Awards of up to $300 to members presenting their research at AIP member society meetings. A limited number of awards will be offered. Apply Today!

SPS offers Reporter Awards for members attending and reporting on professional physics meetings. Recipients are eligible for up to $300 as an individual and $250 per person as a chapter in travel reimbursement. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.    

NEW: SPS National is now also offering Reporter Awards of $75 to cover registration for virtual meetings! Apply Now!

NEW: SPS and ASA chapters are now able to receive up to $500 to invite and host a speaker! Apply Now!


SPS Featured Jobs

Paid Summer Research Opportunity

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