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Opportunities for involvement in the department, 2015

By Contributing Writer on August 31, 2015

The following are opportunities for student involvement in the Department of Physics and Astronomy during the Fall 2015 semester. While many of these opportunities do cost money, we recommend seeking funding from the following sources:

  1. American Physical Society (APS) and American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) for travel to conferences
  2. APS and AAPT for outreach efforts  (see the APS public grants information and also the Bauder fund of the AAPT)
  3. SGA Budget Allocation Committee for events.
  4. Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research for conference attendance if you are making a presentation (not just observing)
  5. Physics and Astronomy Department for other needs.

Department-related Involvement

Seminar series
Work with Prof. Metzler to invite speakers who will be of particular interest to P&A concentrators. Host speakers for lunch following their presentations, at which you can ask more questions about their presentations or their paths from P&A studies into their current fields.

Work with Prof. Segall to improve our outreach to prospective students. Meet with prospective students and families to answer questions and give tours of the department. Call admitted students in April to answer questions and encourage them to visit. Assist current students’ recruitment efforts by developing presentations they can give when they visit their high schools at home over breaks.

Computer coordinator
Suggest improvements and report problems with computers in student lounge and computer classroom.

Serve as a tutor or peer instructor for the introductory physics courses. Contact the instructors before the beginning of each semester to ask if jobs are available.

Outreach Activities

Outreach to Colgate campus
Run demo days, sponsor egg drop contests, make liquid nitrogen ice cream, and other fun activities that give physics students a chance to get together and also invite their friends.

Outreach to community
Meet with visiting school groups (coordinated by Joe Eakin). Make presentations at local schools. Develop new outreach programs, working with interested faculty.

Outreach to alumni
Increase ties between P&A alumni and the current students. Contact alumni to gather information about careers and experiences since graduation. Ask alumni if they are willing to help current students with job networking. Invite alumni to join a department facebook or linked-in group. Organize outreach events when alumni visit campus for homecoming or other events.

Physics, Engineering and Astronomy Outside of Class

Form a team to propose an experiment for microgravity with the student spaceflight experiments program.

Designing and building projects
Build an LED cube (totally cool — check this out — this would be great for our new display area) or a trebuchet (who knows when you’ll be called upon to defend the castle?), or a ham radio, or whatever else a group of students is interested in designing and building. Work with department technician Shannon Zachow.

Get together a group and go to a local conference! See nyss-aapt.org and www.aps.org/units/nyss (although these don’t yet have new meetings posted) and aps.org/units/nyss/meetings/student.cfm. Go to the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.

Physics Club
Be a part of Colgate’s Physics Club – help with outreach, get together to discuss physics, and hang out with your fellow physicists! (President- Carolyn Morris ’17).

Having Fun!

T-shirt committee
Design and print department t-shirts!

Sports coordinator
Organize intramural teams.

Events coordinator
Organize lunches with faculty, department social hours, campus-wide outreach events such as demo days, viewings and discussions of APS webinars on employment and graduate schools (http://aps.org/careers/guidance/webinars/), town-hall meetings with the department, and any other events you think of.

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