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About Us

SPS is an organization for students interested in the fields of Physics and Astronomy. Our primary purpose is to promote the appreciation and advancement of Physics and Astronomy in the community, as well as to further educate our members in these fields.

In the past few years, we have undertaken a wide variety of activities intended to help us achieve our goals. A short description of our more recent activities follows:


Field Trips

  • Washington D.C., Spring 1998 - Destinations in the Washington area included the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Advanced Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, we visited The University of Maryland, as well as toured many of the Smithsonian's museums.
  • Houston, TX, Spring 1999 - Instead of a weeklong trip, SPS devoted a weekend to visitng the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
  • Chicago, IL, Spring 2000 - This spring, we visited the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Chicago. Also, we visited the Adler Planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Chicago Museum of Art.
  • Huntsville, Al, Spring 2000 - The weekend followng our Chicago trip, some of our members travelled to Huntsville for the NASA Moonbuggy Challenge. The purpose of this trip was to observe the competition so that we may enter our own moonbuggy in the 2001 competition.
  • San Francisco, CA, Spring 2002 - In SF we visited Stanford, UC Berkley, Lawrence-Livermore National Lab, Lawrence-Berkly National Lab, and Lockheed Martin's Sunnyvale facility.
  • Albequerque, NM, Spring 2004 - Over the spring break SPS visited Albequeque. We saw the University of New Mexico, the Atomic Energy Museum, and several other places of interest including Sandia Peak.
  • San Diego,CA, Spring 2005 - The SPS coordinated a Spring Break visit to San Diego. There the group went various places in the city. Including the beach. And UCSD.
  • Chicago,IL, Spring 2006 - SPS saw Chicago again. We visited the University, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, the local museums, and the Adler Planetarium.
  • Orlando, FL, Spring 2015- SPS went to Orlando. We visited Disney World, the natural science museum, and Kennedy Space Center.


High School Competitions

  • 1998 - Ping Pong Ball Drop - The rules of this competition were that an entrant had to drop a ping pong ball 1 meter in the most time possible, but with the total time under 5 minutes. The students were free to use any means possible, except for mechanical counting devices or clocks, to accomplish this. The only size restriction was that the entire apparatus had to fit in a one cubic meter space.
  • 1999 - Mousetrap Cars - In this competition, the entrants had to build a car that would be propelled by a single moustrap. This provided for some interesting ideas from the students, as there are many different ways to use the mousetrap to provide forward motion. SPS members George Eldredge and Jonathan Hanson provided the SPS "entry", a huge car powered by two large rat-traps.
  • 2000 - Hot Air Balloons - This year's competition had high school students constructing hot air balloons. The balloon had to be heated with a heat gun for one minute, then allowed to rise on its own. The winner would be the balloon that was able to lift the most. Once again, Jonathan Hanson (along with much help) provided an SPS "entry", a remote controlled blimp.
  • 2002 - Trebuchets - The students constructed a trebuchet that fit in a one cubic meter box. They were judged on accuracy, distance thrown, and creativity.
  • 2003 - Rube Goldberg Machines - The high schoolers were instructed to build a device to pop a balloon that involved the most energy changes possible and that fit into one cubic meter. They were judged based on creativity, run time, number of energy changes, and whether they accomplished the task.
  • 2004 - Hot Air Balloons - The students constructed hot air balloons capable of lifting a small payload. Students were judges by time aloft and waight lifted.
  • 2005 - Trebuchets - The students constructed trebuchets, and were judged in categories such as distance, and accuracy.

This is only a listing of some of the activities SPS has been involved in.

The statements and opinions included in The Society of Physics Students' pages are those of The Society of Physics Students only. Any statements and opinions included in these pages are not those of Louisiana State University or the LSU Board of Regents, Supervisors, or any other offical.