Our SPS chapter does outreach work with the public community and several faculty members in the physics department. Below are some of the faculty and organizations we work with.

Pride in Physics

Dr. Efthimiou

Dr. Efthimiou enlists the help of SPS members to run a series of demonstrations for K-12 students to inspire, teach, and guide young students. There are three main demos, the bed of nails, the bed of glass, and the nail sandwich. All three demos explore pressure and use the fact that Pressure = Force/Area to show students that even seemingly dangerous objects like nails or broken glass can be stepped or laid on without harm. This is meant to showcase the explanatory and predictory power of physics. After demos are done, volunteers are actually allowed to lay on the bed of nails to conquer their fears and realize that there is no magic going on to save the presenters, just physics.
After the presentation, a Q&A session occurs where the audience members including students and teachers can ask Dr. Efthimiou and the physics majors questions regarding the presentation, their college experience, or any advice they would have for younger students. These Q&A sessions often yield very insightful discussions and allow for a figurative passing of the torch between the presenters and the next generation of scientists who have been inspired by the demo.

Students participating in the nail bed demonstration

Events held during the year:

Physics Career Exploration Day is geared toward high school students and college students in their first 2 years. The students are invited to bring one or two parents along with them to this career exploration day.
Activities of the Day include:

  • Speakers from the UCF Physics Department
  • Lunch, partly sponsored by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (techPATH)
  • Tours of UCF facilities
  • Demonstrations (including liquid nitrogen ice cream)
  • Personal discussions with both faculty and students from both departments.

Volunteers of the event help out during the day, but mainly help with the tours. During the tours volunteers either lead or co-lead a group of students to designated locations for demonstrations.

STEM Day at UCF encourages K-12 students to study science and math. In the physics department, there are numerous demonstrations set up to teach several physics topics. Volunteers help out with conducting the demonstrations.