Physicists don't often guarantee a look into the future, but the Society of Physics Students (SPS) seems confident that Adelphi's students will have a place in the field for years to come.
Physicists don’t often guarantee a look into the future, but the Society of Physics Students (SPS) seems confident that Adelphi’s students will have a place in the field for years to come. The University has been selected for the 2018–2019 Future Faces of Physics Award. And on top of that, Adelphi’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma has been named 2017–2018 Outstanding Chapter for its efforts to enrich the SPS community.
The Future Faces Award recognizes the department’s ongoing work with the Westbury School District, an effort that dates back to 2005. Under the program, ninth-graders come to Adelphi to conduct physics experiments alongside Adelphi students. The effort is the brainchild of Sean Bentley, Ph.D., associate professor of physics, and Westbury High School teacher Patty (Mueller) Trongone ’04.
The program, called Lab for Kids, will be held in April at Adelphi’s main campus. Groups of five to eight students will alternate between various experiment stations with volunteers overseeing their efforts. Work stations will include projects with LED circuits and DC motors and experiments engaging them in optics, gravity, angular momentum, electrostatics and sound. Students will also be taken on a tour of the Physics Department labs. During their visit, the students—many of whom come from low-income communities and populations underrepresented in the sciences—will also encounter the department’s diversity, demonstrating to them that anybody can be successful in physics and how higher education in a STEM field can open new opportunities for them.
The program is open to high school students from the local area. Last year, about 30 students attended, a number Dr. Bentley and Trongone expect to match this year. For the high schoolers, the event ignites a love for physics and higher education. But the Adelphi students benefit as well by giving them the chance to learn and practice the valuable skill of making physics understandable to those starting to learn the subject.
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