The Society of Physics Students (SPS) at Minnesota State University Moorhead is hosting the SPS Zone 11 meet-up over this weekend, March 1-2. The MSUM SPS chapter belongs to Zone 11, which encompasses 5 states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The last zone meet-up was held at UW-River Falls on Oct. 29-30, 2010.

The meeting will start on Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Science Lab 104. David Weinrich, the former President of the International Planetarium Society and the present Director of the MSUM Planetarium will give the opening talk on The Modern Planetarium- a digital, immersive, data visualization experience at 7 p.m. in Science Lab 104. This talk is free and open to public. Later in the evening, the meeting attendees will have an opportunity to see Galileo, a full dome movie, at the planetarium. Regular viewers are also welcome to attend the movie show, but tickets are limited. On Saturday, several posters and oral presentations are scheduled (from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) at the Science Lab atrium. Anyone is welcome to attend those sessions. The meet-up will end at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 with the closing talk by Dr. Matthew Craig, Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy at MSUM. The MSUM chapter members are excited to meet with new students and expand their horizons this meet-up.

The MSUM SPS chapter has been very active for the past two and a half years. Last fall, the MSUM chapter sent two students (Pragalv Karki and Andrew Larson) to attend the Quadrennial Physics Congress in Orlando, Florida, at which Karki presented his senior year project on Helmholtz coil. The SPS chapter teamed-up with the MSUM Planetarium last October and celebrated Halloween with a public outreach night named The Scary Sky Show and Spooky Science Night on October 27th. The chapter sponsored the MSUM University Physics Competition team (Meredith Mc Linn, Pragalv Karki and Shouvik Bhattacharya) in mid-November. The chapter also presented their Second Annual Physics Demo Show this past February (February 17, 2013).

The Society of Physics Students is a sister organization of American Institute of Physics. The mission statement of the Society of Physics Students reads as follow: “The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The only requirement for membership is that you be interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.”