The Elon Society of Physics Students (SPS) has been nationally recognized for several years by SPS National as a Distinguished University Chapter. SPS welcomes all students, not just physicists, to particpate in weekly meetings where students conduct fun experiments for prizes, host BBQs, and invite guest speakers. Each year, SPS starts off the semester with an Annual Egg Drop Competition, where teams have 30 minutes to construct a parachute device that will safely land an egg after being dropped from the top floor of the science building. Teams are judged by the size and weight of their device, the accuracy and time of landing, and the survival of the egg, to win a grand prize.
SPS also hosts events with science oriented crafts, such as a pumpkin carving competition for Halloween or organizing space week activites for famous convocation speaker Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Other crafts have included building a magnetic levitation rail, creating non-Newtonian fluids, and constructing model rockets. We attract a number of interesting speakers throughout the year to join us for pizza during their presentation. A few of the more recent talks have been about astropoetry, life in the universe, cancer treatments, detecting explosives at airport security, and extrasolar planets. For the physics majors in the group, the biannual regional SPS meeting provides the ideal venue to present their latest projects and interact with other majors in the area from different institutions. Elon also occasionally hosts this meeting so that students can tailor the activities to what will benefit them the most.
Our group often invites Elon alumni back to campus to meet with students about life after graduation and the chat about the skills they found most useful in the job market. SPS has hosted "geek" trivia at a local coffee shop where teams compete in a variety of categories to win science themed prizes. In these larger types of activities, SPS often coordinates with other Elon student organizations such as chemistry, biology, environmental science, and computer science clubs. Each year, our SPS executive board ushers in next year's board members by participating in the Elon Ropes Course. This consists of a series of team building challenges that cause the group to work together to overcome difficult obstacles.