Physics Club Activities

The CCNY Physics Club received the Society of Physics Students (SPS) award and title of Outstanding Chapter.  This recognition comes from the following club activities.

Our chapter’s dedication to physics outreach is a growing tradition with each year aiming to be better than the last. This year our chapter set out to have more long-term impacts, engaging underprivileged 8th graders in math and science tutoring sessions. This was in addition to our usual outreach, where we host various Harlem youth organizations and engage them in hands-on physics demonstrations. The goal of our work is to inspire and nurture young minds, while inherently providing an opportunity for our members to strengthen their expertise in teaching and science popularization.

Latest Developments: Tutoring and Mentoring with 8th graders

Text Box: Figure 1 Undergraduate physics students Lisa Chan (front) and Peter Panagiotis (back right) with Physics PhD student Veeshan Narinesingh tutoring Algebra at our June 2018 tutor-mentoring session

Many of our members have been actively participating in several small group and 1-on-1 tutoring sessions with 8th graders from Hamilton Grange Middle School (HGMS). Tutoring sessions focus on preparation for New York State’s standardized testing in Living Environment and Algebra 1. Time is then set aside at the end, where the books are put away and the tutoring session evolves into a mentoring one. In mathematics especially, a deep understanding and expertise is certainly useful to any future physicist, or anyone interested in doing anything related to physics. The physics part, then comes in directly through our chapter’s demonstration sessions.

 

 

Text Box: Figure 2 Group photo from February 2018 tutor-mentoring session

 

Latest Developments: Physics Outreach Events

Text Box: Figure 3 Senior Shaquille Williams explains a standing wave demonstration to High Schoolers from the Bridge Golf Foundation

At our demonstration sessions, youth organizations are invited to our campus where our own students present hands-on physics demonstrations. In recent years we have amassed substantial experience and optimized our approach to these outreach presentations, which involve around twenty visiting students. From superconducting trains, to bicycle wheels and angular momentum, our demonstrations include a broad set of physical phenomena. This year, we have also partnered with other campus organizations such as NOAA-CREST, CUNY MRS, CCNY SASE to bring physics to their outreach events. This year alone our physics demonstrations have reached over 150 K-12 students from underrepresented, underserved communities. Our guests are shown how science is both a tool educationally and culturally, and that it can be used to advance society in many beneficial ways.

Closing Remarks and Supplementary Information

Together, our joint passion for physics is manifested through our chapter’s outreach activities. Our work delivers knowledge to an underserved, underrepresented community with the intention of making a difference. Our tutor-mentor sessions help elevate mentees to more equal footing with their more affluent counterparts, while our demonstration sessions invoke curiosity towards physics within young minds. All of this work proves to be just as beneficial to our mentors as well, where many have gone on to positions teaching STEM.

List of organizations chapter has engaged in outreach or partnered with since 2015

  1. Hamilton Grange Middle School (HGMS)
  2. The Bridge Golf Foundation (BGF)
  3. Eagle Academy of Harlem (EAH)
  4. NOAA-CREST
  5. Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
  6. Material Research Society-City University of New York Chapter (MRS CUNY)
  7. Other various youth organizations from SASE and NOAA-CREST events.
  8. New York Math Academy and Coaching Services (NYMA)
  9. America Scores
  10. Public School 325 (PS 325)

 

Approximate number of unique outside individuals engaged by our chapter’s outreach since 2015

 

355

Outreach contact hours since 2015

28.5

Approximate number of unique chapter members involved since 2015

30

CCNY Physics Faculty Involved in outreach since 2015

7 (Robert Alfano, Sebastian Franco, Swapan Gayen, Pouyan Ghaemi, James Hedberg, Vinod Menon, Brian Tiburzi)

Approximate number of members who continued into teaching positions

8

 

Figure 4 Club officers Michael Gaziani, Peter Fields, and Lisa Chan present physics demonstrations at NOAA-CREST day to various youth organizations in New York City

Figure 5 Undergraduate students Lisa Chan and Luis Sanchez present a superconductor train demonstration to various NYC elementary students at the SASE Tinker Fair

Figure 6 PhD student Veeshan Narinesingh speaks to students from Hamilton Grange Middle School about the path to becoming a scientist