(Posted March 12, 2001)

The Juniata College chapter of the Society of Physics Students recently received the Outstanding Chapter Award for 1999-for the Zone 3 region from the club's national organization. The Juniata chapter also received the same honor last year for the 1998-1999 academic year.

Advised by James Borgardt, assistant professor of physics, the club competed for the honor in Zone 3, with colleges and universities from all of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware and New Jersey. The Juniata chapter has about 20 active members. The co-presidents of the club this year are Lee Cain, a junior from Churchton, Md., and Suzanne Zimmerman, a senior from Dunlo, Pa. Whitney Ortman, a senior from York Pa., is serving as associate councilor for the club's regional Zone 3.

The Juniata chapter was singled out for its outreach efforts in Huntingdon and surrounding communities. The award specifically cited two events, Mall Physics, at the Logan Valley Mall in Altoona, Pa., and Physics Phun Night, an entertaining science demonstration held every spring in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science Center.

Borgardt says Mall Physics, which takes place every fall, uses demonstrations of liquid nitrogen to freeze marshmallows, solidify ice cream and contract air inside a balloon. Physics Phun Night, which will be presented April 5 this year, illustrates scientific principles through large-scale demonstrations.

Some of the demonstrations have included having a Juniata science faculty member lie on a bed of nails, blowing giant smoke rings using liquid nitrogen and crushing 55-gallon drums by heating them and then immersing them in freezing water.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.