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WIU Physics and Engineering Club Wins National Recognition for Second Year

December 12, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Physics and Engineering Club, which is a chapter of the national Society for Physics Students (SPS), has been recognized by the SPS as a distinguished chapter for the second year in a row.

The WIU chapter was selected for this national recognition based on its outstanding outreach programs and service to the local community. The chapter's advisor is Associate professor of Physics P.K. Babu.

In collaboration with the chemistry and biology clubs, the Physics and Engineering Club organizes the Annual Science Demonstration show that has become a prominent outreach activity by the science departments at WIU. This show attracts K-12 school children and their parents from both local and neighboring county schools.

"Being recognized by the national council of SPS twice in a row is a great honor for the Physics and Engineering Club members, their faculty advisor Dr. Babu and the Department of Physics," said Kishor Kapale, interim chair of the WIU Department of Physics. "It is also a testament to the quality of the educational and outreach activities the club participates in and the educational enrichment it offers not only to the club members but also to the local and regional community and high-school level students. At the college level, a portion of the learning happens outside the classroom, but there is hardly any framework for that and therefore it is not always effective learning avenue. Through the activities of the club, physics and engineering physics students have access to a structured and nationally recognized framework for outside-the-classroom learning experience. The Physics Club also collaborates with our Optics Club and they have participated in several educational activities such as a field trip to Washington DC, and an Angular Momentum Expo during the Spring 2019 semester. Efforts are underway to have similar experiential learning opportunities for our student clubs on an annual basis."

In addition, members of the Physics and Engineering Club actively take part in conducting the WYSE (Worldwide Youth for Science and Engineering) Regional Academic Challenge, the Regional Science Olympiad, and the Girl Scouts STEM program. Physics majors Natalie Kovacevic, a junior physics major from Plainfield, IL (president); John Miller, a junior liberal arts and sciences major (physics minor) from Champaign, IL (vice president) and Hunter La Croix, a sophomore physics and mathematics double major, from Donnellson, IL (treasurer), are the current office holders of the Physics and Engineering Club.

For more information about the WIU Department of Physics, visit

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