Physics and Space Sciences

Student Clubs and Organizations

Society of Physics Students (SPS)

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. The SPS exists to help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community. Course work develops only one range of skills. Other skills needed to flourish professionally include effective communication and personal interactions, leadership experience, establishing a personal network of contacts, presenting scholarly work in professional meetings and journals, and outreach services to the campus and local communities.

Locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, the SPS offers the opportunity for these important enrichments to the student's experience.

Membership at Florida Tech's SPS Chapter is open to anyone interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members can include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, biology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.

Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ)

Within SPS, Sigma Pi Sigma, a nationally recognized scholastic honor society, elects members based on outstanding academic achievement.

SPS Activities

Education
  • Zone Meetings
  • Colloquia
  • Alumni lectures
  • Weekly discussions
  • Student talks about undergraduate research experience
  • ΣΠΣ eligibility/induction/membership
Outreach
  • Liberal Arts, Science, and Engineering Resources (LASER) Day
Fun
  • Physics experiment day
  • Physics and Space Sciences Department picnic
  • Physics competitions

Student Astronomical Society (SAS)

The Student Astronomical Society (SAS) meets jointly with the Melbourne Astronomical Society on the 4th Friday of the Month in the 2nd Floor Conference Room, at 7pm (just before the Astronomy Public Lecture talks at 8pm). All students are welcome to attend. We are a friendly group interested in amateur astronomy techniques and equipment. See the MAS/SAS website for more information, and come join us! Paid members ($5) receive a discount on Astronomy and Sky and Telescope Magazine subscriptions.

SAS is a registered club at Florida Tech and the only main requirement for membership is that you must be a current Florida Tech student. The club operates during the Fall and Spring semesters, but is not operational during the Summer semesters. Normally we will have one group meeting every week followed by an observing period outside at the Big Slab Observatory (BSO). Students with interesting pictures, stories, telescopes, or anything else related to astronomy are encouraged to bring these along to show and tell at the meetings.

Currently, SAS is hosting one star party every semester! The location of the star party can change depending on what we have planned for that night, but it will normally be on campus or at one of the nearby beaches. SAS star parties can include anything from lunar eclipses to planetary observing or even meteor showers.

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)

SEDS is an independent, student-based organization which promotes the exploration and development of space. SEDS pursues this mission by educating people about the benefits of space, by supporting a network of interested students, by providing an opportunity for members to develop their leadership skills, and inspiring people through our involvement in space-related projects. SEDS believes in a space-faring civilization and that focusing the enthusiasm of young people is the key to our future in space.

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space was founded in 1980 at MIT and Princeton and consists of an international group of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students from a diverse range of educational backgrounds who are working to promote space as a whole. SEDS is a chapter based organization with chapters throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The permanent National Headquarters for SEDS-USA resides at MIT. Each chapter is fairly independent and coordinates activities and projects in its own area.

SEDS Activities:

  • Education through Discussion Groups
  • Field Trips, Visit the KSC
  • Trips to Rocket Launches
  • Observing at Sebastian Inlet

Fun:

  • Star Parties
  • Visit to BCC Planetarium
  • Visit KSC

Projects

In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Project

(ISRU is no longer active, but we keep this here as an example of a great past student project!)

Florida Tech received $12,000 from NASA as one of three finalists in the Lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project from NASA. The ability to acquire resources in situ will become increasing valuable in the decades to come as we extend our presence in space. Utilizing indigenous resources will reduce overall mission cost by reducing mass as well as risk to both robotic equipment and astronauts.

Lunar In Situ Resource Utilization focuses on extracting oxygen as well as other commodities from the lunar regolith. The experimental design will be implemented to test the feasibility of oxygen extraction from the regolith via molten silicate electrolysis.

The experiment will be conducted over a one month period in the south polar region of the Moon. The functional modes of the experimental package will designate the sequence of operational tasks. These modes include transit, initialization and calibration, acquiring regolith, measurement and analysis, purification, and standby. A robotic arm will be used to extract regolith samples from the lunar surface.