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Rockets, Lasers, and Blowing Up Pumpkins, How Can You Not Check Out the Physics Club

At Grove City, there are several clubs that are based around majors or academics. One club that is really “blowing up” is the Physics Club. I sat down with the president of the club, Mercedes Mansfield, and she told me all about how this club is really making science exciting by having hands on experiments  and also building a strong community within the Physics and greater STEM departments. The Physics Club is open to all majors, but is mostly composed of STPhysicsEM majors, such as Electrical Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics majors. Dr. D.J. Wagner, a professor in the Physics Department, is the faculty adviser for the club and facilitates every other week meetings.

The club has two different types of meetings, one of them being what they call “Tray’s Up,” where each member gets their meal from one of the cafeterias around campus, and then take their meal to one of the members’ rooms or one of the classrooms on campus. During this jovial time of eating their meals, each student who is a part of the club gets the opportunity to hear about Physics from other students or faculty about various research they have performed. The other times the club meets, they do various activities that highlight how exciting Physics can be! These include making hand rockets, dropping eggs from a few inches off of the ground without breaking them, bridge building competitions, and blowing up pumpkins!

The club also hosts larger events, including a hayride and an all-nighter. During their famous all-nighter, where they all stay up in Rockwell, one of the STEM buildings on campus. They begin the evening by blowing up bottles on the quad and then continue throughout the night with the less disruptive activities. These include making liquid nitrogen ice cream, do experiments led by professors, and play with lasers.

The Physics Club is just one great example of a way to get involved with you academic department outside of your classes. Joining the club is a sure way to get involved in the STEM departments and seeing real-life applications of Physics outside of the department!


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