Major Events

Meetings: Fridays 3:45 in 316 VAN

Homework Help Nights: Wednesdays 6pm in 316 VAN

Public Observing Nights

Observing Nights

Every other week, volunteers gather Friday nights to host public observing nights! We’re trained to set telescopes to various celestial objects and direct the public in looking at them. We get to chat with Iowa City locals and tourists and show off your astronomy know-how.

Public Observing Nights are on September 23rd, October 7th, October 13th at 8-10PM, at Van Allen Hall. Also a special November 8th 4-6AM Lunar Eclipse Observation will be happening.

Faculty Dinner

Faculty Dinner

Ever want the chance to eat dinner with your professor? Well, now you can. Physics & Astronomy Department members work with SPS to host monthly faculty dinners where students can sit, eat, and chat with their favorite professors.

A scene of people working on homework

Homework Nights

Our mindset here at SPS is all about collaboration. Our Homework Nights are designed for underclassmen to work with the upperclassmen once a week to get help on any tough questions that have been assigned on their physics homework.

Jeff's Coloquium

Undergrad Colloquium

Our department encourages students to do real research under physics and astronomy professors. Through our undergrad colloquium, students can practice sharing their research and building their presentation skills in an informal setting with other undergraduates - stay tuned for this semester's undergrad colloquium schedule! 

Game Nights

Game Nights are social events hosted by us where all members get together and play games! Jack Box, Smash Bros, snacks, everyone relaxing and having a great time, it’s all here at our game nights!

Demo Shows

Our department’s Instructional Resource Specialist, Dale Stille, creates and maintains physics demos day in and day out in his lab. Volunteers get to help Dale operate these demos at various local institutions and educate the Iowa City youth! These demonstration events are widely popular and organized year-round with different themes for each one.


As you learn more about physics, the fake science in scifi movies gets a bit more obvious. Proasts are us getting together with a faculty member to watch a scifi movie and said faculty member tearing the movie apart showing every last bit of fake science. Good fun!

Trivia Night

Trivia Night

Every year, volunteers get together and organize an annual Trivia Bowl! We create questions, get sponsors from local businesses, and put together the whole event to raise money for SPS. Every University of Iowa Student is encouraged to participate with a team of friends and compete in this trivia bowl for fun prizes.

Spooky Bake Sale

Members of SPS love to bake! Every year, we get to show off our love for baking at our Halloween Spooky Bake Sale. Volunteers raise money for SPS by baking goodies and selling them to faculty, undergraduate and grad students.

Secret Scientist

It’s everyone’s favorite gift sharing event! When ‘tis the season, members of SPS randomly select another member’s name out of a hat and have to get a secret present for them. When the exchange finally arrives, everyone sits around a table and gives the gifts to their respective person. Everyone is encouraged to participate in SPS’s season of giving!

Member holding up skills workshop circuit craft

Skills Workshops

Every once in a while, SPS has the chance to send volunteers to help with themed skills workshops. Skills workshops are volunteers guiding the local youth to develop more hands-on knowledge in any physics, engineering, or hard science related fields. Who knows, you might learn something yourself!

Members wearing their conference badges posing for a photo

Undergrad Conferences

SPS is all about bringing together our fellow physics students, and undergraduate conferences do exactly that! Different conferences are hosted about once a year, where students are encouraged to go and meet other students and experts across the nation who hold similar interests! One of the most popular ones in SPS is CUWiP, or the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics!