Science Outreach Catalyst Kits (SOCKs)

Share This:

Science Outreach Catalyst Kits, or SOCKs, are free to SPS chapters (while supplies last) and contain an exploratory physics and science activity that is specifically designed for SPS chapters to use in outreach presentations to elementary, middle and high school students. Each SOCK comes with the essential materials to conduct a set of demonstrations, a comprehensive manual, and instructions on how to expand the demonstration to become a tried-and-true outreach activity. It's designed for chapters just starting out or those who are demo pros. SOCKs are designed and implemented annually by the SPS National interns and SPS National office staff.

SOCK 2022

The 2022-2023 SOCK focuses on Eclipses in preparation for the next Solar Eclipse, which will be in 2023 and 2024. The materials in the kit are designed to be able to set up a table at a Physics Activity fair for the general public and kids. There are various demonstrations suited for all ages and fun for all participants! Astronomy is a key part of all things Physics, and this year we wanted to give it more recognition. See below for more information on the demonstrations and activities included in the SOCK. 

Demos included in this year's SOCK:

Wooden Orbital Model: Build your own Eclipse centerpiece to explain orbits! Tutorial

Scale the Solar System: Scale the solar system to 1-3 meters to help visualize the distances between the planets.

Eclipse Paper Model: Have younger students? Let them color and build their own Eclipse paper model, making it easier to visualize a Solar and Lunar Eclipse!

Pinhole Viewer: Cut out 2 small rectangles on the left side of the SOCK box to create a pinhole viewer to safely view a Solar Eclipse. 

Copy of the SOCK welcome letter.


Scan this QR Code to find printouts for your display, instruction guides, and more demos!

Print outs for your table display:

Materials on USB

*Solar Eclipse Glasses not pictured*

Explore other inexpensive outreach demonstrations. 

Request an SOCK

SPS SOCK requests are accepted through an online application form (or if an ASA chapter, please email this information directly to sps [at] with an email subject of "IYS SOCK"). Please note that you will need to provide:

  • Contact information and the student project leader.
  • Your school and chapter mailing information.
  • Responses to the following three prompts:
  1. Please describe why your group is interested in using the SOCK for outreach.
  2. Please describe the experience your chapter has with outreach activities.
  3. Approximately how many members will be involved in the SOCK outreach event?
  • The intended audience, type of event, and anticipated date for which you are considering using the SOCK (if there is more than one, just choose one).
  • (If applicable) your SPS advisor’s name and email address. Your advisor will be asked to confirm his/her support of your proposed SOCK activity.

SOCKs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis among the eligible requests. 

Request a Free SPS Sock

Explore SOCK kits from previous years here.