AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

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Workshops

Listed below is a current list of workshops planned for the 2014 winter meeting. Some details are subject to change.

All workshops (W01 - W27) will be held at Rollins College , however the tutorials (T01 - T04) will be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.  You must pick-up your registration packet at the AAPT registration desk at the Rosen Plaza Hotel before heading to the workshop.  Transportation will be provided between the Rosen Plaza and Rollins College. Click here to view a bus schedule.

 

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  • W08: Ring Flinger Make-n-take

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Sam Sampere

    Cost

    • Members: $185
    • Non-members: $210

    Seats

    • Max: 25
    • Available: 2

    During this session, you will build (PIRA 5K20.30) a Thompson-Elihu coil, commonly known as the Ring Flinger demonstration. Your completed device will toss 2" OD aluminum rings six meters into the air, and higher when you cool them! Rings fashioned from other materials will jump to different heights. Learn why this is so, and build your own coil to take home by attending this workshop. The completed project weighs about 10 lbs. You should plan to ship your new favorite demo home via UPS or USPS.

  • W09: Developing and Assessing Conceptual Understanding with TIPERs: For the High School Classroom and Beyond

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Martha Lietz

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Stephen Kanim

    Cost

    • Members: $65
    • Non-members: $90

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 17

    TIPERs are Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research. These tasks are not like traditional physics textbook problems, but rather, require the students to think conceptually about a particular physical situation. They include ranking tasks, working backwards tasks, conflicting contentions tasks, linked multiple choice tasks and others. These tasks, in particular ranking tasks, will play a larger part in the assessments used in the new AP Physics 1&2 curricula, in an attempt to assess deeper conceptual understanding. In this workshop, we will work with different kinds of tasks, discuss how they might be effectively used in the physics classroom, and learn how to write some of our own tasks. Examples of the types of questions used on the new AP Physics 1&2 exams will be discussed. Emphasis will be on the use in advanced high school classrooms, but the workshop is appropriate for introductory college courses as well.

  • W11: A Potpourri of Simulation

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Paul Willimas

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Tom O'Kuma

    Cost

    • Members: $60
    • Non-members: $85

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 10

    A large number of simulations have become available over the last few years. This workshop will look at simulations from a consumer's point of view with a focus on effectively using simulations in the Physics classroom. A number of strategies for incorporating simulations into instruction such as free inquiry activities, guided inquiry activities, lab activities (including quantitative data acquisition), and conceptual exercises based on simulations will be explored. The workshop will focus on three packages of simulations/animations that are available for free on the web including PhET simulations, Physlet simulations, and simulations and animations from the MIT TEAL site. As part of the workshop, participants will design an activity which incorporates a simulation. Participants who wish to run the simulations from their own laptop are encouraged to bring their laptop to the workshop.

  • W01: Research-Based Alternatives to Traditional Physics Problems

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Kathy Harper

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Thomas M. Foster, David P. Maloney

    Cost

    • Members: $80
    • Non-members: $105

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 7

    Accumulating research on problem solving in physics clearly indicates that traditional, end-of-chapter exercises in physics texts are not useful and may actually hinder students' learning of important physics concepts. The research also raises questions about the efficacy of such tasks for helping students develop "problem solving skills." In light of these results the question is: What alternative tasks can we use to help students develop problem solving skills and a conceptual understanding? This workshop will review the research and then provide examples of several alternative tasks and their use. Participants will also get practice writing alternative problems in a variety of formats for use in their own classrooms.

  • W03: Physics and Astronomy by Design

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Julia Olsen

    Cost

    • Members: $105
    • Non-members: $130

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 11

    What is understanding? What is the relationship between knowledge and understanding? What does "teaching for understanding" look like in the physics and/or astronomy classroom? How can we implement reformed teaching along with new standards? These and other important questions will be explored as participants design, develop, and refine a cohesive unit plan based on the principles found in Understanding by Design (UbD). In the UbD classroom, there are high expectations and incentives for all students while exploration of big ideas and essential questions is differentiated, so students who are able delve more deeply into the subject matter than others. This workshop is appropriate for instructors from pre-high school through college levels. Participants will receive a copy of UbD, 2ndEd.(print or pdf) Note: participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops to the workshop.

  • W04: Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP)

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Kathleen Falconer

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Daniel MacIsaac

    Cost

    • Members: $80
    • Non-members: $105

    Seats

    • Max: 40
    • Available: 36

    The Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) is a 25-item rubric that provides a percentile measure of the degree and type of student-centered, constructivist, inquiry-based engagement in an instructional situation. RTOP scores correlate very highly with student conceptual gains. In this workshop, we will score video vignettes of teaching to learn how to use RTOP for guiding personal reflection and improvement and change of our own teaching; for mentoring peers, novice teachers, and student teachers; and to establish a vocabulary for discussing reformed teaching practices. If you wish, you may bring a DVD of your own teaching to score.

  • W06: Teaching Science with LEGO Mindstorms: FIRST Steps and Beyond

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Jeremy Benson

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Steve Lindaas

    Cost

    • Members: $90
    • Non-members: $115

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 11

    One of the many challenges associated with teaching science and engineering is including the creativity aspects of the fields. Too often material is taught as a sequence of conceptual ideas strung together by mathematical proofs or historical asides. The use of LEGO Mindstorms allows for a hands-on exploration of the same scientific concepts while explicitly incorporating scientific reasoning skills and emphasizing the creativity side of science and engineering. In this workshop we will introduce the LEGO Mindstorms kits and the NXT programming software by having participants build and program LEGO robots similar to those used in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). Initially we will focus on developing simple programming algorithms, tips for teaching the material, and avoiding common pitfalls. This will be followed by having participants perform a few example experiments that demonstrate the interplay of content knowledge, scientific reasoning, and creativity.

  • W07: Inquiry-Based Learning Strategies that Support the New AP Physics 1&2 Courses

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Dolores Gende

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Connie Wells

    Cost

    • Members: $100
    • Non-members: $125

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 7

    The new AP Physics: Algebra-Based 1 and 2 courses have a strong emphasis on inquiry-based learning. This workshop will provide participants with several inquiry-based labs as well as strategies for modifying more traditional labs to include inquiry. Other non-laboratory related inquiry-based strategies will be discussed as well. The workshop will be presented by Dolores Gende, CBA to the AP Physics 1 Development Committee.

  • W13: Sketch N' Etch

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Eric Ayars

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Steve Lindaas

    Cost

    • Members: $80
    • Non-members: $105

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 13

    Make your own circuit boards! This workshop will offer hands-on experience in the physical process of creating your own circuit board from scratch. Participants will design, print, etch, and solder a really cool electronic gizmo they can wear on their badge for the rest of the meeting, making them the envy of all the other nerds. (Additionally, the skills gained may be useful in building experimental apparatus for physics labs.)

  • W14: Ben Franklin is my Lab Partner

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Bob Morse

    Cost

    • Members: $72
    • Non-members: $97

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 2

    Benjamin Franklin's experiments and observations on electricity established not only his reputation as a scientist, but also our electrical conventions and vocabulary, and the principle of charge conservation. In his letters, Franklin builds, tests, and defends his model with skill and eloquence, arguing from experiment and sharing both his wisdom and doubts, while clearly conveying his fascination with electricity. As Franklin was not formally schooled in mathematics, his theory was qualitative, and is an approachable example of hands-on and minds-on construction of a conceptual model with explanatory power. In this workshop, developed by the author at the Wright Center for Science Teaching at Tufts University, we will work with Franklin's descriptions to recreated several of his experiments using modern, inexpensive materials. Participants will receive equipment and a CD-ROM containing the workshop manual, a collection of Franklin's letters relating to electricity, and movie clips illustrating the experiments.

  • W15: Implementation: Physics for Life and Health Sciences

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Nancy Beverly

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Nancy Donaldson

    Cost

    • Members: $65
    • Non-members: $90

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 15

    Building on the many efforts to reform the Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) majors, institutions are increasingly expanding the physics major by integrating biology and medicine applications in new majors, minors and higher level courses. How do the foundational topics in an IPLS course taught in a life science context compare with the same physics topics taught at higher levels, for example, in a Physics in Medicine major? How do the student learning outcomes compare? What can student projects or lab activities look like at different levels? How is spiraling of student learning achieved? Representatives from different institutions with varying approaches in course design will provide a spectrum of curricular materials and resources to help participants implement their own profile of life or health science focus to existing or new courses.

  • W16: Distance and Remote Labs

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 4
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Jacob Millspaw

    Cost

    • Members: $60
    • Non-members: $85

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 11

    Distance education is on the rise. This includes courses delivered through live video feed to remote locations or through online learning. The need for hands on exploration in distance classes and developing labs for online courses poses new challenges! Come explore various table top physics investigations that can be packaged into an inexpensive kit for remote class and online students! The topics include motion, forces, harmonic motion, work, color mixing, geometric optics and various other introductory physics concepts.

  • W19: A Kaleidoscope of Great Online Tools for Teaching Physics

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Cathy Ezrailson

    Cost

    • Members: $62
    • Non-members: $87

    Seats

    • Max: 25
    • Available: 18

    Educators have more opportunities than ever to begin teaching in today's "smart environments" through e-texts, simulations, and today's emerging and "customizable" web-tools. Especially since web-based tools can also be pressed into service in order to organize, design, and assess learning. This workshop is one opportunity to access, investigate and begin to use a few of these resources in your courses. Most of these tools and applications are free on the web, easy to grasp and implement. Coupled with a course redesign, implementation could markedly enhance your course and communication with students. This workshop aims to help you to model, create and gain experience with some of these free tools. Ezrailson, C.M. (2013, Jan) A Kaleidoscope of Free and Easy Web Tools for Teachers, WM13, New Orleans, LA.

  • W20: Exploring the Milky Way Using Small Radio Telescopes

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Rex Adelberger

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Don Smith, Joe Heafner

    Cost

    • Members: $60
    • Non-members: $85

    Seats

    • Max: 26
    • Available: 20

    This workshop will train the participants in a curriculum to experimentally teach students of any age to see the universe using senses other than sight. This is a unique opportunity for teachers to use research-grade small radio telescopes at Guilford College. The five-session curriculum will teach students to read time series and Fourier transform graphs, understand spectral lines and Doppler shifts, and interpret 21 cm radio observations to grasp the existence and structure of the Milky Way galaxy. This curriculum has been developed in elementary and middle school classrooms, and it reliably evokes wonder and insight in young students. The workshop leaders will provide remote telescope access and technical support so that participants can implement this curriculum in their home schools. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop.

  • W21: In Home Low-cost Labs

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Alex Burr

    Cost

    • Members: $75
    • Non-members: $100

    Seats

    • Max: 30
    • Available: 1

    A physics course without experiments is not a physics course. However many general physics instructors in high schools and colleges feel pressured in terms of money and time to neglect this aspect of physics instruction. This workshop will address these problems. The participants will actually do real experiments which do not have to use expensive sophisticated equipment and take up valuable class time. These experiments can illustrate advanced experimental concepts and show that if you ask questions of nature, she will answer. Topics mentioned include mechanics, electricity, and optics. They will be done individually and in groups. Participants should bring Apple or Android smart phones or tablets if they have them. Participants will leave with inexpensive apparatus, detailed notes, and a renewed commitment to physics as an experimental science.

  • W22: Using Invention to Promote Mathematical Thinking

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Andrew Boudreaux

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Stephen E. Kanim, Suzanne White Brahmia

    Cost

    • Members: $62
    • Non-members: $87

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 4

    Students often struggle to make sense of mathematical representations of physics concepts. Invention instruction, developed by Schwartz and colleagues, requires students to invent procedures or quantities that allow them to compare a set of situations, a process that primes students to make sense of the subsequently presented scientific procedure or quantity. In an ongoing collaboration between Rutgers, WWU, and NMSU, we have adapted this approach for use in introductory physics courses. Before a new quantity is introduced, students work collaboratively through an invention sequence designed to connect students' sense-making resources to the scientific challenge at hand. A primary goal is to promote active sense-making in lieu of common memorization or equation matching approaches. Preliminary assessment data indicate positive impacts on student reasoning, including in some cases the closing of performance gaps between mainstream and underrepresented groups. In this workshop, we will engage participants in invention work and present assessment data.

  • W23: Activities for Engaging Girls in Physical Science

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Peggy Norris

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Patricia Sievert

    Cost

    • Members: $60
    • Non-members: $85

    Seats

    • Max: 30
    • Available: 20

    How can we help engage girls - inside or outside of formal school time - in activities that lead them to identify physics as a potential career choice? Research shows that if girls are engaged in open-ended, collaborative science projects that are relevant to their world, they gain self confidence and begin to identify themselves as a scientist. Learn techniques used by programs such as SciGirls, FabFems, and Design Squad to build this confidence and identity in young women. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to try tested physics activities that fit with the strategies for engaging girls in grades 5-12.

  • W24: iPhone and iPad App Development

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Andrew Duffy

    Cost

    • Members: $70
    • Non-members: $95

    Seats

    • Max: 16
    • Available: 16

    This workshop is a basic introduction to creating apps for the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. No prior knowledge is assumed. We will cover the basics of drawing and animating; learn a little Objective-C; become familiar with the XCode environment in which apps are created on the Mac; and get an introduction to Interface Builder, where we lay out various buttons and sliders, etc. Important note - workshop attendees must bring their own Mac computers, with Apple's latest version of XCode already downloaded and installed. This is a free download from Apple. Attendees should have OS 10.7 or higher on their Mac's - previous OS versions do not have access to the features in the version of XCode that will be used in the workshop.

  • W26: New RTP and ILD Tools and Curricula: Video Analysis, Clickers and E&M Labs

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    David Sokoloff

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Ronald Thornton, Priscilla Laws

    Cost

    • Members: $75
    • Non-members: $100

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 8

    RealTime Physics (RTP) and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) have been available for over 15 years - so what's new? The 3rd Edition of RTP includes five new labs on basic electricity and magnetism in Module 3 as well a new approach to projectile motion in Module 1. Some of these new labs make use of video analysis. Also new are clicker-based ILDs. This hands-on workshop is designed for those who want to make effective use of active learning with computer-based tools in their introductory courses. These active learning approaches for lectures, labs, and recitations (tutorials) are based on physics education research (PER). The following will be distributed: Modules from the Third Edition of RTP, the ILD book, the Physics with Video Analysis book and CD, and Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite by E.F. Redish. Organizer: David Sokoloff and Co-Organizers: Ronald K. Thornton, Tufts University Priscilla W. Laws, Dickinson College.

  • W27: Engaging Astronomy Students with Lecture Tutorials

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Julia Olsen

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Timothy F. Slater

    Cost

    • Members: $60
    • Non-members: $85

    Seats

    • Max: 35
    • Available: 23

    n this half-day, participatory workshop specially designed for introductory college faculty, graduate students, and high school teachers, participants will learn how to use a lecture-tutorial approach to actively engaging astronomy students. Created by faculty affiliated with the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research Team, lecture-tutorials are purposefully designed to support students? intellectual engagement with challenging astronomy concepts by augmenting lectures for 10 minute intervals where students collaboratively wrestle with how to apply ideas in novel settings. Astronomy education research consistently demonstrates that students significantly increase their understanding of astronomy through the use of lecture-tutorials and that professors find them easy to implement. Classroom-ready materials will be provided to all participants. This teaching excellence workshop is funded in part by the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowment, NASA EPOESS FINESSE and the NSF GeoEd OEDG & TUES Programs.

  • T01: Electrostatics from Gilbert to Volta

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 02:00 p.m. - 04:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Robert Morse

    Cost

    • Members: $50
    • Non-members: $75

    Seats

    • Max: 16
    • Available: 0

    With inexpensive equipment, students can carry out activities to build a conceptual understanding of electrostatic phenomena. In this short tutorial we will build the equipment and learn to carry out experiments patterned after those from William Gilbert to Alessandro Volta, including charge detection, electric field patterns and electrostatic induction.

  • T03: Getting Started in Outreach

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 5
    • 02:00 p.m. - 04:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    David Sturm

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Rebecca Thompson, Dale Stille, Sam Sampere

    Cost

    • Members: $50
    • Non-members: $75

    Seats

    • Max: 99
    • Available: 87

    A two-hour tutorial session on how to start and build Outreach Programming for Universities and Colleges to engage the public, with presentations from the APS Head of Public Outreach Rebecca Thompson, from established University Outreach programs run by PIRA members such as Dale Stille, UIowa; Sam Sampere, Syracuse U.; and David Sturm, UMaine; and from other members of the Outreach community.

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