AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
AAPT eNNOUNCER: December 2008

New Physics and Astronomy
Faculty Workshop

Physics Olympiad
The Frederick and Florence
Bauder Endowment
Barbara Lotze Scholarships
AAPT Venture Fund
Physics Day at NSTA
The Physics Front
AAPT Section News
AIP Statistical Research

2009 Teaching Fellowships

K-State Physics Lab


Teacher Sharing Via WAN

Hispanic Scholars Program

Presidential Awards

Published December 2, 2008

This month we have a couple more new staff members, information on the upcoming Winter Meeting in Chicago, news about the New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop, the Fnet=ma exam, another Physics Day at NSTA and The Physics Front—enriching the high school physics experience.

Happy Holidays!


As we consider the many things for which we are grateful this holiday season we count you, our friends, colleagues, and fellow supporters of physics education near the top of the list. Thank you for all you do to help us succeed in our mission to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching. Our gift to you, your 2009 AAPT Calendar, is waiting for you at www.aapt.org/Events/upload/calendar09.pdf.
We wish you a joyous and prosperous new year.

Deliverability of this publication will depend on your email address being current. If you have recently changed providers, jobs, or schools, please update your profile online at www.aapt.org as soon as possible. Adding ennouncer@aapt.org to your address book will also help ensure that your copy is delivered to your mailbox.

Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.

New AAPT Staff Members

Chad_PhillipsAAPT National Office welcomes Chad Phillips as the web designer. Chad comes to us from the U.S. Naval Academy where he worked as a developer/designer. He has also worked as a freelance web developer. He was drawn to AAPT by the idea of working to help a nonprofit organization fulfill “a fantastic mission.” When he saw the position offering he knew it was a perfect fit with his career goals.


Chad has a Bachelor’s in Information Systems from UMBC and is pursuing his Master’s at the same university in the same field. He plans to complete his degree in the spring!  Chad and his fiancée, Stephanie, are looking forward to a summer wedding in 2010. He lives in Annapolis and considers Maryland his “home” with Ohio as a runner up. His father was in the Navy and the family traveled wherever his father was stationed. He has lived in FL, VA, OH, and a little island in the Persian Gulf called Bahrain for two years. In his time out he prefers to “sit on the beach, doing something entirely nerdy (games, reading, etc), listening to anything “classic rock” (Beatles, AC/DC, Stones, CCR). He also really enjoys traveling and seeing new places.

Krystal_BoardAAPT National Office welcomes Krystal Board as the accounting clerk. Krystal comes to us from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission where she was an intern in the Office of Financial Management. She has also worked at the Library of Congress while attending high school.

After high school in 2004 she enrolled in the Art Institute of Washington for culinary arts; her dream was to start her own catering company. Two years later she realized this wasn’t the path she wanted to take as a career. In 2006 she enrolled at Stratford University where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance/accounting.  Krystal plans to complete her degree by winter 2009 then pursue her Master’s degree in the same field with a CPA.

Krystal was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and currently lives in Fort Washington, Maryland. In her spare time she likes to bowl, watch scary movies, travel, and cook coming up with new recipes.


2009 AAPT Winter Meeting in conjunction with the AAAS Annual Meeting

  TheBean_WM09logoThe 2009 AAPT Winter Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the AAAS Annual Meeting, presents a unique opportunity to take part in a variety of events that are based on physics education and the principles that AAPT represents. Enjoy a variety of sessions and activities including internationally known physics speakers, committee meetings, awards, workshops on various facets of physics teaching, presentations, poster sessions, and most of all, over 1,000 physics teachers. AAPT also hosts a broad range of physics equipment suppliers, resources, and booksellers in our large exhibit hall. AAPT’s meeting gives you a chance to exchange ideas, network with colleagues, and gain professional development. We hope that you will join us in Chicago for the 2009 Winter Meeting. Online Registration is now available at www.aapt.org/Events/WM2009/index.cfm.

The 2009 Symposium on Physics Education
“Early High School Physics: Building a Foundation for Understanding the Sciences” will be the theme for the 2009 Symposium on Physics Education. The symposium will be conducted by a distinguished panel and moderated by Nobel Laureate, Leon Lederman.

Considered by many to be the most concrete of the sciences, physics is the basis for understanding the more abstract concepts introduced in chemistry and biology. At an earlier time when biology primarily concentrated on classification and chemistry focused on applications rather than the atomic structure of matter, it made more sense to follow a biology/chemistry/physics sequence. Putting physics first gives students a basis for understanding the theoretical nature of more advanced science concepts.

This movement to reverse the traditional B-C-P science sequence first took hold over twenty years ago in response to the recommendations of A Nation at Risk. Interest in Physics First has recently accelerated due to the strong advocacy by Leon Lederman. Now over 1200 schools have adopted some version of the Physics First idea as a result of successful national and statewide awareness and implementation efforts.

The 2009 Symposium is scheduled from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 15th during the Winter Meeting. For more information visit http://www.aapt.org/Events/symposium.cfm.

Abstract submissions are now being accepted via http://www.aapt.org/events/abstractform.cfm. The deadline is December 31.

The AAPT Winter Meeting Job Fair is scheduled for February 13-14, 2009.

George F. Smoot III will be accepting the Oersted Medal and Vera Rubin the Richtmyer Award. Smoot shares the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics with John Mather and Vera Rubin received the National Medal of Science in 1993.

For the Winter ’09 meeting, AAPT is, for the first time, offering conference attendees a social networking tool that connects attendees to each other. Using SquareHive http://www.squarehive.com, an internet-based tool, you will be able to see who is already registered for the Winter ’09 meeting and interact with your colleagues before and during the conference. Watch for more details as AAPT develops this capability for your benefit.

Sponsorship and Exhibitor Information—Look to the web soon for updates.

Save the Dates:

  • Summer 2009, July 25-29 (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Winter 2010 w/APS, Feb 11-18 (Washington, DC)
  • Summer 2010, July 17-21 (Portland, OR)
  • Winter 2011, January 8-12 (Jacksonville, FL)

New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop



Ninety-five physics and astronomy faculty attended the New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop held November 6-9, 2008 at the American Center for Physics. Workshop participants, nominated by their department chairs, must be in the first three years of a tenure-track contract to be eligible to attend. During the three days of the workshop, participants were exposed to a number of research-based approaches that have been shown to be effective in improving the students’ learning in introductory and advanced courses. Learn more about the Workshop at www.aapt.org/aboutaapt/2008Announcements_November.cfm

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US_Team_Logo_09Physics Olympiad Fnet=ma Exam   

It is December, snowflakes are in the air, and thoughts of the Physics Olympiad dance through our heads! Registration is now open for the Fnet=ma Exam. Link to Registration Information for the 2009 Exam at www.aapt.org/olympiad2009/. The deadline for registration, December 19, is firm so don’t let this get lost in the holiday bustle, register today. 

Practice Exams are also available on the AAPT web site at www.aapt.org/Contests/olympiad_exams.cfm.

See the Physics Team on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/user/Physteam

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The Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching

The Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching provides funding for special activities in the area of physics teaching such as development and distribution of innovative apparatus for physics teaching; acquisition and support for traveling exhibits of apparatus; and local workshops for teachers who spread the use of demonstration and laboratory equipment. Applications are available online at http://www.aapt.org/Grants/bauderfund.cfm 

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Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers

The AAPT Executive Board offers three scholarships for future high school physics teachers. These scholarships, supported by an endowment funded by Barbara Lotze, are available only to U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools. Undergraduate students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors entering such programs are eligible. The three successful applicants will each receive a stipend of up to $2,000. The scholarship may be granted to an individual for each of four years. Applications (http://www.aapt.org/Grants/lotze.cfm) will be accepted at any time and will be considered for recommendation to the Executive Board at each AAPT Winter Meeting. All applications in which all materials, including letters of recommendation, received by the extended deadline of January 1, 2009 will be considered for recommendation at the winter meeting of the AAPT Executive Board.

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AAPT Venture Fund

The Venture Fund is a resource for AAPT members, created to promote the development and marketing of innovative teaching products and services for physics and other sciences.  Guidelines and application information are available at http://www.aapt.org/Grants/venturefund.cfm.

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Physics Day at NSTA 

December 5 will be Physics Day at the NSTA Area Conference in Cincinnati, OH. An exciting program has been co-organized by AAPT. You can view the full schedule on the AAPT website at http://www.aapt.org/Events/2008PhysDay.cfm. 

Please visit us in the Exhibit Hall at booth #339. Plan now to join your friends and colleagues for a fun day of demonstrations, workshops, and minds-on/hands-on presentations that you can take home and use in your classroom immediately!

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physics_front_logoThe Physics Front

The Physics Front is a web-based area for teachers of Conceptual, AP and Algebra-based physics as well as teachers of Physics First and Physical Science. This material is meant to serve as resources to enrich the high school physics experience.

The materials, found in this collection, have been selected (and are continuously being updated by the Editor and the Editorial Board), as being quality resources for use in lesson plans, activities, labs and demonstrations. The featured items are meant to be definitive, merely representative of possible good resources available; additional materials are available on the Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) and the other collections in ComPADRE.

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AAPT Section News

Alabama Section Annual Meeting 

The Alabama Section of AAPT will have its annual meeting on Feb 28th, at the University of Montevallo. For more information visit their website at http://bama.ua.edu/~alaapt/ or contact Tommi Holsenbeck at eholsenbeck@alasu.edu.

PTRA/AAPT Workshop Sponsored by the Southern California AAPT Section

The Southern California Section was awarded a mini-grant by AAPT to host a PTRA-led workshop in Southern California. Hosted by the CaliforniaState Polytechnic University in Pomona, the all-day workshop was held on Friday, November 7th. Attendees participated in several kinematics laboratory activities led by Jim and Jane Nelson. For more information, go to the 2008 Section News www.aapt.org/Sections/upload/Section-News-2008.pdf. The AAPT Executive Board has approved funding for additional Section mini-grants. Applications are available after login at www.aapt.org/Sections/index.cfm


AIP Statistical Research

The Statistical Research Center has produced another set of four Physics Trends flyers. These are printable flyers intended for display. The new flyers can be downloaded from our web site at: www.aip.org/statistics/trends/phystrends.html 

This set of flyers depicts:

  • • Starting salaries for recent physics bachelor’s in five different employment sectors.
  • • What physics bachelor’s said about whether they would still major in physics if they had the opportunity to be undergraduates again.
  • • The starting salaries for recent physics PhDs employed in five types of positions.
  • • The number of PhDs awarded recently in a dozen subfields of physics.

We hope that you find these flyers useful and informative. If you would like to receive a hardcopy hardcopy of this set of flyers please sign up at: www.aip.org/statistics/signuptrends

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Knowles Science Teaching Foundation 2009 Teaching Fellowships

The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) is seeking applicants for Biology, Physical Science and Mathematics Teaching Fellowships. The fellowship supports exceptional individuals who are committed to becoming outstanding high school math and science teachers. KSTF seeks to promote excellence in science and mathematics teaching in United States high schools in order to help maintain our nation’s economic competitiveness and reverse the current national trend of high attrition rates among beginning teachers. We strive to elevate the perception of teaching as a complex, highly-skilled profession and to nurture future leaders and change agents in the field of education. Application instructions can be found online at www.kstf.org.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, January 14, 2009, at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  Only online applications will be considered.

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K-State Physics Lab Becoming a Frontrunner in Ultrafast Laser Research

The J.R. Macdonald Laboratory at Kansas State University has shifted its research focus to ultrafast laser science. This change in emphasis could lead to innovations benefiting medicine, energy and other technologies. www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/ksu-kpl102808.php

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Nanoparticles Deliver Their Cargo, Then Disappear

A nontoxic nanoparticle developed by researchers at Penn State University is proving to be an all-around effective delivery system for both therapeutic drugs and the fluorescent dyes that can track their delivery.
Nano Letters, 30-Oct-2008--Penn State Materials Research Institute

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School Districts Share a Teacher Via WAN

Rural residents take note: What’s happening at Clarion Area and Union school districts may soon be coming to a school near you. Without a physics teacher since last March and still wanting to keep its curriculum running, the Union school district arranged an agreement with Clarion Area to have its physics teacher, Brian Burford, teach the physics class to Union students via the WAN. Union and Clarion districts in Pennsylvania are the first districts in the area to put the new wide area network (WAN) to the test. Read more at: http://www.leader-vindicator.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20199057&BRD=2758&PAG=461&dept_id=572984&rfi=6

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The Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program

Applications are being accepted through January 16, 2009 for The Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program. This is a new partnership to improve Hispanic student access to higher education and degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Additional information on the scholarship program and the application process is available at http://www.alliancescholars.org/applications/.

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2009 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

This program, designed to reward and inspire great teaching, is the Nation’s highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science. The Awards recognize highly qualified K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Nominations are now being accepted online for the 2009 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Nominate outstanding secondary (grades 7 – 12) mathematics and science teachers at http://www.paemst.org/controllers/home.cfc?method=view

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AAPT NEWS is a service to members of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT Central Office. All issues are archived here. Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements Archive and our archive of Press Releases. E-mail news items, comments, and suggestions to: news@aapt.org

Note on External Links
Links to non-AAPT sites are intended as a service to readers interested in AAPT, physics, and education. These links do not reflect an endorsement of any content or product. Also, due to the evolving nature of websites, some external links referenced in the AAPT NEWS may expire over time.

Copyright (c) 2008, American Association of Physics Teachers

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