AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers


January 2007

From the Editors

A belated Happy New Year to you from all of us at the AAPT National Office. In this month's issue you will find a summary of last week's Winter Meeting—including a summary from incoming President Harvey Leff, a brief review of Board actions from the meeting, a request from the Nominations Committee, an update on the 2007 Photo Contest, and much more.

If you have a news item or feedback for the AAPT NEWS: Please write and tell us.


Member News

President's Report
Read Harvey Leff's summary of the Seattle meeting here.

Summary of Board and Council Actions Taken at the Seattle Meeting
View the report from Mary Beth Monroe here.

Planning Action Group Report
A summary of impact goals and drafts of vision and values statements are available here.

A Request from the Nominations Committee
Read their open letter to the membership here.

Looking for Older Announcements?
Visit our revamped Announcements Archive.

Now Available: Press Releases
Visit our Press Releases page.

Interactions Across Physics and Education Launched
Earlier this month, AAPT mailed to all members our new general-interest magazine that deals with education in physics spectrum-wide. We are soliciting your feedback on this initial issue. Read more about Interactions and the transition of the Announcer here.

2007 AAPT High School Photo Contest Now Accepting Entries
We have finalized this year's rules and the contest is now open. The early-bird deadline is March 15 and the final deadline is May 15. For more details and an entry form, visit the contest homepage.

Building Named for Marv Nelson
The president and board of trustees of Green River Community College have proposed naming the college's new science building in honor of retired physics instructor Marv Nelson. Nelson, who received the American Association of Physics Teachers national award for Outstanding Introductory College Physics Teacher of the year in 1999, taught at Green River for more than three decades. More details are available here.

AAPT Physics Test Preparation Collection on CD-ROM
AAPT has produced the AAPT Physics Test Preparation Collection to help teachers prepare their students to take the screening exam for the Physics Team and the Physics Bowl contests. Students can review past exams and work through actual physics-competition-style problems. For more information about these new CDs, please visit the website.

AAAS Resource Directory of Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities, 4th Ed.
Individuals with disabilities who hold graduate or undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are invited to participate in this prestigious Resource Directory to be published in the spring of 2007. The directory will available upon request in print and CD-ROM formats. The deadline is March 15, 2007. For more information about the project, visit the website or e-mail Tesa Leon (or call 202-326-6582).

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the February issue? Send it to us by February 5—be sure to include a brief overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go to for more information: news@aapt.org
Science and Education News

A selection of recent stories of interest to our members.*

Physics Continues To Grow as Popular Undergraduate Major, Data Suggest
From The Chronicle of Higher Education

Dark Energy May Be Vacuum
From ScienceDaily

Video of the Month
Stardust: A Comet Comes to the Lab

The Top 100 Science Stories of 2006
From Discover.com


Rare Black Diamonds May Have Come from Space
From NewScientist.com

The Physics of Climate Modeling
From PhysicsToday.org

Talking Physics in the Social Web
From PhysicsWeb.org

International Heliophysical Year
From IHY

"Building Science, Building Trust"
From AAAS.org

Evolution Speeding Back to Kansas

Is It Research or Stalking?
From The Chronicle of Higher Education

Report: Broader Skills Best for College Grads
From edweek.org

Science of Food Series
From The New York Academy of Sciences

Scientists Warn of Diminished Earth Studies from Space
The New York Times (Free Registration)

Astronomy Day 2007 Is...
From The Astronomical League

H. Frederick Dylla to Head the American Institute of Physics
From AIP

Recommended Reading 

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"The  Polarization of Skylight: An Example from Nature," by Glenn S. Smith
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF format)

The Physics Teacher
Article of the Month
"TPT Online," by Karl C. Mamola

Upcoming Conferences, Meetings, Symposiums, and Events 

NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar 6: Charging into Electrostatics
Get ready for labs, interactives, historical accounts, and lesson plans at your fingertips. Digital collections such as The Physics Front.org are carefully selected materials that prevent endless searching on the Internet, organized with educational goals in mind. On Tuesday, January 30, Physics Teaching Resource Agent Director Jan Mader and Science Education Research Scientist Dr. Cathy Ezrailson will demonstrate how charges behave and interact with each other using hands-on activities. Brought to you by AAPT, this interactive seminar is designed for teachers grades 5-12 and will explore static electricity. For more information and to register visit: http://institute.nsta.org/webseminar_registration.asp 
Registration closes January 29.

AAPT Symposium on Physics Education a Success
This first AAPT Symposium took place January 10 in Seattle. The program is now online and proceedings are forthcoming. For more details, please visit the Overcoming Gravity website.

AAPT Topical Conference: Computational Physics for Upper Level Courses
This conference takes place at Davidson College, NC, July 27-28, 2007 (immediately preceding the AAPT Summer Meeting in Greensboro, NC). The purpose of this conference is to identify problems where computation helps students understand key physics concepts. Participants are university and college faculty interested in integrating computation at their institutions. More details are available here.

AAPT National Meetings: Save the Dates
Six Flags America Roller Coaster Design Contest
AAPT and Six Flags America's Annual Roller Coaster Design Contest will take place at the 2007 Physics Day to be held at Six Flags America on Friday, April 27, 2007. To find out how you and your school can enter this exciting contest visit the website.

Team America Rocketry Challenge

The Challenge takes place May 19, 2007 in The Plains, VA. AAPT is the Education Partner. For more details, visit the Team America site.

Activity-Based Physics Faculty Institutes
Are you interested in increasing your students' understanding of the physical world? Two-year college, four-year college and university faculty are invited to attend one of the NSF-sponsored Activity Based Physics Faculty Institutes to be held at the University of Oregon in June 2007 and at Dickinson College in June 2008. For more information and an application, please visit the website.

International Workshop on Historic Scientific Instrument Collections: First Announcement
The University of Mississippi will host the second Scientific Instrument Collections in the University, or SICU2, workshop June 21-24, 2007. This workshop aims to solidify the foundation for finding, describing, organizing, preserving, and using the vast resource of historic instrument collections available in academic institutions worldwide. SICU2 is sponsored by the Scientific Instrument Commission of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and by the University of Mississippi, with funding from the National Science Foundation. Visit the website for more details.

Dual Conferences on Gravitation
The 18th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation and the 7th Edoardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitation Waves will take place July 8-14, 2007, in Sidney, Australia. These conferences will bring together the world's leading scientists working in the fields of General Relativity and Gravitation. More details are available at http://www.grg18.com and http://www.amaldi7.com.

Cosmos in the Classroom 2007
This three-day, hands-on symposium on teaching astronomy to non-science majors, will be held August 3-5, 2007, at Pomona College in Southern California. The meeting is sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, with co-sponsorship by a range of astronomical and educational organizations. For updated information and to get on the mailing list for the meeting, visit this website.

News from the National Office

New Physics First Informational Guide
Are you looking for ways to help high school students build a stronger foundation in scientific knowledge and understanding? Are you willing to take risks and try new, innovative ideas in your science classroom? Do you wish more students could be exposed to the joy of learning physics? If these ideas resonate with you, you might just be interested in looking at Physics First. View the new pamphlet on-line.

Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold: AAPT Joins on as National Partner
AAPT is supporting this upcoming PBS television special and teaching guide.
Visit the campaign site for more details.

Career Center

Looking for the best physics job candidates and job opportunities? The AAPT Career Center is part of the Physics Today Career Network focused on the physics industry and its related disciplines. The network reaches more than 120,000 physicists and other scientists in a broad range of sectors from academia to industry to government and nonprofit organizations. It offers advertisers unmatched exposure and the best buy for their advertising dollar. Visit the online Career Center.

About the AAPT News

The AAPT NEWS is a service to our members and is produced by the National Office of the American Association of Physics Teachers. It is published monthly on or about the 15th.

E-mail news items, comments, and suggestions to: news@aapt.org

* 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.