AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
AAPT eNNOUNCER: January 2009

Published January 5, 2009

Letter to the Membership


AAPT Staff Member

Chicago Meeting

PhysicsBowl 2009

PTEC 2009

PhysTEC Noyce Scholars


2009 Year of Science

2009 Summer
Science Program

PAN Program

Members in the News

The Story of Science
Book Series


Amgen Award

Women in Physics

InvenTeams Grant

Beyond the Classroom

This month we are preparing for the new year by announcing a new Table of Contents (TOC) alert system for TPT and AJP subscribers, gearing up for the fast approaching Winter Meeting in Chicago, taking orders for PHYSICSBOWL 2009, promoting the fifth annual PTEC Conference, and providing our members with information regarding awards, grants, fellowships and teacher resources.

Happy New Year!

This was a year of significant change in AAPT's operations and membership services. The current economic climate has changed the way AAPT thinks about member services and is leading to creative ways for delivering current and future services. Both the American Journal of Physics Online and The Physics Teacher Online have a new look and provide enhanced research tools to support your teaching activities and student learning. Looking forward into the new year, you can expect to see expanded capabilities to communicate with your colleagues and the national office as plans for a website redesign are implemented. Watch for an email, coming soon, inviting you to participate in a survey that will help us make your website all you would like it to be! We want to remind you that our gift to you, your 2009 AAPT Calendar, is waiting for you at http://www.aapt.org/Events/upload/calendar09.pdf. We wish you a joyous and prosperous new year.

Deliverability of this publication depends 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 Member and Journal Subscriber Benefit

Starting in January, AAPT is implementing a new Table of Contents Alert (TOC) system for The Physics Teacher (TPT) and American Journal of Physics (AJP). This system allows subscribers to be notified by email when a new issue of either TPT or AJP is posted online and emails a text version of the table of contents of the journals. To take advantage of this new benefit, go to http://scitation.aip.org/journals/doc/AJPIAS-home/alerts/ and enter your email address. You will be the first to know about new journal articles of interest to you with this new benefit!

Letter to the Membership from Executive Officer Warren Hein

Warren HeinAs a new year begins, I am pleased to bring you greetings and best wishes for a Happy New Year from the AAPT National Office. It has been four months since I started at AAPT as Executive Officer and I would like to provide you with an update on activities involving the National Office since September.

We were very pleased to learn that three grant proposals submitted to NSF were funded with the grants beginning in October 2008. The first of these is a renewal of the very successful New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop for another five years. For more information on the New Faculty Workshop please visit http://aapt.org/Events/newfaculty.cfm.

The second funded grant is "Building Undergraduate Physics Programs for the 21st Century: SPIN-UP Regional Workshops.” Funds are provided to conduct regional workshops at four locations (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Marquette, North Carolina State University, and Rutgers) to disseminate the results of the SPIN-UP report prepared by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics.

The third funded grant, “The Physics Classroom,” is funded by the National Science Digital Library program and will provide a permanent home on ComPADRE for the materials developed by Thomas Henderson at Glenbrook South High School.

Plans are underway for selecting the 2009 International Physics Olympiad Team which will compete in the 40th International Physics Olympiad to be held in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, from July 12 to 19, 2009. The first step in selecting the team is the “Fnet = ma” multiple choice exam which will be offered during the period January 19-February 3, 2009. To follow the preparation of the 2009 US IPhO team or to donate to support the 2009 IPhO Team, visit the website at www.aapt.org/olympiad2009/.

In addition to the collaborative projects mentioned earlier, AAPT continues to play an important role in the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) project with APS and AIP. More information about PhysTEC and the associated Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) can be found at www.phystec.org and www.ptec.org.

For almost a year the Membership Department has been working toward the implementation of web-based technologies that enable online membership renewal and registration. The new iWEB modules allow those registered with AAPT, members and prospective members, to update their profiles online (e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc.) so their records with AAPT will always be up-to-date.

Last, but certainly not least, the staff at the National Office has been engaged in preparations for the joint AAPT/AAAS Winter Meeting in Chicago, February 12-19. The joint meeting will offer many advantages to both AAPT and AAAS attendees that are normally not available and an outstanding program of sessions, symposia, workshops, and other activities will be available to those in attendance.

Read the full text at: http://www.aapt.org/aboutaapt/2009Announcements_January.cfm

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Is Your Membership Current and Up-to-Date?

Visit the membership page today at http://www.aapt.org/Membership/. Log into your personal account using your member ID and password and ensure timely delivery of your AAPT journals. Time to renew? Use a major credit card to remit your dues quickly, easily and securely and continue to take advantage of the unique benefits and services your membership provides. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by e-mail at membership@aapt.org, or by phone at 301-209-3333.

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New AAPT Staff Member

TerrenceAAPT National Office welcomes Terrence Hunt as the web developer. Terrence comes to AAPT from a federal contracting firm where he was the Director of IT supporting the firm with IT related work. He was responsible for everything from help-desk to web development. Terrence has spent his 20+ year career working for various Federal Contractors. This is his first opportunity working for association like AAPT.

Terrence was born in Washington, DC and lives in Maryland. He has several IT certificates and has gained most of his knowledge from reading and associating with other IT "geeks". In his spare time Terrence enjoys spending time with his family biking, walking and watching sports. He also enjoys reading science fiction stories. He has a large set of Sci-fi collectibles. If you go to a Washington Wizards game you will probably be able to hear Terrence and his son cheering the loudest.

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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.
Early registration has been extended to January 19.

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 basic 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 ofsuccessful national and statewide awareness and implementation efforts.

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

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.

SquareHive_logoFor 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 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)

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Enter your students in PHYSICSBOWL 2009 and receive national recognition for your school, your students, and your teaching excellence.

Here’s how the contest works:
Your students will take a 40-question, 45-minute, multiple-choice test in the period of April 1–15, 2009, under your school’s supervision. Exam questions are based on topics and concepts covered in a typical high school physics course. To enhance the distribution of awards, Division I is designed for first-year students and Division II is designed for second-year students and AP students. Each division has 15 regions across the country to allow schools in each region to compete against one another. Specialized math and science schools compete in their own region. Winners will be announced the first week in May.

School/Teacher/Student Awards:

  • • Sixty $25 AAPT store gift certificates awarded to the schools placing first and second in each region.* (AAPT)
  • • T-shirts awarded to the five top students in the top scoring school in each region.* (AAPT)
  • • Certificate of Participation awarded to all teachers and students competing.* (AAPT)
  • • Additional monetary awards to be announced.

* School team scores are determined by the sum of the scores of the top five students competing.

Instructions can be found on our website at http://www.aapt.org/Contests/physicsbowl.cfm.

Teachers should reserve a room and arrange for supervision of the test during the week of April 1–15, 2009

AAPT will ship tests and instructions (or email link for downloading PDF) on or about March 16, 2009. Please notify AAPT if you have not received them by March 30, 2009.


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PTEC 2009: The Fifth Annual Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference
The annual Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) Conference is the only national event in the country dedicated to physics and physical science teacher preparation. The 2009 PTEC Conference will take place in Pittsburgh on March 13 and 14, directly before the APS March Meeting. The conference will explore the theme of Institutional Transformation: How do we change departments and universities to embrace the mission of preparing tomorrow’s teachers?
Presenters will include faculty who run teacher preparation programs at their institutions, directors of national teacher preparation initiatives, and educational innovators who are developing leading science curricula and teaching methods.
The conference will also feature three highly regarded plenary speakers:

  • • Don Langenberg - Chancellor Emeritus, University System of Maryland;
  • • Phil Sadler - Director, Science Education Department, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics;
  • • Linda Slakey - Director of the Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation.

Two post-conference workshops on the morning of Sunday, March 15 will feature leaders in science education at the undergraduate level:

  • • Ed Prather, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona; How to implement proven interactive learning strategies into the lecture portion of your classroom
  • • Valerie Otero, School of Education, and Steve Pollock, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder; Transforming your undergraduate physics course using Learning Assistants

These workshops will also be open to APS March Meeting attendees who do not attend the full PTEC Conference.

There will be a contributed poster session. Titles and abstracts are due February 27, 2009.

For more information: Please see www.PTEC.org/conferences/2009 or contact Gabe Popkin at popkin@aps.org.

About PTEC:
The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) is a network of over 115 institutions committed to improving the education of future physics and physical science teachers. It is part of the PhysTEC project, which is led by the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. For information about joining PTEC, please go to www.PTEC.org/join.

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PhysTEC Noyce Scholars

If you’re looking for an exciting and challenging career where you can really make a difference, consider becoming a physics teacher. Physics teachers expose young minds to the wonders of nature and touch hundreds of young lives every year. Unfortunately, millions of children around the country don’t get to learn physics from a highly qualified teacher. Now, you can be that teacher. The PhysTEC Noyce Scholarship program can help.

PhysTEC Noyce Scholarships are available to future physics teachers at any of the six PhysTEC Noyce sites: Ball State University, Cornell University, Seattle Pacific University, the University of Arkansas, the University of North Carolina, and Western Michigan University. Scholarship support of up to $15,000 per year is available to junior and senior undergraduates, and post-baccalaureate students pursuing teaching certification, for up to two years per student. For each year of scholarship support, recipients commit to teach for two years in a “high need” school after graduation.

AAPT is proud to co-sponsor this scholarship program. Check out the PhysTEC Noyce webpage at http://www.phystec.org/noyce/index.php for additional information and application materials.

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AstronomyCenter.org is a web-based databank that provides faculty with links to a wide range of teaching and learning resources for the Undergraduate Introductory Astronomy course. All materials are classified by their topic and activity type, and have descriptions outlining their content. Information about authors, publishers, costs, and copyright is also provided.

Educators can use this collection to find curriculum materials, images, classroom demonstrations, labs, online learning resources, evaluation instruments, and articles about approaches to astronomy education. The collection can be searched by keyword or browsed by topic or type of resource. Advanced Search with more details can also be performed.

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The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) and participants in the US based COPUS Network as well as colleagues from around the world are celebrating 2009 as the Year of Science, a national year-long celebration of science to engage the public in science and improve public understanding about how science works, why it matters, and who scientists are.

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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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High Schoolers to Study Near-Earth Asteroids

Applications are now open for the 2009 Summer Science Program (SSP), a six-week residential enrichment program in which small teams of gifted high school students apply physics, calculus, and programming to calculate the orbit of a near-earth asteroid – and the chances it might collide with earth someday. One of the oldest (since 1959) and most successful pre-college research programs, SSP is held on campuses in Socorro, New Mexico, and Ojai, California.

Bright teenagers from around the world come to SSP to spend their days in college-level lectures, and their nights doing hands-on astronomical research. Guest lectures from prominent scientists (many of whom are themselves alumni), and field trips to places like the Very Large Array of radio telescopes and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab round out the curriculum.

Students describe SSP as an intense, stimulating intellectual and social environment, “the educational experience of a lifetime.” Emphasis is on teamwork and cooperation; neither grades nor formal credit are given. Enrollment is limited to 36 per campus, and eight faculty members live onsite with the students. Current juniors are eligible to apply; the deadline is March 20.

Students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to visit www.summerscience.org for more information and an online application. The Summer Science Program is an independent non-profit corporation, managed and largely funded by its own alumni. Additional support comes from New Mexico Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, and Lockheed Martin/Sandia National Laboratory.

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The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN) Program

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) and National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) are now inviting applications for the sixteenth PAN program in summer 2009. High school students and science teachers are encouraged to apply before the April 30 deadline.
PAN is a free residential summer program on the campus of Michigan State University co-sponsored by NSCL and JINA. The two-week program introduces teachers and pre-college students to the principles and methods of scientific research (focusing on current work in nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics) as well as life in the university environment. Physics and Chemistry teachers may find this program particularly useful, while pre-service teachers who are looking to expand their content/pedagogy knowledge are especially welcome.

For high/middle school science teachers: August 2-7, 2009

  • • Develop professional skills with assistance from NSCL faculty/staff and fellow educators
  • • Earn SB-CEUs for participation (number to be determined)
  • • Explore behind the scenes at NSCL, a world-class nuclear research laboratory
  • • Learn about nuclear science from researchers at the forefront
  • • Conduct experiments on cosmic rays using a $1 million scintillation detector
  • • Get hands-on with demonstration development
  • • Receive free room and board on the MSU campus (if required)

For currently-enrolled high school students: August 9-14, 2009

  • • Discover career opportunities in science
  • • Learn about research at NSCL from faculty at the cutting edge of their field
  • • Explore the lab, one of the top rare-isotope facilities in the world
  • • Conduct experiments on cosmic rays using a $1 million scintillation detector
  • • Experience the atmosphere of college life
  • • Receive free room and board on the MSU campus (if required)

More information can be found at the program website: http://www.nscl.msu.edu/teachersstudents/programs/pan

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Members in the News

Robert Gluckstern: 1924-2008

Physicist, AAPT member, and former UMD Chancellor (1975-1982) Bob Gluckstern passed away Dec. 17, 2008.

Sabatier is Nationally Certified

AAPT member Charley Sabatier, a physics teacher at Mount Vernon High School, has been awarded national board certification.

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The Story of Science Book Series

Education writer Joy Hakim uses her journalistic skills to write about science in her latest educational book series.

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AAPT and Federation of American Scientists

Join 70 Nobel Laureates and thousands of physicists, engineers, scientists, and researches who believe scientific and technical analysis are integral to informed public policy. Don’t wait! Take advantage of this opportunity for AAPT members to voluntarily opt-in for free membership in FAS.

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Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence – 2009 Call for Applications

The Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence (AASTE) is an annual awards program that recognizes extraordinary contributions by educators across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada who are elevating the level of science literacy through creativity in the classroom and motivation of students. More information and a new streamlined web-based application is available on the Amgen website at: http://www.amgen.com/citizenship/aaste.html

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The Third IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics 2008

The 3rd IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP 2008) was held during October 8-10, 2008 in Seoul, Korea. This triennial meeting was organized under the auspices of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the Korean Physical Society (KPS). ICWIP 2008 (http://uswip.org/index.html) was dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the latest developments and ideas regarding the status of woman physicists in world-communities. AAPT is proud to have been a sponsor of ICWIP 2008.

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InvenTeams Grant Listing

The Lemelson-MIT Program’s InvenTeams grant initiative is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to get students excited about science, technology, engineering, and math through invention.

The Lemelson-MIT Program is currently accepting applications for 2010 InvenTeams, which are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. The InvenTeam initiative is designed to excite high school students about invention, empower students through problem solving, and encourage an inventive culture in schools and communities. The deadline to submit is April 24, 2009. For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/inventeams/apply.html.

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Teacher Shows Students Physics Stretches Beyond the Classroom

Students taking Steve Anderson’s physics course are spending less time in the classroom and more time visiting area businesses this year where they are seeing science in action. Anderson implemented the new hands-on, activity-based physics curriculum, “Physics That Works,” this fall. Crestwood high school students spoke with an engineering manager at Donaldson Company, Inc. as part of their kinematics unit, and visited Hanson Tire Company during a unit on forces and motion.Read more:

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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 eNNOUNCER may expire over time.

Copyright (c) 2009, American Association of Physics Teachers

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