AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

June 2006

From the Editors

Welcome to AAPT's monthly update. After several months of tinkering, and thanks to your feedback, we've settled on this format for the NEWS. What do you think? Please write and tell us. We hope you find this month's issue helpful and informative.


News Headlines 

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

Team America Rocketry Challenge Winners
From Aerospace Industries Association of America

“Extreme Physics” Observatory Prepares for Flight

Scientific American Podcast (Free)
From Scientific American

Evidence Mounts for Sun's Companion Star
From the Binary Research Institute and ScienceDaily

House Science Committee Introduces Science and Math Education Bill

Cooking for Eggheads
From Discover

Free Radical: Harold Varmas
From Wired

Theory of Fluctuations in Superconductors (Login Required)
From Physics Today

Antarctica Unraveled
From Physics World

Reconsidering the Textbook
From Inside Higher Ed

Science and the First Amendment
From The Nation

Three New Planets Found Around Sun-Like Star
From CNN

NAEP Science Scores Flat (Login Required)
From Education Week

Invisibility Cloaks Possible
From National Geographic

Survey Reveals CEOs Fear Rising International Competition
From Bayer News

Where the Dream of Harnessing the Sun's Power Could Come True
From Guardian Unlimited

News from the Executive Office

New Executive Officer Named
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Toufic Hakim as our new Executive Officer. Dr. Hakim will join us on September 5, 2006. For more details, please see our press release.

Burciaga Appointed Book Editor
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Juan R. Burciaga to the position of Book Editor effective May 1, 2006. This is a new position and Dr. Burciaga will be responsible for selecting an Editorial Board for reviewing manuscripts, setting criteria for judging the marketability of manuscripts submitted to AAPT, and selecting non-AAPT books for marketing. Dr. Burciaga is Visiting Professor at Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA.

Summer Meeting Speakers Announced
AAPT’s 2006 Summer Meeting features an exciting line-up of speakers. Information about award lecturers and plenary speakers can be found

New Sponsor for the 2006 Photo Contest
We are pleased to announce that Lexmark International, Inc., is our new partner for the annual photo contest. The 2006 AAPT/Lexmark High School Physics Photo Contest winners will be chosen at the Summer Meeting in July. We received more than 500 entries this year! We also have exciting new prizes which will be announced soon.

Discounts at the AAPT Online Store
Right now, select World Year of Physics items are 50% off: T-shirts, watches, hats, umbrellas, and more! Visit the store now for these items as well as AAPT 75th Anniversary commemorative items.

Celebrating 75 Years
This year marks AAPT's 75th anniversary. Visit our anniversary site for
details on this year's special activities and events!

75th Anniversary Time Capsule
At the 2006 Summer Meeting, a time capsule will be filled with AAPT and physics-related memorabilia. Once sealed, the capsule will be displayed in AAPT's Executive Office until its opening at our 100th Anniversary in the year 2031. Members are invited to suggest items to include in the capsule. Click here to read more details and submit your ideas; and then be sure to attend the time capsule ceremony at the 2006 Summer Meeting.

Editors Sought for ComPADRE
ComPADRE is looking for editors for two collections: Upper Division Physics and Introductory Physics.

Celebrating 75 Years of Authorship
As part of our anniversary celebration, AAPT is collecting a selection of books written by members throughout the years. The books will be displayed at the 2006 Summer Meeting in Syracuse, NY. For more information please visit the 75th Anniversary home page.

75th Anniversary Call for Photos

The Summer Announcer will feature a special print and online section dedicated to remembering the past. Please send your old photos and memories to AAPT, Attn: Publications, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Photos may also be emailed. Click here for more details.

Recommended Reading 

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month

"Einstein, Perrin, and the Reality of Atoms: 1905 Revisited," by Ronald Newburgh
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF format)

The Physics Teacher

Article of the Month

"Squishy Materials" by Piotr Habdas, Eric R. Weeks, and David G. Lynn

(TPT online subscribers only, PDF format)

Upcoming Meetings & Events 

AAPT 2006 Summer Meeting
Details on the July 22-26 meeting at Syracuse University are available here.
NEW: New York Times article on Syracuse. (Free registration required.)

Summer Workshop for STEM Teachers of Grades 6-12
A one-week summer workshop for 12 STEM teachers from grades 6-12 will be offered at the University of North Carolina Pembroke from June 26-30, 2006. The registration deadline is June 16. To register or learn more, please visit this site.

Integrating Science and Mathematics Education Research into Teaching
This interdisciplinary conference will take place June 25-28 at the University of Maine and will feature speakers from physics, mathematics, biology, earth science, and chemistry. (Physics speakers including Luanna Ortiz, Laura McCullough, Nicole Gillespie, Steve Kanim, and Pam Kraus.) For more information, please visit this site.

Workshop: The Role of Colleges and Universities in Preparing Future Physics Teachers

On June 19, Cornell University will be hosting a workshop to examine the nationwide shortage of qualified physics teachers and the role higher learning institutions could play in alleviating this shortage. The Laboratory for Elementary Particle-Physics (LEPP) is inviting individuals who are actively involved in this effort to present at this workshop and share their knowledge and experience with an audience of university and college physics department representatives. Visit this site for more information and a tentative agenda.

Nationwide Physics Modeling Workshops
Workshops in high school physics will be held this summer in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Ohio, and Texas. For details visit the site.

Integrating Science and Mathematics Education Research into Teaching
The Center for Science and Mathematics Education Research Summer Conference will take place June 25-28 at the University of Maine. For registration and call-for-papers information visit the site.

A Nuclear Workshop: Hiroshima and Nagasaki for College Teachers
A one-week workshop: June 26-30, 2006, is planned. Click here for details.

Workshops on Distance Learning and Remote Controlled Laboratories
The Department of Physics and the Laser and Fiber Optics Technology Program at Queensborough Community College/CUNY and the National Science Foundation are offering two NSF Faculty Enhancement Workshops in July 2006. The workshops are designed to enhance instruction in science, engineering, and technology through the use of remote controlled laboratories and interactive multimedia courseware. Click here for specific dates and more details.

Member News

2006 Summer Meeting Awardees
The following awards will be presented at the AAPT Summer Meeting in July:
Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award, Robert A. Millikan Lecture Award, Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching Award, and Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching Award. The award winners have been announced.

Stipend Available for PIRA Staff
The Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA) within AAPT contributes to physics teaching by sharing information and resources about demonstrations and labs. One of the ways PIRA shares information is through workshops at the AAPT summer meetings. AAPT will provide a $200 stipend to the first 20 registrants for any workshops (must also be a first-timer to an AAPT summer meeting). The deadline is June 29. The meeting and workshop preregistration form is available online. Visit the PIRA website for more information. 

PER-CENTRAL Digital Archive Now Live
The Physics Education Research-Community Enhancing Network for Teaching, Research, and Learning is pleased to announce the launch of its digital archive. Access is free and with an account users can browse through the database, submit resources to be included in the collection, maintain a discussion forum, and create your own personal "filing cabinet" of previously searched items.

Contributions to ComPADRE Sought

ComPADRE and the Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) are looking for good materials that can be added to the collections. To submit materials or register (free) click here.

2007 NCUR/Lancy Initiative: Call for Proposals
The Initiative is designed to provide exceptional undergraduates with the opportunity to do original work in close collaboration with faculty mentors. The program will make grants to institutions only. Please see proposal guidelines here.

Do You Know a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math Educator with a Disability?
Georgia Tech researchers are conducting a survey to learn about the employment experiences and workplace accommodations used by science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) K-12 and postsecondary educators who have a disability. The survey is anonymous and takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. While there is no direct benefit to you for participating in this study, the goal of this research is to provide information to help people with disabilities successfully become teachers and to help educators who acquire a disability to be able to continue in their career. To participate in this NSF-funded research project, go here.

The Pirelli INTERNETional Award
This month, registration will officially open for the Tenth Edition of the Pirelli INTERNETional Award (2006). Launched in 1996, it is the world’s first Internet multimedia award aimed at the diffusion of scientific and technological culture worldwide. Click here for more details.

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the July edition? Send it to us by June 23—be sure to include an overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go to for more information:
Career Center

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About the AAPT News

The AAPT NEWS is a service to our members and is produced by the Executive Office of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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

* Links to non-AAPT sites are provided as a service to readers, they 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.