AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers


June 2007

From the Editors
Published June 15, 2007

Among the highlights in this issue: a summary of the April Executive Board meeting, a synopsis of the recent Area Committee and Section Reps Retreat, and a Guest Commentary on the Summer Meeting from Lila Adair. We hope you find AAPT NEWS useful and we welcome your feedback: Please write and tell us.


Action Items and Notable Dates
News for Members

Executive Board April Meeting

A summary of Board actions is now available.

Retreat Summary
A synopsis of the Area Chairs and Section Reps Retreat is now available online.

Guest Commentary
"Zoom, Zoom, Zoom—The Accelerating Universe of Physics Education"
By Lila Adair

New AJP Acting Editor Named
Effective July 1, John Mallinckrodt of California State Polytechnic University will be the Acting Editor of the American Journal of Physics. Jan Tabochnik will return as Editor in one year following a role as Acting Provost at Kalamazoo College. More information about AJP is available here.

Computation and Computer-Based Instruction
The American Journal of Physics seeks contributed manuscripts for this
special-themed issue to be published in early 2008. Deadline is late summer 2007. Additional information can be found at http://www.opensourcephysics.org/GRC/#ajp.

Continuing Education Credits
Information on requesting CEUs for a workshop or other activities is summarized at http://www.aapt.org/CareerCenter/ceuinfo.cfm.

AAPT Member Featured in Science Magazine
The June 1 issue of Science has a News Focus piece on teacher preparation that features our own Robert Beck Clark of Brigham Young University. (Member subscription or pay-per-article required.) 

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the July issue? Send it to us by July 9—be sure to include a brief overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go for more information to NEWS@aapt.org.

News from the National Office

Coming Soon: Interactions Summer Issue
Check your mailbox in July for the newest edition of AAPT's signature magazine. The focus of the issue will be Diversity Across Physics.

Summer Meeting Abstract Book Available Soon
All attendees of the 2007 Summer Meeting will receive the Program Guide
containing all session and workshop abstracts—upon arrival in Greensboro. In early July, a PDF of the guide will be available for download. Members who are not attending the meeting may order a printout of the guide by sending an email to NEWS@aapt.org by July 5th. To see abstract information now, visit the Online Scheduler.

U.S. Physics Traveling Team Announced
The five traveling team members for the 38th International Physics Olympiad have been chosen. Read more here.
For a diary of the 24 semifinalists' nine days at physics camp at the University of Maryland and photos from their visit to Capitol Hill, check out the Physics Team's website at: http://www.aapt.org/olympiad2007/.

Bauder Endowment Application Now Open

Requests for grants from the Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching are due July 1 for consideration at the 2007 Summer Meeting in Greensboro. Activities that can be supported by the Bauder Endowment and the procedures for applying can be found at http://www.aapt.org/Grants/bauderfund.cfm.

Scholarships Available for High School Teachers to Attend Summer Meeting
Scholarships are available for high school teachers in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia who wish to attend the AAPT Summer Meeting in Greensboro, NC, July 28-August 1. Scholarships will partially or completely cover registration and fees. For applications, please contact Jose D’Arruda, Shodor Education Foundation, jose@uncp.edu. Greensboro-area teachers should contact Steve Danford, UNCG Reynolds, danford@uncg.edu.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair: Photos Now Online
AAPT sponsored the 2007 Intel ISEF, held in May in Albuquerque, NM. Click for pictures of the event.

Send Us Your Ideas and Feedback
Have a suggestion or criticism that you'd like AAPT leadership to hear? Send an email to Future@aapt.org.

Upcoming Conferences, Meetings, Symposiums, and Events

2007 Summer Meeting Program Preview
The program for the upcoming AAPT national meeting in Greensboro, NC is available online. For additional information and to register, visit our meeting page.

Using Video Capture and Analysis in Intro. Physics Classes, June 20-21
Participants explore the use of video capture and analysis in classes, laboratories, homework, and student projects and learn how to use the Logger Pro software to create and analyze short QuickTime movies. The two-day workshop will be held at Vernier Software & Technology in Beaverton, OR. More information is available at http://www.vernier.com/workshop/video.html.
SERC/ComPADRE Summer 2007 Workshop, July 29-30

The SERC Pedagogy Service and ComPADRE will host a workshop at the AAPT Summer Meeting to build and publish examples for using effective pedagogies in physics classes. The goal is to have experienced teachers and faculty create activities that fit specific pedagogic models and that will be published in the ComPADRE digital library. Participants will have travel costs to the AAPT meeting reimbursed. Participation will be by invitation. For more information and application instructions, visit http://www.compadre.org/portal/features/event.cfm?ID=7.

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 at http://www.opensourcephysics.org/CPC/index.html.

AAPT National Meetings: Save the Dates
  • Summer 2007, July 28-Aug 1 (Greensboro, NC)
  • Winter 2008, Jan 19-23 (Baltimore, MD)
  • Summer 2008, July 19-23 (Edmonton, Alberta)
  • Winter 2009 w/AAAS, Feb 12-16 (Chicago, IL)
  • Summer 2009, Dates TBD (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Winter 2010 w/APS, Feb 11-18 (Washington, DC)
Iron Science Teacher: An Offbeat Science Competition for Teachers
Cheer on the competitors in this zany, science cook-off, where teachers compete before a live audience at the Exploratorium for the revered title, "Iron Science Teacher." In a fast-paced atmosphere where showmanship and creativity reign, science teachers are given 10 minutes and a secret ingredient to concoct a science activity that can be used in the classroom. Program runs on Fridays beginning June 29. More details available on the web at http://www.exploratorium.edu/iron_science.

Dual Conferences on Gravitation, July 8-14
The 18th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation and the 7th Edoardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitation Waves will take place 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.

Physics Modeling Institute, July 9-27

UNC-Charlotte will offer a physics modeling institute on mechanics designed to enhance physics teaching at the high school level by training teachers in the Modeling Method of physics instruction. This proven method enhances student understanding through inquiry-based activities, data analysis techniques, and model development and deployment. Registration and details can be found at http://education.uncc.edu/cmste.

Summer Retraining Program for Middle and High School Teachers
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ball State University will host nine one-week courses this summer. The courses are presented in a hands-on laboratory format and demonstrate science teaching methods, stress the use of technology, and provide new content instruction. For more information visit http://www.bsu.edu/physics/summer/.

Physics and Everyday Thinking/Physical Science and Everyday Thinking Workshops
This summer, workshops on PET and PSET will be offered in Tennessee and California to prepare faculty from universities and two-year and four-year colleges to teach the guided inquiry courses. These workshops are free and are supported by the National Science Foundation. Information about the workshops, the two courses, and how to apply is at http://cpucips.sdsu.edu/workshops.

Cosmos in the Classroom 2007, August 3-5
This three-day, hands-on symposium on teaching astronomy to non-science majors, will be held 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: http://www.astrosociety.org/events/cosmos.html.

Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research, August 6-10
This intensive week-long residential meeting in Bar Harbor, ME, will provide a forum for examining and articulating the current state of the field, exploring future directions, and discussing ways to pursue the most promising avenues for future research.Registration is limited. For more information, visit http://perlnet.umaine.edu/~ffper/2007.

2008 Toyota International Teacher Program
This year selected participants will have the opportunity to learn through hands-on projects about the environment, culture, history and education system of Costa Rica in March 2008. All full-time classroom teachers in grades 7-12 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply. The deadline for application is September 7, 2007. For more information visit The Institute of International Education at http://www.iie.org/Template.cfm?&Template=/programs/toyota/default.htm.

International Conference on Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning
This conference takes place September 13-15 in Wroclaw, Poland. Its aim is to exchange trends, research results, new materials and experiences with regard to the use of multimedia in physics education and is sponsored by European Physical Society. Visit the website for more details: http://mptl12.ifd.uni.wroc.pl/.
Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education, June 8-13, 2008
The conference will take place at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, and will focus on computational physics. More details are available at http://www.opensourcephysics.org/GRC/.

Physics and Education News

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

Game of the Month
Build a Contraption
Source: Mousebreaker Free Online Games

Gadget of the Month
Shooting Stars: Point and Shoot Astronomy Gun
Source: Wired

Video of the Month
The Impossible Insides of a Working Hard Drive
Source: Wired

Yale Plans Science Expansion
Source: Inside Higher Ed

Higher Pay Urged to Fight Dearth of Math and Science Teachers
Source: Washington Post (Free registration required)

House Appropriations Committee Backs Full FY 2008 DOE Science Request
Source: AIP

Light Fantastic: Flirting with Invisibility
Source: New York Times (Free registration required)

ESA Scientists Measure a Quantum Effect
Source: ScienceDaily

Wireless Energy Transfer Turns on Bulb in MIT Demo
Source: EE Times

Boring Star May Mean Livelier Planet
Source: Media-Newswire

NRC Committee Releases Decadal Survey on Plasma Science
Source: AIP

Physics Teacher Aims to Teach Art Students the Business
Source: Washington Post (Free registration required)

The Holy Grail of Particle Physics May Have Already Been Found
Source: Slate.com

NRC Committee Releases Decadal Survey on Plasma Science
Source: AIP

Physicists Turn 'Waste' into Electricity
Source: MSNBC

Black Hole Is Most Distant Yet

Source: Discovery News

Coldest Lab in Chicago to Simulate Hot Physics of Early Universe, Explore Futuristic World of Quantum Computing
Source: ScienceDaily

For the Adventurous, An Earthbound Ride on the Shuttle
Source: New York Times (Free registration required)

A Physics Teacher Begs for His Subject Back

Source: WellingtonGrey.net

Astronomers Find Most Massive Star Every Discovered
Source: Bad Astronomy Blog

Recommended Reading 

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"The Calming Effect of Oil on Water" by Peter Behroozi, Kimberly Cordray, William Griffin, and Feredoon Behroozi
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF)

The Physics Teacher
Article of the Month
"Fermi Questions" by Larry Weinstein
(Free, PDF)

Career Center

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AAPT NEWS is a service to members and friends of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT National Office. It is published monthly on or about the 15th. All issues are archived here. Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements and Press Release archives.

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.