AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

November 2007

From the Editors
Published November 15, 2007

Among the highlights in this issue: Early-bird registration for the 2008 Winter Meeting in Baltimore has been extended, a new Commentary from President Leff, and a summary of recent Board actions. 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

President's Commentary
Read Harvey Leff's latest commentary: "AAPT: A Candle Metaphor" here:

Summary of Board Actions from October Meeting
The AAPT Executive Board met October 19-21 at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD, USA. You can read a summary of their actions here:

High School Physics Teacher Grant

The High School Physics Teacher Grant encourages high school teachers to experiment and improve on their teaching practices. The deadline for the 2008 grant is has been extended to December 1, 2007. More information and to apply visit: http://aapt.org/Grants/hsgrant.cfm

Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers
Generously endowed by AAPT member Barbara Lotze, this scholarship provides $2,000 to two future teachers. Application deadline for 2008 is December 1, 2007. More information and an application are available here:

Update or Renew Your Membership
Is your AAPT membership up to date or about to expire? Login to your member account page to verify your current information or renew your membership and ensure that your benefits, services, and peer-reviewed academic journals continue uninterrupted. For further information, contact AAPT Membership & Stewardship by e-mail at membership@aapt.org or at (301) 209-3333.

Request for Member Testimonials
AAPT is developing a new brochure and would like to showcase member testimonials. Members are invited to submit thoughts and anecdotes for consideration. For more information visit:

Legislative Action Center
Visit the Legislative Action Center and make your voice heard.

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the November issue? Be sure to include a brief overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go for more information and send it by December 10 to news@aapt.org.

News from the Central Office

AAPT Job Fair in Baltimore
Whether you're looking for the ideal candidate or ready to take the next step in your career, the AAPT Job Fair is the place to be. This event takes place January 21-22, at the 2008 AAPT Winter Meeting. For more information, contact Alix Brice at aapt-jobs@aapt.org or call (301) 209-3187.

Job Opening: Chief Academic Officer
Review the position description here:
The deadline for applications has been extended to December 1, 2007.

Coach the U.S. Physics Team
AAPT and AIP are seeking two coaches to join the staff for the 2008 U.S. Physics Team. High school and college physics faculty are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be able to attend the training camp at the University of Maryland from May 17–28, 2008. Coaches will be expected to assist in the grading of the qualifying exams in February and March 2008. For more information please visit http://www.aapt.org/olympiad2008/ or contact either of the co-academic directors, Bob Shurtz or Paul Stanley.

Physics Bowl Academic Coordinator Sought
Review the position description here:

Fermi DVD

AAPT is offering a new Enrico Fermi DVD with rare footage of the Nobel Prize winner and his colleagues. Read more about this exciting new offering here:

Absolute Zero to Air in January
An the national education partner for Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold, we are very pleased to announce that this program will premiere on PBS in January 2008 as part of the award-winning science series NOVA. Read complete details and see the broadcast dates here:

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

2008 AAPT Winter Meeting Registration
Registration for the Baltimore meeting (January 19-23) is open and the early-bird deadline is Saturday, December 1. For more information go here:

Session Abstracts for Baltimore Meeting
AAPT's interactive program scheduler and itinerary builder will be online soon. In the meantime, you can preview sessions and individual abstracts in this e-booklet (PDF):
http://www.aapt.org/Events/WM2008/upload/Sessions Preview.pdf/
All attendees who register by December 20 will receive the Baltimore Onsite Program Guide in the mail in early January. A PDF will be available by early January as well.

Hotel Registration for the Baltimore Meeting

Hotel registration remains open for the 2008 AAPT Winter Meeting. Deadline to secure the special group rate of $139 per night is December 19. After the 19th, the rates will be higher based on availability. For more information, visit:

Winter Meeting Exhibit Space Going Fast
If you'd like to bring attention to your organization at the AAPT Winter Meeting in Baltimore this January, consider reserving booth space in the exhibit hall! For more information, please contact Laura Headrick at 301-209-3626 or lheadrick@aapt.org.
Or, visit: http://www.aapt.org/events/wm2008/exhibitor-information.cfm

AAPT Annual Meetings: Save the Dates

  • Winter 2008, Jan 19-23 (Baltimore, MD)
  • Summer 2008, July 19-23 (Edmonton, Alberta); U.S. Citizens: Passports will be required for travel to Canada.
  • 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)
TARC Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for the Team American Rocketry Challenge on May 17, 2008. U.S. students in grades 7-12 are welcome to take part. Registration closes on November 30, 2007. For more information, visit:

Summer Physics Teaching Program
Teaching Opportunities in Physical Science (TOPS) is now accepting applications for its six-week summer course at MIT, June 22-August 4, 2008. The program is sponsored by the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms and is intended for physics and engineering majors who are currently in their sophomore or junior years and are considering careers in teaching at the secondary level. Applications will be accepted until February 1, 2008. For information:

ASABE Multi-Media Competition for High School Students
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineer's is now excepting entries for a multi-media competition. Participants must register by January 25th and submit their entries by February 8, 2008. For more information visit:

National Engineering Design Challenge

In the NEDC, high school students apply problem solving, math, science, research, writing, presentation, and drafting/design skills by creating an engineered assistive technology device for persons with disabilities. Registration for the 2007-2008 competition opens September 5. More information is available at:

2008 Gordon Research Conference
Join fellow AAPT and APS members on June 8-13, 2008, at Bryant University, in Smithfield, RI, as physics faculty, physics researchers, and physics education researchers explore the expanding and deepening role of computers in physics research and undergraduate physics instruction. Application deadline for registration is May 18, 2008. For more information, visit: http://www.aapt.org/Events/grc.cfm

Activity-Based Physics Faculty Institutes
College/university faculty are invited to attend an NSF-sponsored Activity-Based Physics Faculty Institute. The one-week program is offered at Dickinson University (June 16-20 or 23-29) and the University of Oregon (June 18-22 or 25-29). The Institute promotes use of active learning strategies based on physics education research. For more information, visit http://www.uoregon.edu/~sokoloff/abpi.htm

MIT-Harvard Program for Prospective Science Teachers
The MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms is sponsoring a summer program (June 22-August 5, 2008) for undergraduate physics majors who are considering a career in pre-college science teaching. The organizers would appreciate your passing on word to any students you think might be interested. For more visit:

UVA Adds New Physics Degree for Teachers
The Department of Physics at the University of Virginia now offers graduate courses for teachers to earn a Masters of Arts in Physics Education. For more information about the degree and the specific courses, please visit the website:

Recommended Reading

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"Scientist as Detective: Luis Alvarez and the Pyramid Burial Chambers, the JFK Assassination, and the End of the Dinosaurs," by Charles G. Wohl
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF)

The Physics Teacher
"Teaching Informational Evaluation and Critical Thinking Skills in Physics Classes," by Adriana Popescu and James Morgan
(TPT online subscribers only, PDF)

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.


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