AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
AAPT eNNOUNCER: November 2008

Program Deadlines Approaching
2009 AAPT Winter Meeting
AAPT Section News
Countdown to Year of Science
PTRA Workshop
AAPT in the News
Physics Store Catalog Now Online
The Quantum Exchange
Published November 3, 2008

This month we have a new name, more information on the upcoming Winter Meeting in Chicago, news about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, and information on the approaching deadline for High School Physics Teacher Grant applications.

And the Winner is…

In a nod to the Announcer, member Karen Johnston cleverly proposed the name eNNOUNCER for AAPT’s new monthly electronic newsletter. Since the newsletter will communicate much of the same kind of information formerly distributed through the pages of the Announcer, we feel this is most apropos, and apparently you agree. With a majority of votes and our gratitude to Karen, we christen your newsletter the eNNOUNCER. Thanks to all who participated in the voting process.

Deliverability of this publication will depend 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 AAPT Staff Members

Michael BrosnanAAPT’s new Chief Financial Officer as of October, 2008, Michael Brosnan (mbrosnan@aapt.org), is already making a difference in the job of keeping the society’s books in order. With 14 years in public accounting and eleven years in management in the for-profit and non-profit world, Mike, as he likes to be called, comes to AAPT with the experience to get the job done and to watch budgets carefully.

Mike is a rare creature in the Washington D.C. area—a native. Born in the District and raised in Maryland, he and his family like to spend time together doing activities outdoors. He is a certified public accountant and is a member of the Maryland Association of CPA’s. Mike was attracted to AAPT because he really enjoys the non-profit world and the size of the organization is ideal when you want to make a difference.

Mike is responsible for all AAPT budgeting, accounts receivable and payable and payroll. He has three staff members, Sylvia Sandiford, Krystal Board, also new to AAPT, and Su-Hua Huang, reporting to him.

Marilyn GardnerAAPT Welcomes Marilyn Gardner as Director of Communications. With the establishment of AAPT’s Communications Department comes the need for someone with broad organizational experience. Marilyn Gardner (mgardner@aapt.org) comes to AAPT with more than 20 years of association management experience, a Masters degree in nonprofit management, and an understanding of the intricacies of membership-driven organizations.

A child of the atomic age and a native of the Pacific Northwest, Marilyn grew up in the shadow of Arco, Idaho, and Hanford, Washington (her high school mascot was the Atomic bomb). She relocated from the high desert country to Maryland in 1969 and became an instant fan. Marilyn loves to spend time with her family and values the wonder and fragility of life. She was attracted to AAPT by the organization’s rich history and its scientific contributions to the quality of life on earth.

Marilyn is supported in her responsibility for the website, journals, and public relations by Jane Chambers, Matthew Payne, Ayah Oweis, and Linda Dylla.


Program Deadlines Approaching

High School Physics Teacher Grant Application Deadline Approaching

Each year grant(s) are given to high school physics teachers whose proposal results in a better teaching practice, enhanced student understanding and interest, and/or increased enrollment. The proposal submissions usually involve innovative ideas such as a new teaching method or an adaptation of an existing idea. This year’s deadline is December 1, 2008. Details regarding the specifics and content of the proposal can be found at http://www.aapt.org/Grants/hsgrant.cfm

AAPT wants to encourage high school teachers to experiment and improve on their teaching practices. It is the society’s belief that as teaching practice improves, physics enrollment and excitement among students can increase. AAPT hopes that this grant provides the funds to kick start the implementation of these practices.

The Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program

Applications are being accepted through January 16, 2009 for The Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program. This is a new partnership to improve Hispanic student access to higher education and degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Additional information on the scholarship program and the application process is available at http://www.alliancescholars.org/applications/.

Physics Olympiad Fnet=ma Exam

Each year AAPT coordinates the U.S. Physics Team recruitment, selection, and training. High School physics students are invited to take a series of three qualifying exams, from which twenty-four of the brightest students are selected to participate in a ten day training camp. Conducted by coaches chosen by the American Association of Physics Teachers, the training camp is an intensive mix of theoretical and experimental physics. Five students are then selected to represent the U.S. Physics Team at the International Physics Olympiad.

This year there are three options for taking the exam:

  • Online using WebAssign - $3.00 per student
  • Downloadable pdf of the exam - $6 per student
  • Paper copies of the exam mailed to you - $12 per student

Registration must be completed online and will be available November 17 at www.aapt.org/olympiad2009.

2009 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

This program, designed to reward and inspire great teaching, is the Nation’s highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science. The Awards recognize highly qualified K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Nominations are now being accepted online for the 2009 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Nominate outstanding secondary (grades 7 – 12) mathematics and science teachers at http://www.paemst.org/controllers/home.cfc?method=view

Team America Rocketry Challenge

TARCAAPT is proud to be the sole Educational Partner for the 2009 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Now in its seventh year, TARC is the world’s largest rocket design launch contest with approximately 7000 students participating each year. It is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry in partnership with AAPT, DoD, NASA, and AIA member companies. The goal is to encourage middle school and high school students in their science and math studies and to consider advanced study of these fields in college and beyond. Through TARC, students learn the basics of physics and of engineering design used by scientists and engineers in the real world. Registration for the 2009 TARC closes December 1. Read more at www.aapt.org/Contests/rocket.cfm.

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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.

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 of successful national and statewide awareness and implementation efforts.

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

Abstract submissions are now being accepted via http://www.aapt.org/events/abstractform.cfm. The deadline is December 31.

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.

For 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 soon 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)

Fermilab Blends Art and Nature with Physics

You don’t need to be an astrophysicist to appreciate the cultural opportunities at the world-renowned Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). When AAPT meets in Chicago next February attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Fermilab, the nation’s premier particle physics laboratory. As a participant you will enjoy a guided tour of some parts of the laboratory and see firsthand the facilities in which several important discoveries in particle physics have been made. Participants will also be treated to a cultural feast as they tour the 6,800 acre campus.

Fermilab’s first director, Dr. Robert Wilson, believed science and technology were not only connected to art, but born from it. “Here at Fermilab, we’re not making a product. We’re here to learn, to learn about where we come from, how we are on this earth, the basics of our being. That’s where art comes into this,” Schwender said. “If we stripped society of everything except what’s absolutely necessary, culture would go, and science would go because we’d be just trying to feed ourselves. This is something to enrich us.”

Read more about Fermilab at http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=241635

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AAPT Section News

Find news about your local section of AAPT here:


Countdown to Year of Science

COPUS participants are gearing up for the celebration of science in 2009. Read more here: http://www.yearofscience2009.org

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AAPT/PTRA Workshop, ACP: Oct. 11, 2008

Fifteen teachers from Maryland elementary, middle and high schools, and four workshop leaders came to the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD to share approaches to teaching about energy. The one-day AAPT/PTRA (Physics Teaching Resource Agents) workshop, following up on a six-day institute held last July at Frostburg State University in Maryland, is part of the ITQ/TOPPS (Improving Teacher Quality Through Training Opportunities in Physics and Physical Science) project.

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AAPT in the News

Russian-born Guilford High School physics teacher and AAPT member, Raisa Roginsky has been named the Connecticut 2008 American Star of Teaching by the U.S. Department of Education. She was presented with the prestigious award at the October Board of Education meeting by Roger Johnson, the department’s director of intergovernmental affairs. “Raisa Roginsky has been an inspiration to her students,” he said. “In fact, she was nominated by one of them.” GHS Principal Rick Misenti said simply: “She represents all that is good in public education and in teaching. She improves the achievement level of students using innovative teaching strategies and certainly has made a difference in their lives.” Read more at www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20172391&BRD=1630&PAG=461&dept_id=7742&rfi=6

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catalog_cover_2009Physics Store Catalog Now Online

The new AAPT Physics Store Catalog for the 2008-2009 Academic Year should now be in every AAPT member’s mailbox. If you missed it, for the first time, the catalog is also online as a pdf. There are many “first time” offers in this year’s catalog to take advantage of including: “The Physics of NASCAR”, “Don’t Try This at Home – the Physics of Hollywood Movies”, “Steven Hawking: A Biography” and “Teaching Physics for the First Time”.

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The Quantum Exchange

QuantumExchangeThe Quantum Exchange is a web-based repository of resources for teachers of quantum physics and modern physics. This material is meant to supplement and enrich courses based on standard quantum physics textbooks. The materials on this site are selected by the Editors for being high quality educational resources.

The materials in this collection have been organized by resource category: Pedagogy, Applications, Background Information, Student Activities, and Tutorials, and by their subject. The collection can be searched by keyword, author, or URL. More detailed searches are also available through the Advanced Search which includes General and Specific topics, Resource Type, and Grade Level. http://www.compadre.org/quantum


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 AAPT NEWS may expire over time.

Copyright (c) 2008, American Association of Physics Teachers

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