AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

October 2007

From the Editors
Published October 15, 2007
Among the highlights in this issue: Election Ballots are in the mail, registration for the 2008 Winter Meeting in Baltimore opens on 10/24, and the latest issue of Interactions mails in a week. 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

Election Ballots Have Mailed

Members will be receiving ballots for this year's Board Election shortly. The Executive Board has approved electronic balloting as a new option beginning this year. Read more here.

Executive Board Candidates
Candidates' biographies are listed on the ballots that members are currently receiving by mail. View them online 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 November 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.

Summer Meeting Survey Winners
The 2007 Summer Meeting survey results have been announced. Each of the five winners, listed here, have won a $100 gift certificate to the AAPT Physics Store.

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 go here.

Legislative Action Center
The Senate returns to Washington this week and is scheduled to continue debate on the $56 million Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill. Help advance physics and education by urging your representatives to support funding for science education. 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 November 8 to news@aapt.org.

News from the Central Office

Interactions: September/October Issue
The Careers Beyond Physics issue of Interactions Across Physics and Education will mail at the end of October. Read more about Interactions and the transition of the Announcer here.

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.

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.

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) will open on Wednesday, October 24. The early-bird deadline is November 19. For more information go here.

Hotel Registration Now Open for the Baltimore Meeting
Hotel registration is now 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 the Winter Meeting page.

AAPT National Meetings: Save the Dates

  • 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)
NSTA Midwestern Regional Conference Featuring AAPT Physics Day
AAPT will offer a full day of physics content at the NSTA Midwestern Regional Conference in Detroit, MI, on October 18. For more information visit AAPT's Physics Day page.

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 the TARC web page.

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: http://www.rle.mit.edu/cua/tops.htm.

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: http://www.jets.org/programs/nedc.cfm.

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.

Physics and Education News

As Students Shy from Math and Science, U. Looks at Reasons
Source: Brown University Herald

Search for More Physics and Maths Teachers To End Decline
Source: The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Dark Energy Explained? Maybe If Universe Is Like a Black Hole...
Source: Wired.com

Building the Future of Physics
Source: MSNBC

Nobel Winner: Global Warming Is the New Sputnik
Source: U.S. News & World Report

Earth-Like Planet Forming 424 Light Years Away
Source: AFP

War Tragedy Highlights Ignored Scientists
Source: Labnews.co.uk (United Kingdom)

Physicist Defends Einstein's Theory and "Speed of Gravity" Measurement
Source: ScienceDaily

UC Berkeley Expands Online Content
Source: Associated Press

Picture of the Month
A New Twist
Source: PhysicsCentral

Stopping Atoms
Source: PhysOrg

Podcast of the Month
Sputnik Left Legacy for U.S. Science Education
Source: NPR

Unknown Particles To Weigh in at Higher Mass
Source: Associated Content

U.S. Seen Dominating Science Nobels—For Now
Source: Scientific American

The Science of Knots Unraveled
Source: LiveScience

Physics Myth Month
Source: About.com

Recommended Reading

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"Revisiting Hafemeister's Science and Society Tests" by R. J. Brecha, R. Berney, and B. Craver
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF)

The Physics Teacher
"Physics Northwest: An Academic Alliance" by James L. Hicks

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.

*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.