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eNNOUNCER April 2012          

eNNOUNCER April 2012


ATTENTION: AAPT Website Maintenance
          April 16-23


We are upgrading our database to better serve our members.  This transition means that online access to membership, donations, meeting registration, and the Physics Store will not be available between April 16 and April 23.  If you try to complete a web transaction between those dates you will be directed to an upgrade notice and invited to return after the upgrade.  Plan to complete your transactions early and avoid frustration. If you need to contact an AAPT staff member call us at 301-209-3311.  Specific staff contact information is available at http://www.aapt.org/aboutaapt/organization/contactus.cfm.       


Summer Meeting  2012
          Physics: The Experimental Core


The 2012  Summer Meeting will take place July 28 - August 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of the first great American experimental physicist, Ben Franklin.  Physics is an experimental science.  Encouraging and empowering the next generation to embrace the art of experimentation that lies at the core of  physics, will ensure that our field remains vibrant and alive.
          Now accepting contributed and poster abstracts.
  Submit yours today!


Winter Meeting 2012 Highlights


Read the highlights. Watch the videos. Enjoy the photos.


Save the Date:
        Winter Meeting 2013, January 5-9 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
        Summer Meeting 2013, July 13-17 (Portland, Oregon)


Barbara Lotze Scholarship Winners


The Barbara Lotze Scholarship Committee has announced that the 2011 scholarship winners are David McArdle, Julia Carson, and Erin Marshall.  The AAPT Executive Board offers scholarships for future high school physics teachers. These scholarships, supported by an endowment funded by Barbara Lotze, are available only to U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools. Undergraduate students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors entering such programs are eligible. Successful applicants receive a stipend of up to $2,000. The scholarship may be granted to an individual for each of four years.       


Philip Sadler Named as Recipient of the 2012 Robert A. Millikan Medal


College Park, Maryland, United States, April 2, 2012—The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that Philip M. Sadler is the 2012 recipient of the Robert A. Millikan Medal. Read more.


Call for AAPT Awards Nominations


Recognize excellence in physics education! The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for all of our awards, citations, and medals. AAPT members are urged to review the descriptions on the AAPT website and then, following instructions, to nominate individuals who should be considered for any of these awards. Nominations remain active for five years.

Photo Contest Registration Now Open


High School Physics Photo ContestThe 2012 High School Physics Photo Contest is accepting entries from students in grades 9-12 (or equivalent international grade level). Photos may be entered in one of two categories: Natural and Contrived. Submit your entries online today!
          More information online.


U.S. Physics Team Semifinalists


AAPT has announced the top students chosen to advance to the Semifinal round of U.S. Physics Team selection. Approximately 3,000 students participated in this first phase of the selection process, the Fnet=ma Exam, in January. The Semifinalists participated in a second examination during March. Top scorers in the second exam will become the 2012 U.S. Physics Team. Watch for announcements.       


Big Top PhysicsBig Top Physics


AAPT will join our physics colleagues, APS, ASA, OSA, SPS, AIP and the University of Maryland MRSEC in a celebration of Big Top Physics, the most spectacular physics show on earth, at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 28 and 29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
          Learn more


Is Your Membership Up-to-date?

It may be time to renew and ensure continuity of your benefits, services and valuable AAPT journal content. Log into your member record at AAPT.org, using your ID and password.  You can verify your status from your profile page and use the link provided there to renew.  If you have any questions, or concerns or need further assistance, feel free to contact Member Services at 301-209-3333, or by e-mail at membership@aapt.org.


Graduating this Spring?


Congratulations! Post your resume at the AAPT Career Center.
          Looking to recruit a talented recent graduate? Register with the AAPT Career Center.


AAPT Joins AIP Discussion on Physics Issues


Just as efforts to increase the number of Physics Bachelor's degrees, through programs such as SPIN-UP and New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshops, are proving effective (up more than 2,000 degrees since 2001) several states, notably Texas, Missouri, and Louisiana, are implementing plans to cancel undergraduate degree programs in departments that graduate small numbers of majors. The cutoff number is typically about 25 graduates over a five-year period. These cuts are publicly touted as ways of enhancing efficiency in higher education. In many cases, however, the cuts in STEM programs have many (presumably) unintended consequences: reducing the availability of STEM degrees for minority students and students in rural areas, eliminating opportunities for training high school STEM teachers with a major or minor in STEM fields, decreasing the quality of undergraduate STEM instruction in a department (including the education of other STEM majors), and reducing opportunities for undergraduate research.
          Read more.       


Survey of Physics in Two-Year Colleges


AAPT is a co-sponsor for a study of physics in two-year colleges currently being conducted by the Statistical Research Center (SRC) at the American Institute of Physics (AIP). This is a campus-based, department-level study. If you are the coordinator for physics on your campus, you should have received e-mail messages about the study. We hope you’ll click on the link and complete the questionnaire. If you are not the coordinator for physics on your campus, please check with the person who is and encourage him or her to click on the link and complete the questionnaire. The American Chemical Society is also conducting a campus-based, department-level study, so there is also a set of questions about chemistry lab safety practices. The questionnaire is set up so that a physics specialist can answer the physics questions and a chemistry specialist can answer the chemistry questions. If you have any questions, please contact Susan White, Research Manager in the SRC, at swhite@aip.org.       


Backgrounds of High School Physics Teachers


About 46% of high school physics teachers have a major or minor in physics or physics education. Many of the remaining 54% have taken post-secondary classes in physics and physics education, and over 80% of them hold a degree in another STEM discipline. Read this AIP Statistical Research Center report.


Apparatus Competition


The Apparatus Competition was established to recognize, reward, and publicize worthwhile contributions to physics teaching through demonstration and experiment. The Competition is held annually during AAPT's summer meeting and is open to all members. Complete entry materials are due June 15, 2012. More information       


Biennial Physics Department Chairs Meeting


AAPT and APS will be hosting the biennial Physics Department Chairs Meeting June 8-10, 2012 in College Park, MD.  The meeting provides an opportunity for department chairs to learn about recent developments in physics education, research activities, and science funding and to talk with other department chairs about a broad spectrum of physics department issues.  APS will organize an optional Congressional visit day on June 7. The Steering Committee is building the program for this year’s workshop around four major topics:
          Theme: Reshaping the Physics Agenda in the 21st Century

  1. Overcoming the "die or thrive" challenge: What can be done to ensure sustainable, healthy physics enrollments and thriving physics programs in times of budgetary crisis.
  3. Physics Curriculum in the 21st Century: The role of physics within an interdisciplinary, STEM education.  A new look at the overall undergraduate curriculum for physics majors (what to add, what to cut, what to emphasize); what is the canonical physics graduate curriculum, and how to prepare our undergrads for it?
  5. Preparing students for careers in an increasingly global R&D environment.
  7. Connecting with local and regional industry: industry internships for physics majors, alumni outreach, tech transfer, jobs, new problems, online courses for continuing education

Register for the Workshop before May 7.


CSU Partners with PhysTEC to Boost California Science Teacher Production


California's perennial shortage of qualified science teachers is nothing new. Addressing the shortage has long been a priority for the state, with both the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) spending considerable resources in recent years to improve the quality and quantity of credentialed science teachers. Despite these efforts, however, demand continues to exceed supply of qualified science and math teachers; in California today, as many as 18% of high school physical science teachers lack appropriate credentials. It is to help address this problem that PhysTEC is proposing a systemwide partnership with CSU, aimed at assisting the CSU in reaching its goal of producing 1,500 science teachers a year over the next decade. Read more.


Inside Science News Service


Keep up to date on the latest happenings in research, current affairs and the science behind the news. Subscribe to this weekly digest of news stories from Inside Science News Service.  Inside Science is a member benefit brought to you through our membership in the American Institute for Physics.


The Physics EducatorThe Physics Educator


Earlier this year AAPT  introduced an online, members-only site called The Physics Educator (TPE). TPE's mission is to promote interest in and the advancement of physics education at all levels.  At members request new features have been added including a rating system, a forum, and more.  Further suggestions are welcome. Login and try it out.




The Spacetime Emporium


The Spacetime Emporium is a collection of websites for teaching and learning about relativity. Online exhibits, activities, and papers are included. To find resources, you can browse the collection or search our database by content topic, resource type, or content level.
          Here you can find information and resources for anyone interested in Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity. There are materials for a wide audience, from the general science reader to specialists in spacetime physics. You may create an account to personalize the Spacetime Emporium, organize resources, suggest additional material, or leave comments.


Section News


Spring Meetings
          Indiana Section, April 13-14, 2012
          Brigham Young University Idaho, Rexburg, ID
          Long Island Section, April 21, 2012
          Amusement Park Physics, Adventureland Amusement Park, Farmingdale, NY
          LIPTA online
          Michigan Section, April 21, 2012
          Grand Valley State Unversity, Allendale, MI
  MINAAPT online
        Northern California-Nevada Section, April 21, 2012
          Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe, CA
          NCNAAPT online
        Southern California Section, April 21, 2012
          CSU San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
  SCAAPT online
New England Section, April 27-28, 2012
          Thayer Academy, Braintree, MA
  NEAAPT online
Southern Ohio Section, April 27-28, 2012
          Ohio University-Lancaster, Lancaster, OH
  SOSAAPT online
        Chicago Section, April 28, 2012
          Thornton Township High School, Harvey, IL
  Chicago Section online
      To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org. See the December 2011 Section News.


Nominations Open for APS Excellence in Physics Education Award


This award recognizes and honors a team, group of collaborating individuals, or an exceptional single individual, who has exhibited a sustained commitment to excellence in physics education. The application deadline is July 1, 2012. Please consider nominating outstanding candidates, including your own group. Get details.


A Framework for K-12 Science Education: A Webinar Introduction


A Framework or K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas,  released by the National Research Council in July 2011, identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school.  Join the April 17, 2012 webinar to learn about the framework, how it was developed, and how it will impact the way science is taught in K-12 classrooms. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters. Read the Framework. Register for the Webinar. Bose online.


New Poll Shows Strong Support for Improving Science Education


A recent poll released today shows voters are virtually unanimous—97%—in believing that improving the quality of science education is important to the United States' ability to compete globally. Moreover, making sure American students receive a world-class education in math and science ranked second only to fixing the nation's financial health as a strategy for improving America's economic competitiveness with other countries.
        Read more.


PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes


Call for applications! Early to mid-career faculty are invited to apply to the week-long Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Summer Leadership Institutes held in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at the Baca Campus of Colorado College in Crestone Colorado. This opportunity is geared towards STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. Participation in the leadership institute is often a life-changing experience inspiring faculty and enabling them as agents of change. Deadline is April 6.
        Apply online.


Gordon Research Conference


Astronomy’s Discoveries and Physics Education is the theme of the 2012 Physics Research and Education Gordon Research Conference. This promises to be one of the best PRE:GRC conferences ever. It will be at Colby College in Waterville, ME, June 17-22. Some 150 speakers and participants will survey remarkable discoveries and technologies of astronomy astrophysics, and space science and explore their potential for enriching undergraduate physics education. See the conference program. Click "Online Application" and fill out the form.  To ask for funds to help you attend, contact cholbrow@mit.edu. The deadline to apply is May 17.


2012 Modeling Workshops


Fifty Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry, and/or physical science will be held in summer 2012 at sites in approximately 20 states. Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Content is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials and work through activities alternately in the roles of student or teacher, as they practice techniques of guided inquiry and cooperative learning.
Modeling Instruction is one of two K-12 science programs designated by the U.S. Department of Education as EXEMPLARY. Some sites have stipends, usually for in-state teachers. Graduate credit is available at most sites. Pre-service teachers are welcome at most sites. Read online.


ASU Modeling Workshops in Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science


Four 3-week Modeling Workshops (June 11-29, July 2-20) for high school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. The program can lead to a Master of Natural Science degree. Low-cost family housing. Modeling Instruction is designated as an Exemplary K-12 science program by the U.S. Department of Education. Read online. May 10 deadline for non-degree teachers, and March 15 for degree-seeking teachers.


STARR Noyce Scholarship


The deadline for the STARR Noyce Scholarship is May 7, 2012 for the 2012–2013 academic year.  This year the program provides graduate students in the TEAMS program who are working toward becoming science teachers up to $17K/year per to be put toward academic expenses. Read more and apply here.
          Watch the general introduction video of the NSF-funded Robert Noyce Scholarship Program.


National Science Board: Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 State Data Tool


This is a very useful tool for seeing how your state compares on a variety of science and engineering measures.
          See how your state compares.


Undergraduate Research and Change in Higher Education: A Scholarly Discussion


The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) will be offering a pre-conference symposium at the ISSOTL 2012 conference in Hamilton, Canada. This year's symposium is entitled: Undergraduate Research and Change in Higher Education: A Scholarly Discussion.  In this day-long symposium we plan to explore how undergraduate research effects change in Higher Education, and how a variety of changes in Higher Education affect undergraduate research. Posters will play key roles in this seminar. The deadline to submit a poster for consideration is September 1, 2012. Get details here. Submissions are also being accepted for the ISSOTL conference proper. We welcome proposals for papers, panels, posters and pre-conference workshops. Proposal guidelines and online submission form.  The deadline has been extended through March 25, 2012 for submissions. Get more details here. Please note the early registration deadline is September 15, 2012.


Faster-than-Light Neutrino Results Laid to Rest


Last autumn, the physics world was abuzz with reports of neutrinos, highly abundant but invisible subatomic particles routinely produced in nuclear reactions such as those within the Sun, measured as traveling faster than the speed of light believed to be the cosmic speed limit.  But this result now appears to be history. The declaration of Albert Einstein, whose 133rd birthday anniversary was last month, still holds. The speed of light in vacuum—roughly 300,000 kilometers, or 186,000 miles, per second—remains the speed limit of all known matter and energy in the universe.
          Read more.


Special Issue on Physics and The Earth


Take a journey deep inside our planet with the March 2012 special issue of Physics World, which takes you from the crust to the center of the Earth, encountering earthquake physics, geomagnetic reversal, core conditions and even geoneutrinos. For a limited time only, you can download a PDF of the issue free of charge at physicsworld.com.


Students Accelerate Learning with Sknowflake Physics 1 iPhone App


The Sknowflake Physics 1 app takes the frustration out of learning physics by putting everything a student needs to truly engage the concepts in a simple iPhone App.
          iTunes link
Video link       




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Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.


Copyright © 2012, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue


Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher


A Stand-Alone Interactive Physics Showcase
                                Read online


American Journal of Physics


Determination of contact angle from the maximum height of enlarged drops on solid surfaces
                              Read online


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Members in
the News


CU-Boulder prof designated "President's Teaching Scholar"
The University of Colorado designated Noah Finkelstein
as "President's Teaching Scholar," recognizing his work for teaching.


Read online


Award-Winning Teacher Connects Students To Physics
Souhegan physics teacher Bob Rotier received the NH Air Force Association Norman "Bud" Fortier Teacher of the Year award for "continued dedication and commitment to both Aerospace Education and children."


Read online


Sabatier Named FCPS Teacher of Year
                                Charles Sabatier, a physics teacher at Mount Vernon High School, has been named the Fairfax County Public Schools 2012 Teacher of the Year.


Read online


Physics Store Features


The Flying
Circus of Physics


The Flying Circus of Physics






                                  Theories Apart


Drawing Theories Apart



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