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eNNOUNCER April, 2009

AAPT Awards and Recognition

Summer 2009 Awards Announced

The following awards will be presented at the Summer Meeting in Ann Arbor, MI, July 25-29, 2009. Follow the links for more information about recipients.

Arthur Eisenkraft Recognized with Robert A. Millikan Medal

Lee Smolin Named Klopsteg Memorial Award Recipient

Mario Belloni: Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching

Deborah Roudebush: Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching

Distinguished Service Citation Awardees

Looking for just the right way to recognize that special physicist or future physics teacher in your life? The AAPT Awards program http://www.aapt.org/Grants/awards.cfm and Recognition programs for Outstanding Students http://www.aapt.org/Grants/studentcert.cfm and for Outstanding Teaching Assistants http://www.aapt.org/Grants/studentcert.cfm offer many opportunities to recognize outstanding achievement in physics scholarship, research, leadership, and physics education. Nominations for awards to be presented at the 2010 Winter Meeting are now being accepted. They should be sent to Lila Adair, Awards Committee Chair, no later than July 15.

U.S. Physics Team 2009

U.S. Physics Team LogoThe top 150 students have been chosen to advance to the Semifinal round of U.S. Physics Team selection. Nearly 4,000 students participated in the Fnet=ma Exam in January. The top 407 students advanced to take the Quarterfinal exam in February. Qualifying semifinalists have been posted by AAPT on our website at www.aapt.org/physicsteam/semifinalists.cfm. The U.S. Physics Team is supported by donations from physics professionals like you. Support your team with your donation at http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/donate.cfm and follow their progress on our website.

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Registration for the Spring 2009 session of Adopt-a-Physicist closes April 5! This free program connects high school students with physics graduates via online message boards (April 13-May 1). In this supervised forum students can connect to "real" physicists and can talk freely about careers, school, work, and family balance. The Adopt-a-Physicist program is open to all high school physics classes, but registration is limited to the first 150 classes, so sign up today! The program is sponsored by AAPT, AIP/SPS, and APS and brought to you through ComPADRE and the NSF/NSDL. You can read more about the program and register your classes on the Adopt-a-Physicist website www.adoptaphysicist.org/.

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High School Photo Contest

photo contest winner of paper clipEvery year, AAPT holds a contest for the best physics-based photos. The contest is open to high school 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 now! http://www.aapt.org/Contests/photocontest.cfm

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Physics Day at Six Flags America

Join us at Six Flags America for hands-on learning, thrills and fun on April 24, 2009!

Make sure your students get more out of Physics Day than a roller coaster ride. Our best seller, Amusement Park Physics (OP-62), includes a teacher's guide, practice problems, information on accelerometers, a measurement reference, laboratory exercises, reproducible student worksheets and reprinted resource articles. This $27 reference provides everything you need to make your field trip successful. Purchase online at www.aapt.org/Store

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Save the Date! AAPT Summer Meeting 2009 in Ann Arbor

AAPT summer meeting 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan logoThe AAPT 2009 Summer Meeting will take place at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, July 25-29. The theme is “Discovering the Universe: Democritus and Galileo to Fundamental Particles and Cosmology.” Committee meetings, sessions, and workshops will occur across the grounds at UM. Detailed information is available on the AAPT website at http://www.aapt.org/Events/sm2009/index.cfm. Registration will begin May 1.

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2009 Topical Conference on Advanced Labs

Topical conference on advanced labsThe Topical Conference on Advanced Labs will take place before AAPT’s Summer Meeting on July 23-25, 2009 at the University of Michigan. This two and a half day meeting will cover techniques, experiments, and curricular ideas for post-introductory undergraduate labs, whether they are independent or tied to a lecture course. The conference will include invited speakers on a variety of topics, presentations by commercial vendors, and lots of opportunities for hands-on experiences with experimental equipment. For more information, please go to http://advlabs.aapt.org/

Check the events calendar for future meetings.


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AAPT on Facebook

AAPT has developed a Facebook Page. Visit our page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Association-of-Physics-Teachers/43948086085?ref=ts and become a fan! Share the AAPT Facebook Page with your colleagues and help spread the news!

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SPIN-UP Regional Workshops: How to Enhance Your Undergraduate Physics Program

SPIN-UP logoAAPT in cooperation with the APS and AIP and with support from the National Science Foundation invites teams from physics departments to attend one of four regional workshops. The goal of the SPIN-UP Regional Workshops is to enable physics departments in a wide variety of institutions to build the departmental infrastructure that will produce long-term improvements in undergraduate physics programs and to enhance both the number of students studying physics and the quality of student learning.

Each workshop invites teams of 3-4 faculty members including the chair and the associate chair for undergraduate education to work with an experienced group of faculty members to analyze the current departmental situation and where they would like to be and how to implement to sustainable change that will enable them to accomplish their goals.Participation will be determined on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information and application materials visit http://www.aapt.org/Projects/spinup-regional.cfm.

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2009 PTEC Conference

The 2009 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference was held March 13 in Pittsburgh, PA. The meeting opened with an address by Don Langenberg, University of Maryland, on Punctuated Equillibrium in Higher Education. Plenaries were by Phillip Sadler, Harvard University, entitled What Predicts Success in Learning Physics and Linda Slakey, National Science Foundation, titled The National Science Foundation and Teacher Education. Workshops were presented on Partnerships for Transformation, Recruiting Teachers, Early Teaching Experiences, Introductory Course Reform, Resources for Transformation, Teaching Methods, Education Research, and Professional Development. The Closing Session was a Panel, The Role of Professional Societies in Physics Teacher Education. All presentations from the PTEC Conference are now online at http://www.ptec.org/events/Presentations.cfm?ID=3.

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New Physics And Astronomy Faculty Workshop Reunion Meeting

Nearly 50 former participants in Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshops gathered for The New Faculty Reunion on Sunday, March 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA. The day began with a panel presentation, Increasing the Number of Undergraduate Physics Majors and related issues, moderated by Bob Hilborn from The University of Texas at Dallas. Panel members were David Marx, Illinois State University; Debi Prasad Choudhary, Cal State Northridge; and Brian Utter, James Madison University.

PhET and Physics Simulations were presented by Wendy Adams of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Then attendees broke into small groups to consider What Worked Well and What Should be Changed in the New Faculty Workshops, and Ideas for Increasing the Number of Undergraduate Physics Majors.

In the afternoon attendees enjoyed sessions on Transforming Your Physics Course with Undergraduate Learning Assistants by Valerie Otero and Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado, Boulder, and The Oregon State Paradigms Program for Upper-level Physics by Corrine Manogue, Oregon State University. The event closed with a panel session, Becoming a Department Leader: What I wish I had Known Before I Became a Department Chair, moderated by Laurie McNeil, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The panel members were William Dieterle, California University of Pennsylvania; Mostafa Elaasar, Southern University of New Orleans; Lok C. Lew Yan Voon, Wright State University; Elizabeth Simmons, Michigan State University. By all accounts it was a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and continue to grow professionally. Thank you to all those who participated and helped to make this first reunion such a success.

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Physical Review Special Topics—Physics Education Research Online Journal

Physical Review Special Topics—Physics Education Research (PRST-PER) http://prst-per.aps.org/ is a peer reviewed electronic-only journal sponsored by The American Physical Society (APS), the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the APS Forum on Education (APS FEd). The journal covers the full range of experimental and theoretical research on the teaching and/or learning of physics. PRST-PER is distributed without charge and financed by publication charges to the authors or to the authors' institutions. RSS feeds, including Table of Contents Headings are available at http://feeds.aps.org/

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The Nucleus

The Nucleus, a comPADRE collection, is designed specifically to serve as an informational touchpoint and online community for undergraduate physics and astronomy students. Undergraduates are encouraged to register and participate in the growth of the site—the more visitors we have coming through and providing thoughts, opinions, and further content, the more valuable this site will become!

Users of the Nucleus are encouraged to actively participate. They may vote in polls, share thoughts, suggest materials for the editor to include in the collection, and build personal collections of materials. Although anyone may use the database, participation requires the creation of a user account so that contributions can be connected to the user. Account creation is free and requires only a name and email address. http://www.compadre.org/student

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Statistical and Thermal Physics (STP) Collection

ComPADRE announces the Statistical and Thermal Physics (STP) Collection of web-based resources for teachers and students of statistical and thermal physics. The resources in this Collection include curricular materials, theory, problems, and simulations on topics ranging from thermal equilibrium to the Ising model. The STP Collection is organized by topic and resource type and highlights sample collections of materials for classroom use. Registered users of the library (registration is free) can build personal collections of materials, comment on resources, and submit materials for consideration by the STP Editors. http://www.compadre.org/stp/

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AAPT Section News

Colorado/Wyoming Section Spring Meeting

The Colorado/Wyoming Section of AAPT and SPS Zone 14 would like to announce its 2009 Spring Meeting and a Call for Papers, Posters, and Demos. The meeting will be held April 17-18 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado. The deadline for submissions and registration is Friday April 10th. See http://www.dapep.org/COWY_AAPT/Call_for_Papers_2009_Spring_Meeting_COWY_AAPT_and_SPS_Zone_14.pdf for more information.

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AAPT Members in the News

2009 Golden Apple Recipient

Trey Fisk, Physics teacher and AAPT member, is one of five Golden Apple Recipients for 2009. Fisk, a physics and algebra teacher, is the first Golden Apple recipient from his school, Rockford Lutheran Jr/Sr. High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical science from Concordia University Chicago, and his master’s in educational astronomy from the University of Illinois-Springfield. He has been a teacher for 15 years. Fisk is a teacher who gives his lessons everything he’s got, Principal Don Kortze said. “It’s great to see people who have a passion for education,” he said. “I love what I do,” Fisk said, and he’s inspired by his dad, a retired teacher. For more information see http://www.goldenappleofrockford.com/

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FREE: Download a PDF of the Astronomy 2009 Special Issue of Physics World

To celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009, Physics World has devoted the whole of its March issue to the exploration of the cosmos. The issue includes interviews with leading figures from the world of astronomy, who reveal what they think are the biggest challenges for the subject.

Other feature articles look at the search for exoplanets, the development of planetary exploration, the return to the Moon, astronomers' plans for extra-large telescopes, and the legacy of Galileo. The issue also showcases five iconic images from astronomy. Get your copy at http://physicsworld.com/cws/download/si2009.

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AAS Galileoscope Project

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), together with a host of partners working to make the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA) a rich and wondrous experience for students of all ages around the globe, officially launched the next phase of its Galileoscope project last week. During 2009, this ambitious program aims to make and distribute, at cost, 1 million "Galileoscopes"—primarily to schoolchildren. "Our team of science education experts, astronomers, and engineers have applied all we have learned in many years of designing the best telescopes on the planet and in space in order to tackle this very challenging project: an inexpensive high-quality telescope specifically designed to promote inquiry and to educate and inspire children," says Stephen Pompea, a project leader for the Galileoscope program and director of the US IYA effort. Other key leaders of the project are Rick Fienberg, editor emeritus of Sky and Telescope magazine, and Doug Arion of Carthage College.

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The Universe Adventure YouTube Video Contest

The Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics (BCCP), through the generous support of HONEYWELL CORPORATION, is sponsoring a YouTube competition to engage high school teachers and their students in a creative learning process combining social networking, science education, and peer learning. This competition challenges participants to create a video on YouTube that demonstrates one of the key fundamental scientific principles or physical laws that governs cosmology or astrophysics in the universe. See http://universeadventure.org/ for more information.

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The INSPIRE Project Scientific Scholarship and Internship Programs

Science Competition Scholarships ~ NASA Goddard Internships

Space Camp & Robotics Workshops for Educators

The INSPIRE Project, Inc., a non-profit scientific, educational corporation is pleased to announce the following opportunities for high school and college students and educators in all the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Dr. William W.L. "Bill" Taylor Memorial Science Scholarship Competition
Application Deadline: March 16, 2009
Scholarship Awards: $5,000 per recipient
Scientifically oriented undergraduate and graduate college students and high school seniors who will be attending a DC metro area college or university in Fall 2009 are encouraged to apply.
Paid NASA Internship Program
Application Deadline: Ongoing
Internship Awards: $5,000 per recipient, plus $400 travel stipend
The INSPIRE Project, Inc. is sponsoring part-time (15-20 hours per week), paid internships at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center focus on STEM disciplines.

Space Academy for Educators & Robotics Workshop Scholarship Program
JULY 2009 NASA Marshall Flight Center, Huntsville AL
Application Deadline: March 16, 2009
The INSPIRE Project Inc. is offering 2 full scholarships to Space Academy for Educators (5-day program) and 2 full scholarships for the Robotics Weekend Workshop. All expenses included. High school and university educators are encouraged to apply. For more information on these opportunities, visit: www.TheINSPIREProject.org or email info@TheINSPREProject.org

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Innovation Sets 2009 NSTA/Vernier Technology Award Winners Apart from the Competition

Awardees win Vernier data-collection tools, cash, and professional development reimbursement.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Vernier Software & Technology announce the seven winners of the 2009 NSTA/Vernier Technology Award, where innovation and scientific investigation are applauded. Ranging from elementary school teachers to college instructors, these seven science educators were selected as winners by an NSTA-appointed panel of experts for creating innovative data-collection lessons and programs in their classrooms.

Each winner received $1,000 in Vernier products, $1,000 in cash, and up to $1,000 toward expenses to attend the 2009 NSTA National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 19-22, 2009. They are to be formally recognized during the convention's NSTA Awards Banquet.

For more information see http://www.vernier.com/grants/nstaawards2009.html

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