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eNNOUNCER August, 2009

A Look Back at Ann Arbor

As the plenaries, award addresses, and presentations unfolded throughout the week, the overarching theme was that physics educators teach students, not physics, and they reach them one at a time. In his Robert A. Millikan Medal address, "Physics for All, From Special Needs to Olympiads," Arthur Eisentraft focused on recognizing the abilities of each child and giving all children the opportunity to be actively involved in self-directed learning. That message was affirmed in later addresses by Deborah Roudebush (Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching Award) and Mario Belloni (Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching Award). Public education about the contributions and roles of physics in the global community were the focus of Lee Smolin's Klopsteg Memorial Award address, "The Role of the Scientist as a Public Intellectual," and John Rigden's Andrew W. Gement Award address. These lessons were given life with the public promotion and active community involvement in the Demonstration Show hosted by the University of Michigan Physics Department and performed by members of PIRA. A huge thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers who made the 2009 Summer Meeting so memorable and successful.

The University of Michigan proved to be an outstanding meeting location, drawing over 1,023 registrants and 30 exhibitors.

Thank you to the following exhibitors who donated books or gifts to the Great Book Giveaway. Your generosity and support helped make this AAPT summer meeting a success.

CPO Science

Its About Time

Klinger Educational Products


Vernier Software and Technology

W.H. Freeman

Check the events calendar for future meetings.


Bringing Home the Gold: U.S. Physics Team Wins Four Gold Medals and One Silver Medal

The five student representatives of the United States Physics team won four gold medals and one silver medal at the 40th International Physics Olympiad held in Merida, Mexico in July of 2009. Students from China won five gold medals, coming in first on the overall medal count; while India and Korea also won four gold medals and one silver medal, tying for second with the United States on the overall medal count. See http://aapt-physicsteam.blogspot.com/2009/07/bringing-home-gold-us-physics-team-wins.html for more.

Congratulations to the 2009 High School Photo Contest Winners

This year more than 800 high school students from around the world submitted photographs to this annual competition. Students enter their photographs in either the Natural or Contrived Category. Final winners are selected by attendees during the AAPT Summer Meeting. The Contest is sponsored by Vernier Software and Technology.

In the CoWeber_C-210_1stntrived Photo Category
1st: Kelsey Rose Weber
2nd: Samantha Nicole Gold
3rd: Christopher Michael Curti

Honorable Mention: Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Rachel Sarah Karten, Jayme Lauren Littlefield, Katie Marie Thompson, Heather Rebecca Wilcox

In the Natural Photo CategoryN-774 Lampe_1st
1st Natural: Chase William Lampe
2nd Natural: Bethany Jeanne Schmitkons
3rd Natural: David Abraham Levine

Honorable Mention: Austin Thomas Ferro, Catherine Guenther, Cindy Cin Yee Law, Alexander Craig Norton, Ruijun Wang

C-69specialrecognitionSpecial Recognition
John Stefan Kusiv



Apparatus Competition Winners for the 2009 Summer Meeting Ann Arbor

The winners of the Apparatus Competition have been awarded!


Thanks to PASCO Scientific for generously providing cash prizes to the creators of this year's winning entries.

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AAPT Advanced Labs

Advanced Labs intends to provide a central, comprehensive information base for college/university faculty who teach upper-level undergraduate laboratories. These include, but are not limited to, labs in electronics, condensed matter, optics, atomic physics, mechanics, and the like—and also research-based, independent-study labs. Accepted resources will be available by browsing or searching the collection by content topic or resource type.

Advanced Labs is produced by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). It is a part of ComPADRE, the online collection of resources in physics and astronomy education, which itself is a part of the National Science Foundation-funded National Science Digital Library (NSDL). http://advlabs.aapt.org

Section News

July Section News on AAPT.org

As a service to AAPT Sections, we have published news that was sent to us by section representatives reporting on meetings held before June 30. Two issues of Section News are published annually in July and January.

To catch up on the latest section events, visit http://www.aapt.org/Sections/index.cfm and click on July 2009 Section News.

Arizona Section News

The Arizona Section Spring Meeting featured a tour of the Physics Factory www.physicsfactory.org. Richard Sommerfield presented "Lab Adventures". He shared video, photos, and handouts of labs using Pasco probeware.

Roger Tanner gave an update on the Phoenix Mars Scout Mission. Accomplishments include - 30,000 images, weather record, documented water, ice, snowfall, measured the pH of soil (8.3), and found evidence of basic nutrients, calcium carbonates, perchlorates, other salts. This was the first time a public university managed ground operations for a space mission

Supapan Seraphin from the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arizona spoke on Research Experience for Teachers the Center provides.

The results of Dark Skies over Arizona were presented by Tom Vining. The group measured sky quality at Grand Canyon and in North Scottsdale March 23-25.

Michael Sampogna, Pima Community College taught about Near Space Balloon Experiments. Their undergraduate group measured solar radiation above the Earth's atmosphere.

Michigan Section News

MichiganSectionThe Michigan section Spring Meeting took place at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University on Friday and Saturday, March 27th and 28th. Zach Constan, Outreach Coordinator, served ably as our host. The meeting consisted of workshops, talks and tours. MIAAPT sponsored the second of its AAPT Dodge Fund Mini-grant workshops. The first 6-hour workshop, Kinematics for Newer Teachers, took place in Detroit on March 7th at the Michigan Science Teachers Conference. The second workshop, Waves for Newer Teachers, met on Friday for five hours and joined other participants for a 1.5 hour ComPADRE Workshop follow-up Saturday afternoon. Nicole Murawski and Al Gibson ran both the Motion and Waves workshops. After dinner on Friday, Zach Constan, NSCL, conducted a two hour Marble Nuclei Workshop for more than 25 participants. Photo shows MIAAPT 2009 Distinguished Service Awardee HC Snyder of St. Clair Community College being congratulated by Peter Rae and Paul Zitzewitz.

Members in the News

Lawrence, Lowell High Schools Collaborate With UMass Lowell Grad Students

LOWELL, Mass.—Forget the jokes about engineers with pocket protectors and absent-minded scientists in white lab coats. Today's world needs scientific understanding and innovation to solve global problems.

With the help of a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), UMass Lowell graduate students in science and engineering will learn how to communicate about research. The project, GK-12: Vibes and Waves in Action, connects graduate-level researchers to high-school teachers and students in Lowell and Lawrence. The project theme on sound and electromagnetic waves relates well to the high school physics and math curriculum, say teachers.

Jesus Hernandez, physics teacher at Lawrence High School and participant in a pilot version of the project, said, "The Vibes and Waves program has been beneficial to my students and complemented the topics I was covering. Many of them told me that the program helped them to remember related concepts much better on the MCAS exam"

People to Know: Eric Mazur

If you follow the world of classroom response systems, you've likely heard of Harvard physics professor Eric Mazur. (I've certainly mentioned him often here.) Mazur's book, Peer Instruction, and related talks and videos introduced the most commonly used clicker pedagogy (peer instruction) to many instructors in the sciences and other disciplines. Read more at http://derekbruff.com/teachingwithcrs/

OU Physics and Astronomy Chair Steps Down After 19 Years

Ryan Doezema recently stepped down as chair of the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Oklahoma." [Doezema] has secured a place in history as one of the most outstanding department chairs ever," said Paul B. Bell Jr., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University. Read more at: http://www.normantranscript.com/localnews/local_story_210011546

Vernier and NSTA Award Thousands to Innovators in Science Education

Each year Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) present the most innovative science teachers in the country with the Vernier Software & Technology/NSTA Technology Award. The awards, valued at $3000 each, are given to up to seven educators judged to have created the best inquiry-based, hands-on learning activities using data-collection technology interfaced with computers, graphing calculators and other handheld devices such as the Vernier LabQuest.

Up to one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers and one college-level educator will receive the technology awards. Each award consists of $1000 in cash, $1000 in Vernier equipment, and up to $1000 toward travel and expenses for attending NSTA's 2009 National Convention. Entries are due by November 30, 2009 and will be judged by a panel of experts appointed by NSTA. Educators can be nominated or self-nominate for the awards. Access to the online application and guidelines are available on the Vernier web site at www.vernier.com/grants/nsta.html.

The Space Elevator Games are ON!

The Spaceward Foundation and NASA have announced that the Space Elevator Games Climber / Power-Beaming competition has been scheduled for August 5-7 at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This year's challenges will feature several teams from the US and Canada competing for $2,000,000 of prize money, and it promises to be a spectacular race. Most of the teams competing this year are veterans of past competitions and they are now the experts in this field.

The official website for these games is http://www.spaceelevatorgames.org. Because this competition will not be open to the public (due to the secure facility where it is being held), it will be televised on NASA TV and via a webcast at the official website. In addition, the official website will show interviews, team standings, blog posts from the competition, clips from previous year's competitions, etc. - in short, everything you need to stay on top of the Games.

XXIVth International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems (ICMBRS XXIV) Conference

August 22-27, 2010, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Organized by Ray Norton.

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Copyright © 2009, American Association of Physics Teachers