AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

eNNOUNCER August, 2010

link to the AAPT Career Center

SM2010 Portland

The first impression received upon arriving in Portland was how the physics of flight made it possible for us to almost shake hands with the summit of Mt. Hood. After hours of looking at the earth far below us, our view was suddenly filled by this prodigious snow covered volcanic peak and it was breathtaking!
Founded in 1843 on the banks of the Willamett River, Portland was incorporated in 1851 and was home to 800 inhabitants, a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, and a newspaper, the weekly Oregonian. The city’s location made it a favored port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century. In 2010 Portland and Portland State University were perfect hosts for the AAPT physics education community. Governor Theodore R. Kulongski declared July 18-24 Physics Education Week in recognition of the collective contributions of physics education and research to Oregon’s technology-based economy.
Read about the 21 Balloon Salute to retiring Executive Officer, Warren Hein, the events celebrating 50 years with lasers, the competitions, workshops, and sessions in the meeting highlights. See SM10 Highlights, http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/sm2010/2010-Summer-Meeting-Highlights.cfm

Save the Date: 2011 AAPT Winter Meeting, Jacksonville, FL. January 8-12, 2011. Celebrating 100 Years of Nuclear Physics (1911-2011). http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/wm2011/

U.S. Physics Team Scoops 1 Gold, 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze Medals at International Physics Competition

The US top physics students are bringing home 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals from the 41st International Physics Olympiad, held this year from July 17 to 25 in Zagreb, Croatia.
The gold medal winner: Daniel Li, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
The silver medal winners: Eric Spieglan, a sophomore at Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL and Anand Oza, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD
The bronze medal winners: Jenny Lu, a senior at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, CT and David Field, of Andover, MA, a senior at the Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA
The US Physics Team tied with Korea for 11th place. China, Taiwan, and Thailand tied for 1st place with five gold medals each.


2010 High School Physics Photo Contest Winners

Attendees at the AAPT Summer Meeting in Portland voted for their favorites from the top 100 photos selected by the judges and displayed during the meeting. The winning photos are below.

See more at http://www.aapt.org/programs/contests/winners.cfm?theyear=2010

Natural Category  
1st Place Natural 1st Place
Title: "Connecting Branches"
Student/photographer: Brittany Illana Fader
West Boca Raton Community High School, Boca Raton, FL
Teacher: Maria Aparicio
2nd Place Natural 2nd Place
Title: "Light on Water"
Student/photographer: Erika Lynn Laman
West Boca Raton Community High School, Boca Raton, FL
Teacher: Maria Aparicio
3rd Place Natural 3rd Place
Title: "Shrouded Flyer"
Student/photographer: Peter Xinman Tang
Lynbrook High School, San Jose, CA
Teacher: David Taylor
Contrived Category  
1st Place Contrived 1st Place
Title: "Slap Shot"
Student/photographer: Joshua John Garcia
Kuna High School, Kuna, ID
Teacher: DaNel Huggins
2nd Place Contrived 2nd Place
Title: "Let Me Pour You Some Rainbow"
Student/photographer: Alyson Michele Vallari
Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, CA
Teacher: David Lapp
3rd Place Contrived 3rd Place
Title: "Happy Hour"
Student/photographer: Natalie Colette Hummel
Columbus School for Girls, Columbus, OH
Teacher: Kevin Sweeney

2010 Department Chairs Conference

Presentations from the 2010 Department Chairs Conference, Broadening Physics Career Paths: Industry, Education & Policy, hosted by AAPT and APS are available online at http://www.aps.org/programs/education/chairs/index.cfm.

Meet Our 2010 Intern, Shane Allison

Shane Allison, SPS/AAPT InternAAPT and ComPadre hosted SPS intern, Shane Allison this summer. The SPS internships are broad-based learning opportunities for undergraduate physics majors. The 2010 interns worked at a wide variety of locations from NASA, OSA, APS and NIST to the House of Representatives and the AIP Center for the History of Physics. Shane, a student from the University of Wyoming, worked with Bruce Mason from ComPADRE on the Physics Digital Library and Physics Classroom collections. He helped with cataloging and video formatting for the collections. Shane was able to attend the 2010 Summer Meeting in Portland. His impression was that AAPT members are very busy, helpful, and knowledgable. The interns had some free time to tour the Washington, DC area and build relationships with each other. We wish Shane success as he returns to his studies.

Physics Classroom Calculator Pad

comPADRE Three new sections have been added to the Calculator Pad section of the Physics Classroom. View problem sets with audio guided solutions in Electricity; Waves, Sound, and Light; and Ray Optics.

The Calculator Pad represents the effort of The Physics Classroom website to provide students with practice solving physics word problems. Approximately 30 problems of varying degree of difficulty are provided for each topic. Answers can be easily viewed by clicking a button. And an audio file (mp3 format) is provided which explains the solution to the problem in great detail. With problems, answers, and solutions, physics students can learn to practice good habits of solving physics word problems and improve their understanding of quantitative relationships in physics.

PERTG Scholar-in-Residence

PERLOC is awarding a finite number of small grants to members of PERTG to support a faculty member, postdoc, or graduate student in visiting another research group for a period of internship, dialogue, collaboration, training, or the like. This Scholar-in-Residence (SIR) program seeks to assist scholars in crossing institutional boundaries to acquire and share the skills and knowledge that promote rigorous physics education research. The two goals of the program are to facilitate productive research interactions among PER scholars and to support the professional development of individuals in the PER community.
Proposals must be joint proposals (Host Organization and Visiting Scholar), and must address how the visit will benefit both the participants' research and the PER community. Appropriate demonstrations of benefit include (but are not limited to) papers and presentations that are outcomes of the visit.
To apply, submit a two-page request to Rachel Scherr via email (rescherr@gmail.com). Proposals should describe:

  • The goal of the visit for the Visiting Scholar.
  • The goal of the visit for the Host Organization.
  • Any commitments to be made or privileges to be offered to the Visiting Scholar by the Host Organization, such as title, workspace, computing resources, data access, presentation opportunities, and so on.
  • Any agreements to be made by the Visiting Scholar regarding work to be completed, data or expertise to be shared, presentations to be made, etc.
  • The anticipated day-to-day activities of the Visiting Scholar, including which members of the Host Organization will directly mentor or collaborate with the Visiting Scholar.
  • The logistics of the visit, including its length and budget.
  • Whether funds would be disbursed to the Hosting Organization or the Visiting Scholar, or divided between them.

Grants will be up to $2500. The application deadline is August 15.

AAPT Membership Video Contest

The AAPT Membership and Benefits Committee in conjunction with the membership department will invite members to create original videos about why someone should join the association. Approved videos will then be posted on the AAPT YouTube Channel. Entrants will submit their videos together with copyright transfer/entry agreement form to AAPT between August 15 and November 15, 2010.

Length of Videos: 1- 5 minutes
Video Goal: explain, in a clear and entertaining way, why one should join AAPT.
The video itself should include the following:
1. The name(s) and affiliation of the submitter.
2. The category: University and Four Year College Faculty, Two Year College Faculty, High School Teacher, Pre-High School Teacher, or Student.
All content, including music, must be original. The video must contain only original material.
The prize for each of the 5 categories will be a $100 gift certificate to the Physics Store.

Judging Criteria
Each Judge will rate the video on each of the following criteria as (1) fair; (2) good; (3) very good; or (4) outstanding:
1. Relevance to Prospective Members—does the video make someone want to join AAPT?
2. Video Quality
3. Creativity

Physics Store Features

Preconceptions in Mechanics: Lessons for Dealing with Students' Conceptual Difficulties, Second Edition

Preconceptions in MechanicsThis second edition of Charles Camp and John J. Clement's book contains a set of 24 innovative lessons and laboratories in mechanics for high school physics classrooms that was developed by a team of teachers and science education researchers. Research has shown that certain student preconceptions conflict with current physical theories and seem to resist change when using traditional instructional techniques. This book provides a set of lessons that are aimed specifically at these particularly troublesome areas: Normal Forces, Friction, Newton's Third Law, Relative Motion, Gravity, Inertia, and Tension. (380 pp.) A CD of all Materials for Duplication will be included with the book. $35/$28 AAPT Members. Find it at The Physics Store.

SpectraSound Music Transmission Device

SpectraSound Music Transmission DeviceAs part of the 50th anniversary of the laser, LaserFest created a kit called SpectraSound that allows you to transmit sound from your music player through a laser pointer to speakers across the room or further. With mirrors, you will be able to send your music anywhere! All you need is a music player (iPod, cassette player, transistor radio...etc.), 3 AAA batteries, and an amplified speaker system (most stereos with an AUX input will work). $18/$15 AAPT Members. Find it at The Physics Store.

Members in the News

J. Clint Sprott

A tuxedoed physics professor, J. Clint Sprott, wows a full house with catchy visual demonstrations of waves, friction and Newton’s laws in a July 13, 2010 article from PHYSORG.com. Follow this link to read more about Sprott's show "The Wonders of Physics." http://www.physorg.com/news198245776.html

Section News

Section News Online

Section Representatives at the Summer Meeting in PortlandSection Meeting SM10

See the July 2010 Section News here. http://www.aapt.org/Sections/upload/Section-News_July2010.pdf
To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org.


ClassWish.org is an exciting new nonprofit that offers an innovative and unusually effective opportunity to improve education for tens of millions of school children. It offers a rewarding and efficient way to address one of the great challenges to K-12 education: the lack of resources in schools resulting from slashed school budgets.
In short, teachers visit the site to create Wish Lists of the resources they need. Parents and others in the community see exactly what is needed and how their tax-deductible contributions can help. The audience is large (3.6 million teachers, 56 million students and their families); passionate (125,000 schools are more than a cause, they are part of daily life); and motivated by a desire to help both low-income schools and also those attended by their own families.

Dance, Physics, Tea, and Cake at UMD

Dance, physics, tea, and cake collide in the September 10th world premiere of The Matter of Origins, a two-act performance created by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, The Matter of Origins explores the nature of beginnings and the physics that underlies the origin of matter, using extensive research into historic and current points of reference including the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. More information about The Matter of Origins can be found here: http://claricesmithcenter.umd.edu/2010/c/performances/performance?rowid=11121.

International Newsletter on Physics Education

The Spring 2010 issue of the International Newsletter on Physics Education is now available at http://web.phys.ksu.edu/icpe/Newsletters/n59.pdf.

Teachers in Space Announces New Astronaut Competition

The non-profit Teachers in Space has already selected seven Pathfinder astronaut teacher candidates. The Original Seven, who were announced on July 20, 2009 at NASA Ames Research Center, have already begun training for their flights into space, which are expected to occur in about two years. Today Teachers in Space announced that it will be selecting three additional Pathfinders. The new competition, which is expected to last about a year, will begin within the next few weeks.
Teachers who wish to be notified as soon as the competition begins should email apply@teachersinspace.org with “New Competition” in the subject line. Details on the new competition will soon be available at www.teachersinspace.org.

USA Science & Engineering Festival

K-12 Students: Tell us why Science is Cool! Enter now for the USA Science & Engineering Festival Kavli Science Video Contest! Have your video screened on the National Mall, win prize money and possibly even a trip to the Expo in Washington D.C.!
The USA Science & Engineering Festival is scheduled to be held in Washington, DC, in October 2010 and will screen the contestant’s winning video on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

For more information, visit the USA Science & Engineering Festival website.

Be sure to drop by the booth we will be sharing with SPS and Laserfest.

Laserfest 2010Laserfest

Through a wide-range of events and activities, LaserFest will tell the story of the pioneering development of the laser and explore how scientific research leads to technological innovation that can impact and transform all segments of society. We encourage you to get your local schools, universities, and communities involved. http://www.laserfest.org/index.cfm

Was This Issue of eNNOUNCER Useful to You?

Tell us what you think about this issue of eNNOUNCER.

Join Us on Facebook and Twitter

AAPT tweets, posts and discussions are ongoing at the following links.
Join us and stay informed.


AAPT's eNNOUNCER is a service to members of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT National Office. All issues are archived here. Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements Archive and our archive of Press Releases. E-mail suggestions, news items, comments, and unsubscribe requests to: aapt-news@aapt.org
Deliverability of this publication depends on your e-mail 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.
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 eNNOUNCER may expire over time.
Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.
Copyright © 2010, American Association of Physics Teachers